Adventure Books

7 June 2013 10:31 pm0 commentsViews: 78

I love adventure books.

I first got into reading them one particular semester during grad school when I had a maxed out course schedule. Even though I was managing to hike about once per week, my sense of adventure felt seriously malnourished. A week between hikes is a long time to wait for a pick me up.

I longed for the trail and the freedom of adventurous rambling.

Work was nearly ubiquitous. My thoughts raced through the day and feverishly moved from one assignment to the next without respite. I needed something to help calm my mind for short intervals.

I needed something I could use “on-demand” to help me stay sane.

Adventure books were just the right prescription for my ailments. I started reading them daily for a half hour at lunch and most nights as I wound down from the day. These small doses of adventurous thoughts helped nurse me happily through the semester and set the stage for grander pursuits further down the line.

If you recognize a similar lack of spirited outdoor undertakings in your life, check out the venturesome books listed below for some inspiration.

Types of adventure books:

Some Excellent Books to Start With

Book Category Category Starter
Appalachian Trail Memoirs – Click Here to Get the List
Hikers completing the entire AT can have profound personal realizations. Many hikers find themselves compelled to tell the story of their hike in a book, selections of which are included in this list.
AWOL on the Appalachian Trail by David Miller
Adventure Fiction – Click Here to Get the List
These are the adventure stories that have been popular for generations. These books are a testament to the timeless nature and refreshing power of a well told adventure story.
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
Free (Public Domain) Works – Click Here to Get the List
Ninety years after a book’s publication it enters the public domain, which enables sites like Project Gutenberg to offer free digital downloads of books and Librivox to offer free downloads of audio versions of books.
My First Summer in the Sierras by John Muir
High Intensity – Click Here to Get the List
This category brings the adrenaline. From record breaking trail attempts to ascents that flirt with death, this category will get your heart pounding and revved up to get back out on the trail.
Into Thin Air by John Krakauer
Another category with elevated intensity, these running books will amp you up to hit the trail. This category is highly recommended for anyone who’s ever considered themselves a runner.
Born to Run by Chris McDougall
Tactical – Click Here to Get the List
These practical books are planning tools more than the type of entertainment I referenced at the top of this page. Reading them still will be an inspiration to improve your kit and refine your backcountry skills.
The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide: Tools and Techniques to Hit the Trail by Andrew Skurka

Take 30 minutes of the next 24 hours and set it aside to read something adventurous,


“He was mastered by the sheer surging of life, the tidal wave of being, the perfect joy of each separate muscle, joint, and sinew in that it was everything that was not death…” – Jack London, The Call of the Wild


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