5 Books Every Adventurer Should Read

It may be because I'm a librarian, but I am always seeking out the best adventure books to keep me satisfied while I'm waiting for the weekend.

By: Haley Baker + Save to a List

1. Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart by Carrot Quinn

A stream-of-consciousness book about Carrot's journey on the Pacific Crest Trail. This is such a real account of thru-hiking, and Carrot does not spare the reader any of the gruesome details. I love it because of it's raw honesty - talking about being afraid at night and convincing herself that it's just the "stick breakers" is something I took from the book and use in my own life. If you're at all interested in thru-hiking, this is definitely a book for you, but there's something in it for every outdoor adventurer.

2. Alone in Antarctica by Felicity Aston

I loved this book from the first few pages - the way Felicity describes what she felt on this antarctic expedition. If you're looking for a book describing the mental power it takes to go on long journeys, look no further. Problem solving, facing fears, and everything in between is conquered in this book. While I especially love this because it's about the first female solo trek, it's a great book for anyone who likes to be pushed to their mental and physical limits.

3. Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

Is it really an adventure book list if Krakauer isn't on it? I went with Into Thin Air as opposed to Into The Wild because this one felt more real. Granted, Krakauer was on the mountain for this particular adventure instead of just researching it, but everything about this book feels more relate-able for me. If somehow you've missed all the hype surrounding this book, it's about the 1996 disaster on Mount Everest. It's a thriller and difficult to put down once you've started. 

4. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

Can you tell I'm mentally preparing for a thru-hike? I first read this book almost 15 years ago when I was in middle school and the Appalachian Trail ran (literally) through my back yard. It was a surreal thing to read about something that I had grown up around, and I feel like Bryson did a good job of telling the story. He's an excellent narrator, and one of my favorite things is that he goes into the history of the trail, not just his time section hiking it. This is a great book for someone who wants to laugh, and it reads like a novel so it's really quick.

5. My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George

Probably not what you were expecting on this list, but this book is what got me hooked on the outdoors as a child. Young Sam Gribley "runs away" to his family's land in the Catskill Mountains. A true coming of age story about what it means to stay true to yourself, this book is great for readers of all ages. If nothing else, you should check out this book - it has shaped what it means to love the land for me.

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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