While I’m an embarrassingly slow reader, I love to read! And secretly love to collect books about hiking adventures on my bookshelf! I’ve finally compiled a list of some of my favorite hiking books, and some that have just been on my wish list for a long time.
I hope these hiking books give you an idea of something new to read whether you’re on the trail, or day dreaming from the comfort of home.
10 Inspiring Hiking Books on Amazon
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- Grandma Gatewood’s Walk – This is the inspiring true story of the first woman to hike the entire Appalachian Trail alone… at the age of 67… in 1955!! Grandma Gatewood is also given the credit of saving the Appalachian Trail from extinction. If it hadn’t been her drawing so much attention to the Trail in the 50’s and 60’s it may have just been forgotten about and never been developed and maintained into the AT we know and love today.
- A Walk for Sunshine – Another inspiring true story of Appalachian Trail thru-hiker Jeff Alt. Alt dedicated his hike to his brother, who has cerebral palsy, and has raised more than $400,000 for the Sunshine Home through his fundraising adventures.
- Becoming Odyssa – Jennifer Pharr Davis recounts her adventures thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, and is surprised to find the overflowing kindness, generosity, and humor of the Trail.
- Into the Wild – While I love any good adventure story, Into the Wild is by far one of my favorites!! Even if you’ve ‘seen the movie’ the book is well worth the read. Into the Wild is the true story leading up to Chris McCandless giving away all his money and possessions to head off to the Alaskan wilderness alone, in search of a new and happier life.
- AWOL on the Appalachian Trail – Another inspiring true story of Appalachian Trail thru-hiker David Miller, who left his job as a soft-ware engineer to fulfill a lifelong dream and hike the AT in 2003. *This one is free on Kindle for Prime members!
- Hiking Through – Follow along with one man’s journey to peace and freedom on the Appalachian Trail after losing his wife to breast cancer. Paul Stutzman shares the ups and downs of life on the Trail so that nature-lovers, armchair adventurers, and those grieving a loss might be able to live vicariously through him on this spiritual pilgrimage.
- Ultralight Backpackin’ Tips – This may seem like a silly book at a glance, but it really is full of practical and inexpensive tips for extremely lightweight hiking and camping. And, of course, yes there is some silliness mixed in with these helpful backpacking tips and how-to’s.
- Freedom of the Hills – For the more extreme adventurers out there, this is the “Bible” of mountaineering. If you’re hikes and backpacking trips are suddenly making your ‘travel bug’ or ‘itchy feet’ worse instead of satiating them, like you just need more, then you may want to study this book, hire yourself a guide or very trusted, experienced friend and explore the world of mountaineering.
- A Walk in the Woods – Bill Bryson never claimed to be a smashing thru-hiking success in this comedic interpretation of hiking the Appalachian Trail. This is an easy and very enjoyable read. You just have to know that this is more of a feel-good store than a how-to guide. Again, even if you’ve seen the movie, the books are always better!
- Wild – Another one of my most favorite books. Cheryl Strayed spills all about the tragic events that lead her to solo hike over 1,000 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail. Follow her through all the joys and challenges she faced on the PCT. Especially with this one, I know the movie followed the book pretty closely, but there was just no way they could fit the whole story and all the details into the movie. The book is definitely worth the read.
- Please do leave your thoughts on any of these books in the comments below! And if you’re favorite hiking book isn’t listed, let us know what it is 🙂