Ditching Cable? Top 10 YouTube Channels to Watch in 2017

Ditching Cable Part 2 – In part 1, I looked at the reasons to abandone traditional cable and how I choose to receive content over the internet.  This article is about some of the very best content creators on the YouTube platform.

Not all YouTube channels are created equally.  However, there are some common aspects that I believe make for a good channel.

First, the story. Each episode, or upload in YouTube terms needs to have a good story.  Mainstream TV is all about the story and we as a culture have been trained to look for it.  The story may be documenting challenges, traveling from place to place, dealing with obstacles.  Whatever it is there needs to be some kind of plot to follow.

Second, is character.  When you first watch a channel you discover the initial characters.  The Vlogger, themselves, the people they interact with and even the vehicle or some other inanimate object that is presented as a central part of the story.  The more you watch the more you learn and get to know the characters.  A channel becomes stale when the vlogger exhibits reservation or the viewer senses the vlogger is disingenuous.  Continually growing character is the key to a good YouTube channel.

Third, is regularity.  Some channels are daily vlogs, others are once a week, or a few times a week.  Ideally, it would be great as a viewer to be able to expect to see their favorites on a regular basis.  However, most of these channels are not high budget, commercial enterprises.  They are regular people who share their lives and experiences. Yes they earn varying degrees of compensation from YouTube and other sponsor type systems.  But it is the genuiness that makes the format, so a little grace in the regularity goes with the territory.

So having said all that here are my top 10 picks for YouTube channels to watch in 2017.

#10 – Casey Neistat

Casey is a quintasential independant direct to consumer filmmaker. Or as he calls himself, a YouTuber.  He recently stopped daily vlogging a few months back, but continues to upload new content every few days.  Great photography, inspiring thoughtful content, and always an intriguing story.  [Link to: Casey Neistat on YouTube]

#9 – Primal Outdoors

Jason Darrah is an outdoor enthusiast.  He shares his camping, backpacking, and bushcraft skills in a unique and thoughtful manner.  Excellent videography combined with great editing make for some very enjoyable videos.  If you want to get back to nature without leaving your living room this is the channel to watch. [Link to: Primal Outdoors on YouTube]


#8 – Kylie Flavell

Kylie is a self-professed one-girl production company. She travels the world making incredibly cinematic videography and meaningful thought provoking stories.  She is an amazing woman with great perspective and watching her channel will broaden your appreciation for the world we live in. [Link to: Kylie Flavell on YouTube]

#7 – Overland Bound

Overland Bound is more than a YouTube channel, their mission is to help all of us reconnect with the outdoors. From epic trip videos to amazing vehicle walk-arounds, you are introduced to an adventure that is attainable for everyone who wants it.  Beyond the YouTube channel is an entire network of connected followers, and forums to fuel your outdoor enthusiasm [Link to: Overland Bound on YouTube]

#6 – Roman Atwood

Roman started as a prankster.  Maybe at heart he still is.  But this channel documents his life as a father of 2 boys, and a girl on the way.  Brittany Smith, is Roman’s longstanding girlfriend, and she is a force to be reckoned with. Together with the boys, and the extended family, (Roman’s brother Dale has a good channel as well.) Roman and Brittany sincerely inspire people to Smile More.  It is no wonder his channel is one of the most popular on YouTube. [Link to: Roman Atwood on YouTube; Dale Atwood on YouTube]

#5 – Sailing La Vagabonde

Have you ever wanted to sail around the world?  Riley and Elayna are doing just that.  Starting in the Mediterranean then the Atlantic and now the Pacific.  La Vagabonde has nearly circumnavigated the globe. They will soon be picking up a new Catamaran in France, but I don’t want to spoil the story for you.  Riley has a great sense of humor, and Elayna is as fun as it gets. (and she can sing too!)  They have a new video every week. [Link to: Sailing La Vagabonde on YouTube]

#4 – Devin Supertramp

Incredible planning goes into everything Devin Supertramp creates.  Great stories, cool videography, and just heaps of fun.  Devin Supertramp is more than one guy, Devin Graham, but a Team, – Team Supertramp.  Adventure, Fun, and a lot of work goes into each video that comes out every week.  They also shoot behind the scenes stuff so you can see how it all gets done. Truly Outstanding. [Link to: Devin Supertramp on YouTube; Devin Graham on YouTube]

#3 – Gone with the Wynns

Jason and Nikki Wynn have been on both sides of the camera for a long time.  My first introduction to them was a few years back on an episode of HGTV House Hunters RV edition.  They traveled throughout North America in their RV for a number of years.  Recently, they gave it up, sold the RV and bought a Catamaran and are now sailing through the Bahamas.  Amazing photo/video and thoughtful story telling. They put together a new episode once or twice a week. [Link to: Gone with the Wynns on YouTube]

#2 – Jon Olsson and Janni Deler

Okay this is really a 2 for the price of 1. Both Jon and Janni have YouTube channels.  Jon is extreme to put it mildly. He is go, go, go all the time. Fast cars, travel, skiing, surfing.  Janni is a fashion powerhouse and instagram superstar.  Together they are an amazing couple.  Shooting some of the best 4k video available anywhere, combined with excellent editing the image quality of their videos is the best I’ve found on YouTube. But is goes beyond that, they are both the kind of people who you would just want to be around. Ciao! [Link to: Jon Olsson on YouTube; Janni Deler on YouTube]

#1 – Matt and Meredith Carriker

If #2 was a 2fer, this is a 3fer.  It all started with Demolition Ranch. In college, Matt started making videos about guns, and other stuff that makes loud obnoxious noises.  Later, after graduating and starting work as a Veterinarian he started Vet Ranch making videos about rescue dogs and cats that needed care.  A little while ago, Matt along with Mere, his wife, started making videos about their family life Off the Ranch.  Hard working, fun loving, family oriented.  Definitely a channel (or three) to watch in 2017. [Link to: Demolition Ranch on YouTube; Vet Ranch on YouTube; Off the Ranch on YouTube]



Maybe you have other favorites you like, please feel free to share them in the comments below.  If you liked this article please share it with your friends. The next post will be about paid content and ways to see all or most of the channels you do now, but at a lower cost.