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5 Books to Read in the Wild

Some book recommendations to help you connect more with the nature around you!

By: Eric Bennett + Save to a List

A lot of my time spent in the wilderness is idle, waiting in a location for several days until the right light happens so I can take a photo. Reading is super important in my life, so I am constantly on the search for inspiring books to bring along on trips to pass the downtime. There are a lot of cons to carrying books along in your pack like weight, size, etc. However, I feel that it pays off, since looking at a cell phone screen severely degrades your experience while in nature.

1. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Unfortunately, this book is a long one. Which means it has a lot of pages, it's big and heavy, but it is so epic and inspiring. I read this one during a 21 day trek that was definitely the hardest experience of my life, but this book helped me push forward and have the strength to see it through to the end. A super inspiring story of a WWII pilot whose plane crashed and was stranded at sea for something like 40 days before being captured by a Japanese Warship and being imprisoned for almost a decade. "One moment of pain is worth a lifetime of glory."

2. Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey

Written in the 60's by a park ranger who worked in what is now known as Arches National Park. This book will help you understand how the government manages and protects natural lands and the pros and cons of the tourism industry within our public lands. Really well written with some amazing descriptions of what these places used to be like before the huge influx in tourism, paved roads, and hotels. Abbey's knowledge of wildlife and landscape shows in his writing and makes for a really educational and inspiring book. If you aren't outside already, this one will make you want to be there.

3. More than a Rock by Guy Tal

Like Abbey, Guy also has a vast knowledge of wildlife in the Southwest. He explains his views on photography, nature, art, and life in short, beautiful essays which will help you to connect more with the natural world around you. His photography featured within the book is also beautiful and extremely inspiring.

4. The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holliday

Ryan Holliday has written many inspiring and motivational books, but this one has to be my favorite. In this book, Ryan teaches the timeless art of turning trials into triumph, which can help us with any kind of struggle we may be facing. This one helped me to learn to find the best in every situation and turn every challenge into an opportunity, which can be super helpful while taking on a difficult summit or finishing a long hike.

5. The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan Watts

A beautifully written book about Alan's philosophy on life, struggle, and pain. He compares man to the other animals and puts things into perspective to help us better overcome the challenges and struggles of life. This one helped me to feel more connected to the world and all of the life within it. 

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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