Outdoor Books To Read For People Who Like Outdoor Things (and Reading)

Here is an extensive collection of books about all things outdoors that was curated by people who love all things outdoors!  This list is a work in progress. If you have a favorite title that you don’t see listed, leave it in the comments and we will add it!  Happy reading Outsiders!

Here is Mike’s list of must read books:


Bear in the Back Seat I: Adventures of a Wildlife Ranger in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park by Carolyn Jourdan

A Thru-Hiking Trilogy – Three Book Box Set: Three Books – Three Trails – Three Adventures by Keith Fosket

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall


One Man’s Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey by Sam Keith

Braving It: A Father, a Daughter, and an Unforgettable Journey Into the Alaskan Wild by James Campbell

Walden by Henry David Thoreau

How To/Self Help

Among the Cloud Splitters: Place Names in the High Peaks Wilderness Area by Erik Schlimmer

Finding Your Way Without Map or Compass by Harold Gatty

Be Expert with Map and Compass by Bjorn Kjellstrom

How to Stay Alive in the Woods: A Complete Guide to Food, Shelter and Self-Preservation Anywhere by Bradford Angier

The Natural Navigator by Tristan Gooley

Vertical Aid: Essential Wilderness Medicine for Climbers, Trekkers, and Mountaineers by Seth C. Hawkins

Training for the New Alpinism by Steve House


The River by Peter Heller

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

A River Runs Through it and Other Stories by Norman Maclean


Annapurna: The First Conquest of an 8,000-Meter Peak by Maurice Herzog

No Shortcuts to the Top: Climbing the World’s 14 Highest Peaks by Ed Viesturs

Minus 148 Degrees by Art Davidson

Eiger Dreams: Ventures Among Men and Mountains by Jon Krakauer

The Push: A Climber’s Search for the Path by Tommy Caldwell

The Lost Explorer: Finding Mallory on Mt. Everest by Conrad Anker

K2, The Savage Mountain: The Classic True Story of Disaster and Survival on the World’s Second Highest Mountain by Charles S. Houston

Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills by The Mountaineers Club


On Thin Ice: An Epic Final Quest into the Melting Arctic by Eric Larsen

Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time by Mark Adams

Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl

Blind Descent: The Quest to Discover the Deepest Place on Earth by James M. Tabor

Trespassing Across America: One Man’s Epic, Never-Done-Before (and Sort of Illegal) Hike Across the Heartland by Ken Ilgunas

The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story by Douglas Preston

The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Millard


The Beekeeper’s Lament: How One Man and Half a Billion Honey Bees Help Feed America by Hannah Nordhaus

Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time by Dava Sobel

The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan

The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World by Andrea Wulf

American Wolf by Nate Blakeslee

The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben


Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why by Laurence Gonzales

Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident by Donnie Eichar

Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors by Piers Paul Read

Jungle: A Harrowing True Story of Survival by Yossi Ghinsberg

The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America by Timothy Egan

The Fire Line: The Story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots and One of the Deadliest Days in American Firefighting by Fernanda Santos

The Last Season by Eric Blehm

The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition by Caroline Alexander

Adrift: Seventy-Six Days Lost at Sea by Steven Callahan

Here is Stephanie’s list of must read books:

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

2,000 Miles Together: The Story of the Largest Family to Hike the Appalachian Trail by Ben Crawford

And here is the crowdsourced list from HikeWNY on Facebook:

Cold River by William Judson

The Maine Woods by Henry David Thoreau

Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube: Chasing Fear and Finding Home in the Great White North by Blair Braverman

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Call of the Wild by Jack London

Grandma Gatewood’s Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail by Ben Montgomery

At the Mercy of the Mountains by Peter Bronski

Fifty South to Fifty South

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

The impossible First: From Fire to Ice-Crossing Antarctica Alone by Colin O’Brady

Adirondack French Louis Early Life in the North Woods by Harvey L. Dunham

Vagabonding in America by Ed Buryn

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard

North: Finding my way while running the Appalachian Trail by Scott Jurek

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

NO PAIN NO MAINE by  Dan Seiflein

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George

Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver

Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds, and Shape Our Futures by Merlin Sheldrake

The Unlikely Thru-hiker: An Appalachian Trail Journey by Derick Lugo

Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey

The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks by Terry Tempest Williams

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Travels with Charley in Search of America by John Steinbeck

When You Find My Body: The Disappearance of Geraldine Largay on the Appalachian Trail by D. Dauphinee

Missing 411 by David Paulides

Dear Bob and Sue by Matt and Karen Smith

River Teeth by David James Duncan

River-Horse by William Least Heat Moon

Woodswoman : Living Alone in the Adirondacks by Anne LaBastille

The Overstory by Richard Powers

The Wild Robot by Peter Brown

Solo: On Her Own Adventure by Susan Fox Rogers

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King

Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West by Stephen Ambrose

The Dharma Bums – Jack Kerouac

Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aaron Ralston

The Monkeywrench Gang by Edward Abbey

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge,  and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Quest: A Guide to Backpacking With Teens by Susan Cobb

A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold

Disappointment River: Finding and Losing the Northwest Passage by Brian Castner

My Grandpa’s Woods The Adirondacks by Larry Beahan

The Barefoot Sisters Southbound by Lucy and Susan Letcher

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

The Last American Man by Elizabeth Gilbert

World of Wonders by Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Ranger Confidential by Andrea Lankford

On The Edge: Leadership Lessons from Mount Everest and Other Extreme Environments by Allison Levine

Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper

AWOL on the Appalachian Trail by David Miller

Flight 29 Down by Walter Sorrells

The Lost City of Z by David Grann

Dangerous River by R.M.Patterson

My Lead Dog Was A Lesbian: Mushing Across Alaska in the Iditarod- The World’s Most Grueling Race by Brian Patrick O’Donoghue

This Much Country by  Kristin Knight Pace

My First Summer in the Sierra by John Muir

The Outermost House: A Year of Life on the Great Beach of Cape Cod by Henry Beston

The Wild Trees: A Story of Passion and Daring by Richard Preston

Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen

The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball

What books did we miss?

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