Books inspire us to do many things and to go places we wouldn’t be able to go to otherwise. Not only do I love the outdoors, but I love reading about it too. There are so many books out there about adventure and our beautiful surroundings. If you cant get outside because of the weather or where you live, at least you can with a book. Here are just a few books including fiction and non-fiction that will inspire your outdoorsy side or at least keep you from getting crazy through the winter. These also make great gifts for adventuring adults or bookworms.
Multiple books by John Muir– John Muir was a well-known author, activist, and naturalist that was influential in many preservation efforts and the creation of our National Parks. His beautiful writing is well known all over, for his poetic writings and descriptions of the places he traveled. Several of his compilations are “Wilderness Essays”, “Travels in Alaska”, “Our National Parks” and “First Summer in The Sierra”. John Muir was not only famous for his writings and activism but is also known for many quotes.
“A River Runs Through It And Other Stories” by Norman Maclean– The famous movie is actually based on a short story from this compilation of tales set in Montana. This book is not just about fly fishing but about woods and small-town Montana life. *There is a movie based on the title story, “A River Runs Through It” with Brad Pitt.
“Canoeing In The Wilderness” and “Walden” by Henry David Thoreau- In “Walden”, the author condenses his two years, two months and two days stay in a small cabin by himself at Walden’s Pond in a story of living on his own in seclusion and the changes of the seasons. Walden has become a philosopher and discusses nature, life, and more in his novel. In “Canoeing”, Walden writes about his canoeing trip in Maine with the same love and descriptiveness as he wrote “Walden”.
“Indian Creek Chronicles: A Winter In the Bitterroot Wilderness” by Peter Fromm – Peter is a young college graduate, that on a whim and driven by the inspiration of the tales of mountain men, takes a job in the Bitterroot Forest to guard salmon eggs through the winter. He spends seven months alone with the nearest help 40 miles away. Check out our post about our adventures in the Magruder Corridor, where this book took place, here: Our Adventures- The Magruder Corridor. Another fabulous book by Peter Fromm is “A Job You Mostly Won’t Know How to Do”.
“Yellowstone: A Land of Wild and Wonder” by Christopher Cauble – This gorgeous book includes amazing and colorful photographs of Yellowstone Park. With colorful landscapes and intimate wildlife photos, this book is a great addition to any library. This book transports you to the wonderful experience of Yellowstone National Park.
“Constellations: A Field Guide to The Night Sky” by Giles Sparrow – This gorgeous book includes amazing photographs and tips on how to identify constellations and other wonders in the night sky. This boo also includes scientific facts and the mythology behind the constellations of the night sky.
“Buried in the Sky: The Extraordinary Story of the Sherpa Climbers on K2’s Deadliest Day” by Peter Zuckerman and Amanda Padoan – This is the true story of the two Sherpas that survived on the deadliest day on K2 in 2008. This harrowing and raw story of survival recounts their tale.
“Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” by Cheryl Strayed – This is the author’s memori of her trip to self-discovery hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. The author was ill-prepared with no experience but hiked over a thousand miles on her own. *made into the movie “Wild” with Reese Witherspoon (any my niece worked on the wardrobe in this film and is in the credits!!!)
“A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail” by Bill Bryson – This is the memoir of Bill Bryson, a travel writer, who decided to spontaneously hike the Appalachian Trail. Bill and his friend are older and out of shape, and Bill humorously tells of their journey and predicaments.*made into the movie “A Walk in the Woods” with Robert Redford
“Roughing It” by Mark Twain – Written by one of America’s greatest authors, this book is part fiction and non-fiction as Mark Twain spins tales of his journey on a stagecoach across America. Also considered as a semi-prequel to “Innocents Abroad”, this book satires the Old West and America as only Mark Twain knows how.
“Ansel Adams in the National Parks: Photographs from America’s Wild Places” by Ansel Adams and edited by Andrea Stillman – This beautiful book is a wonderful compilation of Ansel Adams photography of our National Parks. With over 200 photographs, this book documents Ansel Adams’ travels to over forty National Park. He was an activist and instrument in the preservation of part of these parks.
“Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery: An Illustrated History” by Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns – This book is illustrated with drawings, photographs, and maps of the legendary trek of Lewis and Clark. This book includes excerpts from the journals of both Lewis and Clark, as well as includes photographs from the PBS documentary.
“Into The Wild” by John Krakauer- John Krakauer weaves the true story of Christopher Johnson McCandless, who left all of his money and possessions behind and goes to Alaska where his body is later found decomposed by the bus he was living in. The author has put together the story with bits and pieces of information to tell McCandless’ story. Every year, people make pilgrimages to the bus where McCandless lived and very few succeed, with many of them needing to be rescued.
If you are looking for books for children, be sure to check out these other posts Books for Outdoorsy Kids and 50 Outdoor and Nature Books for Kids. Are there other titles that you would like to suggest? Have you read any of these? Let us know in the comments below.