The "Old" Outdoor Life Network???

Anyone out there remember the “old” OLN? I remember when its focus was on active outdoor sports like mountain biking, cycling, backpacking and kayaking. Super cool channel.

I lost the network for a few years when I moved to an area where it was not offered, but was very disappointed when I got the channel back and found that it was all about hunting, fishing and bull riding now.

Anyone know of another cable channel out there that offers what OLN used to?

Just curious.


not any particular channel anymore. OLN is now Versus, anyway, and is become less and less about huntin’ and fishin’. It’s generally speaking a sports channel (they still show bike racing, but also hockey and other somewhat random sporting events).

The travel channel does have a good bit of ‘adventure travel’ which kinda encompasses some of the topics. I see mt biking on there occasionally, and some bits of hiking, but not so much backpacking.

The best outdoor life network?
Walk out the front door.


You forgot…

– Last Updated: Aug-20-08 6:24 AM EST –

...that their staple these days is "Morons on Steroids Kicking the Crap Out of Each Other". Well, that and "Morons Getting the Crap Kicked Out of Them By Bulls". Maybe they should change their name to "The Gratuitous Violence Channel"? If it wasn't for the cycling coverage, I'd never watch Versus.It was much better when it was OLN.

They are pretty big into the mixed martial arts stuff nowadays.

Seems they go through phases where the same thing is on all the time. Soon it will be back to bull riding (who really watches that crap?)

I just think it is interesting and disappointing that the channel’s theme completely changed. Too bad. I used to love that channel.


A few years back . . .
Maybe 20 years ago there was a show on TV called “Assignment Adventure”. Sometimes it was great, like kayakers doing a first descent. Other shows were about taking three-wheelers across the desert, or powered-parachutes taking a trip somewhere. The opening credits showed a whitewater kayaker seal-launching from a small cliff and that certainly inspired me.

I miss that show. Unfortunately, if it is anything like the A-Team or the Dukes of Hazard, it might not seem quite as awesome now.

TV shows (and cable networks) that focus on the Outdoors do not seem to last very long. This is probably because folks that are Outdoor orineted don’t watch a lot of TV. My favorite was ABC’s American Sportsman back in the 60’s and 70’s. Most of the recent Hunting and Fishing shows I have seen are basically extended infomercials for the sponsor.

If you want to see the best outdoor sports series done in the 90’s, watch “Fishing with John”. Its available on DVD (I know NetFlix has it, not sure about Blockbuster) and features actor/musician John Lurie traveling around the world fishing with assorted celebrities. Its like American Sportsman, but with a twist.

Yeah I used to be a big hunter and used to like hunting shows. I don’t hunt anymore but still do ocasionally look at the hunting shows on OLN…what a joke. It’s just an ad for the game baiting ranch where they bait in the deer they put down on the show.

I am no longer really interersted in hunting shows but really liked the kayaking / mountain biking and hiking shows that used to be on OLN.

I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I do for a while in the evening and sure would like to watch something worth a darn. Being an avid outdoors enthusiast and watching some TV every now and then are not mutually exclusive.

I guess it’s about supply and demand. Maybe those of us who like sports like kayaking, canoeing, backpacking, and mountain biking truly are strange like my wife seems to think (unfortunately).

Too bad. I think all are super cool sports and a whole lot more enjoyable to watch on TV than baseball or football, etc.

I was also a wrestler and always wondered why that sport was never popular as a TV spectatator sport.

Seems I must be in the minority.


The old OLN was cool, they would actually have shows on yacking and adventure sports, i am glad they still have the tour. i also miss the Old Speed Tv, when they would show all kinds of racing, like rally, F1 GP, GT super bike ect. i mean on occasion they will still show some of those , but mostly it seems to have become a NASCAR talk show.

PBS used to have
a show called anyplace wild. It was primarily put on by Backpacker Magazine, but I have not seen it for a long time. The Water Channel claims to still be on but I can never find it anymore. Not sure why shows other than fishing and hunting shows get no play. I guess it all comes down to how long can someone watch a bunch of people walking down a trail or paddeling down a river. it is just not “exciting enough”

Not quite as awesome
"Unfortunately, if it is anything like the A-Team or the Dukes of Hazard, it might not seem quite as awesome now." But if it’s like those, it will soon be a really stupid movie to totally ruin your good memories.

And I second the recommendation of Fishing With John!!! GREAT stuff. Best line that comes to mind is “Lon has wooden legs but real feet.” Or maybe “Tacho, in human form…” Lurie’s a frustrating guy. He pretty much dissolved his great band (The Lounge Lizards–they played what he once called ‘fake jazz’, which I’d say is some kind of avant garde rock music played by a jazz band, and which jazz purists hated and rock fans probably didn’t like either) 8 or 9 years ago and doesn’t seem to want to put it together again; Fishing With John was a small project that won’t ever be expanded. Now he makes his money doing voiceovers and narrations and is focused on painting. I heard an interview where he was talking about how it’s all due to Lyme disease wiping out his energy for doing much of anything.

Anyway, FWJ was a great show and the DVD is well worth watching. It’s definitely NOT a fishing show in any sense you’re used to.

I used to watch swedish match – sailing, surfer journal and canoe and kayak magazine every Monday night. It was awesome.

I wrote their execs years ago about the changes. They said more people were interested in bull riding, etc.

My guess is they’re trying to survive, become an alternative to ESPN.

Our loss, though.

Best episode ever
on OLN was the “Trailside” episode of kayaking with Derick Hutchinson. The host lost control surfing and ran over and capsized Derick. He then proceeded to stay on top of Derick’s kayak so that Derick could not roll (despite several tries). Watching Hutchinson wade to shore after a wet exit was priceless. If the camera had not been there you would have had one dead outdoor show host.