2017 was a heck of year. We published roughly 300 articles covering everything from the rebirth of fly fishing clubs in Upstate New York and Surfing in Morocco to bikepacking across Oregon and the introduction of modular, DIY cabins ready to plunked down wherever you see fit.
And while each of those subjects resonated with a great deal of you out there in internet land, it’s clear the two topics most relevant in 2017 were #vanlife and fittingly, the ubiquity of cliché photography in the outdoor space.
As such, the top 5 performing articles published this year are as follows. So dig it, re-inspire yourself, or take note of what you may have missed. Then please, do yourself a favor and unplug till 2018.
2017 was a big year for new contributors on The Field. And we couldn’t be happier about it. One we’re especially excited about—and clearly you dig too—is Adam Naples, an avid vanlifer and recent transplant to the PNW. Given his back story, it only seemed fit to introduce his work to the site, and you all, with a series of medium format film photos documenting a cross country road trip in his beloved 1970 VW bus.
Exactly one year ago we were in Peru, hiking through soggy jungles and over jagged mountain passes. Though our images of famed Machu Picchu drew a good deal of eyeballs, it was the 35mm film photos from our multi-day hike leading up to reaching the ancient Inca citadel. The trip wasn’t easy, but boy was it beautiful, and well worth every mosquito bite.
#3: The Real Vanlife
Few folks are as genuine and real as adventure photographer and veteran van-dweller James Barkman. For the past couple years the former Pennsylvanian has called his not-so-trusty 1976 VW Type 2 van home. As such, the man knows a thing or two about what it’s really like to live the van life. So he laid it all out for us. Spoiler: It’s not all perfect sunsets and dream backroad campsites.
In early 2017 a friend tipped use off to @youdidnotsleepthere, a hilarious, niche account (then with a 30k following) calling out kooky photogs posting staged campsites. In July we tracked down Luisa Jeffery, the hilarious Canadian expat behind the account, and published a Q&A on all the things that make her clever account so special.
Within days everyone from Cosmopolitan and Mashable to Business Insider and The Independent in The UK had picked up the story, igniting a larger conversation we—and many others—have long wished to have.
Fast forward to September and we hosted a panel discussion with Jeffrey, Instafamous photographer Andrew T Kearns and commercial photographer Mackenzie Duncan at Outpost Trade’s flagship event. The subsequent article with highlights and video spurred another round of buzz online, adding even more fuel to the fire.