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Outdoor Book Recommendations for 2018

With winter and the new year fast approaching, are you looking for some great outdoor and adventure reading for your long holiday travels or snow days sitting by the fire? Look no further...

By: Mayson + Save to a List

Outdoor Book Recommendations for 2018

Winter and the new year are upon us. For some, that means New Year's resolutions and spending some time on the slopes. Others are preparing to hibernate and relax with some friends, food and fun holiday cheer. Personally, I am finding great books with which to enthrall, inspire and educate myself with about the outdoors.

Throughout this year, I read several books about the outdoors and the adventures of others in Mother Nature. While I continue to research titles for the new year to dive into, I wanted to share some of the best reads I came across from this year. With that, here are a few of the best books I read for your upcoming long holiday travels, snow days sitting by the fire, or to just keep you dreaming of opting outside in 2018. 

1.Desert Solitaire - by Edward Abbey

This book is a classic. It is widely considered an outdoor literary masterpiece, which follows its author - Edward Abbey - during three summers he spends as a park ranger in southeast Utah in Arches National Monument (before its designation as a National Park). The book encompasses vignette like journal entries where Abbey describes his day to day activities while captivating the reader in his outstanding descriptions of the Desert Southwest and the landscape he stewards. With astounding detail, Abbey vividly captures the essence of this outdoor landscape, while questioning its future. Exploring potential exploitation by the tourist industry and more. It is a must read for anyone who loves outdoor recreation and/or conservation. 

2. Lassoing the Sun: A Year in America's National Parks - by Mark Woods

Mark Woods is a man who grew up visiting the National Parks with his parents and loving every moment of it. After feeling burned out with parts of his life, he seeks to reconnect with the outdoors and his childhood passion by embarking on a journey that takes him to 12 National Parks Service sites in a calendar year. Along the way, his mother falls seriously ill and passes. This series of events puts Wood's entire journey into a different perspective about the parks, his past and the future of both. As Woods discusses the past, present and future of these natural sites, the people who visit them, and himself, he ponders the legacy all involved leave behind. 

3. The Last Season - Eric Blehm

Quickly rising in popularity, The Last Season examines the extraordinary life of legendary National Parks Service backcountry ranger Randy Morgenson and his mysterious disappearance in the California Sierras of Yosemite National Park - mountains as perilous as they are beautiful. Morgenson was well known and regarded for his expertise and proficiency in backcountry search and rescue after spending countless years in the thick of nature. This riveting book dives into the complicated, unique and fascinating life of this man and his sudden baffling disappearance. 

4. Hiking Through: One Man's Journey to Peace and Freedom on the Appalachian Trail - Paul Stutzman

Shortly after losing his wife to cancer, Paul Stutzman is overcome by the pull to embrace a new challenge and dream in his life. With that, he quits his stable job of several years and heads for the Georgia hills and the Appalachian Trail. What Stutuzman learns and experiences over the following four and a half months changes his life and his perspective on it forever. His book on that journey takes the reader on an engaging 2,176 mile adventure through 14 states as if they were traveling right next to Stutzman as they experience what happens along the way that changed everything for him.  

5. Sweet Promised Land - Robert Laxalt

In this multi-generational masterpiece Robert Laxalt tells the story of his immigrant father Domonique Laxalt. Robert Laxalt describes his father's life and subsequent deep connection to the United States and the land they steward as Basque sheepherders. Over the years, Domonique Laxalt has become a part the land just as much as the land has become a part of him. This heartfelt story has come to embody the sentiments of many early immigrants, illustrating the power of America, its settlement by diverse peoples, and the connection it creates with those who become stewards of it. 

All of these books provide unique perspectives on the outdoors, recreation and more. I recommend each and every one of them to anyone and everyone who loves spending time opting outside and is looking for some inspiration, a good read from a new perspective or just needs something to occupy their time. With that said...

Grab your gear, or in this case your paperback, it's adventure time.

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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