Wild Movie Review and Giveaway

I have been eagerly awaiting the release of Wild for months now. I read the book two years ago after I finished hiking the Appalachian Trail, and I was absolutely thrilled when I found out there would be a movie. I had to wait for the movie to be released in my city, and this past weekend there was only one theater in all of Denver playing it. I drove to Esquire Theater to find a line out the door of mostly women waiting to buy their tickets to Wild. I hadn’t seen that many ladies wearing puffy jackets in one place since the last time I went to an REI garage sale.

What did I think overall of Wild?

Yay for giveaways!!!

Yay for giveaways!!!

The movie accurately depicts long-distance hiking. It opens with a scene of Cheryl ripping a toenail off; her too tight boots have completely wrecked her feet. She signs trail registers the whole way with quotes from her favorite authors. Her circa 90’s gear is actual real backpacking gear. Her gigantic pack reminded me of my first backpacking trip when I had far more gear than I needed. There are funny yet annoying aspects of trail life shown: her tent catches in the wind while she’s trying to set it up, and she struggles trying to use her WhisperLite stove (seriously though, I HATE WhisperLites). There were just so many scenes where I found myself nodding along, like, “I feel ya, girl.”

It shows what it’s like to be a woman traveling solo. There are lots of aspects of traveling solo as a lady that are great: it’s easy to hitch-hike, you often get free snacks, people welcome you into their homes, and people seem to remember your name. There’s also aspects that suck: you have to be weary of people who do pick you up while hitch-hiking, a free donut often comes with a comment about your appearance, and sometimes you have to fear for your well-being. One particularly frightening scene was when there were two hunters making crude comments toward Cheryl, then one secretly stuck around behind a tree to watch her change her clothes.

Hiker chic.

Hiker chic.

It’s not a thru-hiking documentary. While I’ve watched plenty of thru-hiking documentaries, I have to say that most of them are not that interesting. Watching someone hike is not really exciting. This is more of a story about Cheryl. We see all of the things that led her to the PCT. Her struggles on the trail are coupled with the struggles of her personal life. We see all of her flaws that make her a real human being. We watch her hit rock bottom and then, like her mom wanted, find her best self.

I have heard other hikers say that there’s going to be a crowd of newbie Wild fans on the trail next year. Well, I will be on the PCT next year, and I look forward to seeing an influx in female hikers. I think it’s great if someone can see a bit of themselves in Cheryl and in turn find the inspiration to do a long distance hike.

Find out where Wild is playing near you: http://theaters.howwilditwas.com/

Book and Soundtrack Giveaway!!!

Leave your email address in the comments to enter to win a free copy of the book and a soundtrack (sorry, it’s only open to U.S. mailing addresses). I’ll send you an email if you win!

***Update: The giveaway is closed and we have a winner. Congrats to Maggie!!!

38 thoughts on “Wild Movie Review and Giveaway

  1. I haven’t had the chance to read or watch the movie as of yet,, this would be great to own, I’ve heard so much about this movie.

  2. Why the heck are the rest of the theaters not playing wild?! I love the positive review and positivity regarding possible wild fans hiking now. My mom and I read it together and now she’s starting to tag along on my hikes! I think it’s great that the book is encouraging more people to get outside

  3. I’m anxiously awaiting for this movie to come to my city. I’ll have to finish reading this post after I see the movie 🙂

  4. I can’t wait to see this movie! I am hiking the AT this coming March, and this book is definitely on my Christmas wishlist. Love you blog, it has given me so much inspiration to do this as a solo girl!

  5. I may be double commenting — but i’ll take my chances since i dont see it. : )

    I am starting a thru-hike of the AT come March and cannot wait to see this movie, the book is on my Christmas wishlist too! Thanks for your blog, it has definitely been helping with my questions and giving me inspiration!!

  6. miriamrobyn@hotmail.com

    I’m currently reading a copy of the book I checked out from the library, the movie is finally making it’s way to Kentucky on the 19th, so I’m hoping to finish the book up in time to check it out this weekend. Your review has me even more excited to see it!

  7. Wild doesn’t open in Minnesota until 19Dec, but I will definitely be in line to see it when it does. And although I think I am somewhat concerned with a surge of new interest in long distance backpacking as a result of the film (Americans are totally great at reacting), I hope it is not long lasting or the cause of further degradation of our trails.

  8. Pingback: Bucket List #8: Go on a Yolo Solo Backpacking Trip | Swoon Life

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