25 Outdoor Adventure Books Worth Reading

The best books to take with you on an outdoor adventure are the ones written about the great outdoors. A good book can be the inspiration for you next outdoor trip or transport you to beautiful parts of the world when the weather close to home isn't cooperating. I've gathered suggestions from Sierra Trading Post co-workers and #TeamSierra bloggers to bring you this list of 25 books about adventure, exploration and the wonders of nature.

Young Adult Classics

1. Hatchet by Gary Paulson: Hatchet is the story of a 13-year-old boy stranded on an island with nothing but a hatchet to aid his survival.

2. The Call of the Wild by Jack London: The Call of the Wild follows a dog, Buck, who was stolen from his home in California and sold to be an sled dog in Alaska's harsh environment.

3. My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George: When a 12-year-old boy tires of living with his large family in a crowded New York apartment, he runs away to his grandfather's abandoned farm in the mountains.

4. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls: This is a classic tale of the love between a boy and his hunting dogs and the adventures they have in Idaho's Snake River Valley.

5. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Fin by Mark Twain: Split into two novels, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Fin both follow the adventures of two young boys along the Mississippi River.

Young Adult Classics

Tales of Exploration

6. Three Against the Wilderness by Eric Collier: This memoir follows author Eric Collier and his family as they build a log cabin in British Columbia and learn to live off the land.

7. Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer: A young man abandons his possessions and hitchhikes to Alaska so he can experience a life truly surrounded by nature.

8. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson: Bill Bryson recalls hiking the Appalachian Trail with an old friend in this hilarious book.

9. Wild by Cheryl Strayed: After the death of her mother, an inexperienced Cheryl Strayed hikes the Pacific Crest Trail as a way to heal from her life's tragedies.

10. One Man's Wilderness by Sam Keith: Sam Keith pieces together journal entries from Richard Proenneke, who, in 1968, built a cabin in an Alaskan national park and lived there for 30 years.

Tales of Exploration

Survival Stories

11. Touching the Void by Joe Simpson: A disastrous climbing accident leaves author Joe Simpson trapped in a deep crevasse and his climbing partner wracked with grief after leaving the thought-for-dead Simpson to save his own life.

12. Endurance by Alfred Lansing: This well-researched book follows explorer Ernest Shackleton and his crew as they attempt to cross Antarctica in 1914.

13. Savage Summit by Jennifer Jordan: This book shares compelling stories of the first five women to reach the summit of K2, a harsh mountain on the border of China and Pakistan.

14. The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger: Follow the journey of a crew whose ship disappeared off the coast of Nova Scotia in a rare storm deemed "perfect" by meteorologists.

15. The Control of Nature by John McPhee: This is a compilation of harrowing tales about people engaged in battles against nature.

Survival Stories

Outdoor Reflections

16. Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey: Critically acclaimed author Edward Abbey tells of his attempt to experience nature as a park ranger in southeast Utah.

17. NOLS Wilderness Wisdom by John Gookin: The National Outdoor Leadership School put together a collection of quotes from inspiring voices such as Ernest Hemingway, Henry David Thoreau and Theodore Roosevelt in this campfire-worthy book.

18. A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold: Ecologist and environmentalist Aldo Leopold describes his findings in areas he's traveled to, including Wisconsin, Iowa, Arizona, Sonora, Oregon and Manitoba, talking about conservation and the beauty of nature along the way.

19. The Wilderness World of John Muir by John Muir: This book is a selection of conservationist John Muir's most famous writing, including pieces from his personal journal and major works such as My First Summer in the Sierra.

20. Walden by Henry David Thoreau: Transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau spent two years living in a cabin he built near Walden Pond in Massachusetts, where he reflected on living in natural surroundings.

Outdoor Reflections

From and About Wilderness Gurus

21. The Last Season by Eric Blehm: This book tells the true story of a seasoned park ranger for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks who disappeared in the Sierra Nevadas.

22. The San Gabriels by John W. Robinson: Learn about the history and rich human culture of this southern Californian mountain range in this well-researched text.

23. The Secret Knowledge of Water by Craig Childs: After spending years exploring America's deserts, Craig Childs wrote about his travels and fascination with the desert, sourcing information from geologists, Native American legends, backpackers, conservationists and more.

24. Where the Clouds Can Go by Conrad Kain: Taken from journal entries and letters written by mountain guide Conrad Kain, this story highlights Kain's climbs, travels and life in general.

25. Forget Me Not by Jennifer Lowe Anker: This memoir explores the relationship between Jennifer Lowe Anker and her late husband, well-known mountaineer Alex Lowe, who died in an avalanche on a remote Himalayan mountain.

Stories from wilderness experts

*Featured image by Simon Cocks.

Which of these books are your favorites? What did we miss? Let us know in the comments!
posted by
Lauren Seidl
Blogger at Sierra Trading Post
Lauren enjoys hiking, camping, climbing and exploring the outdoors. She's always up for trying something new, especially if it involves getting outside. When Lauren isn't out finding adventures in her home state of Colorado, she can be found writing as Sierra Trading Post's blogger.
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