Best Books For Hikers (Updated September 2020)

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You may have a lot of guesses as to why hiking is such a great outdoor activity for many. But your guesses wouldn’t be as accurate as they can be if it doesn’t come any close to the meditative experience of the outdoor. The hiking experience is taken further even much more by the ambience of the mountain top and the relaxing aura it releases to anyone that cares to ditch their comfort zones and hike the trails up the mountain. Whether you are hiking to push your limits or just taking a short trek with your loved one(s), the expectations are almost always around the full satisfaction of bringing yourself up and the feeling of accomplishment.

With all these goodies that lie in hiking, you can imagine how the more incredible it will be to be up there with a superb hiking book. It gets all the more interesting with hiking books because you can choose the writing style you do prefer. If you are the motivational audio listener type or you are the type that likes print paper as you delve into the mind of the author, you will always get your fit. With a good hiking book on your next hiking, the experience has never been better.

We have rounded up a 8 best hiking books we will recommended for your next timeout on the mountain. They have been carefully selected and found to be very interesting. Trust us, any of them will be worth the read and your time.

Word of caution: don’t start any of these books if you are in a hurry to cruise right through, even yet, you will find them almost impossible to drop. #Winks

1. Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster

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Into Thin Air is a non-fiction book written in 1996 by John Krakauer, a survivor of a journalistic-mission onto the top of Everest mountain which turned into a disaster. There are of course some books you waltz through from the beginning to the last page, and yet, there are some others that takes your breath, send chills down your spine. The category the Into Thin Air falls? You can bet! Right from the introductory praise to the end teary last page which gives account of the oldest woman to get to the top of Everest but never made it back, the book certainly gets all within you inspired and equally solemn.

The book has received widespread recognitions and awards, including the Pulitzer nomination in the 1998 for the best non-fiction book. The story is a narrative mix of undiluted journalism, real life accounts, and dramatic historical outlook. It is as well a story of poor decision making, heroism, survival as well as death. The disastrous drama up the Everest mountain which happened in that 1996 expresses the extent of passion and sorrow which still embraces all that were present there that day at the Everest summit.

2. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

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The Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail brings you with an inspiring and captivating story which is certain to get you all the more revved up and bring you further to nature. Written in 2012 by the American author, Cheryl Strayed, the book is memoir written in extensive account of her one-thousand miles hike adventure in 1995 on the Pacific Crest Trail. It was claimed to be a purposed journey to discover herself. The Wild grossed No. 1 on the list of New York Best seller and also became the very first pick for Oprah’s Book Club 2.0. It is available in audio book version.

The book further describes how the overwhelming and difficult hike hit hard on Cheryl which in turn strengthened her to get back up and regain focus. The hike came after the life changing passing away of her mother as well as the following poor choices she had made. Thus, to get your hands on the book and have your mind lost in the pages of this book is to set yourself up for full loads of inspiration and encouragement on your hike, especially if you are a beginner.

3. A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

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A Walk in the Woods is a fascinating book which talks about Bill Bryson’s travel book written about his attempt to hike the two thousand and two hundred (2200) miles Appalachian Trail located in the United States with an old buddy of his. The book pictures an adorable wood walk experience between the two old grown geezers just like Waldorf and Statler without the amusements.

In the book, Bill Bryson brings you close to the ecology and historical story of the trail as well as a couple of hardy folks he encountered during the hike; and bears too. Reading A Walk in the Woods gives you an impression of what hiking in the wild brings as well as the many interesting experiences that lie therein. You can be sure to enjoy this hiking book and it will be worth the read.

4. Into the Wild

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You probably know John Krakauer already; he also authored the book Into Thin Air which is a narrative of his historical adventure to and from the mount Everest. It’s hard to not get glued to the letters of his books as he is a great writer who brings us in crisp captivating words, face to face with the adventure and perils that roam on the edges of the mountains and the wild. Into the Wild is a non-fictional book written in 1996 by Jon Krakauer and it further expands a 9,000 words article titles “Death of an Innocent” which was written by the same on Christopher McCandless.

Christopher Johnson McCandless was a young man of a very wealthy background who hiked to Alaska and trekked alone into the northern wild of Mountain McKinley. Christopher had already donated his savings of twenty fine thousand dollars to charity haven ditched a large portion of his possessions, his car, lighted all the cash left in his wallet to flames, and created for himself a fresh new lifestyle. A group of elk hunters found his decayed body 4 months later, thus this book tells the story of how Christopher Johnson McCandles met his death.

The book has been translated to over thirty languages and so you have language options if you’d like to explore beyond English.

5. Grandma Gatewood’s Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail

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Written by Ben Montgomery in 2014, The Grandma Gatewood’s Walk book is a biography of the modest but courageous sixty-seven-yea-old grandma from Ohio who through sheer determination walked the 2,200 miles of the Appalachian Trail and became the first person to walk it thrice. Grandma Gatewood’s intention t walk the miles of Appalachian Trail was unknown to anyone, not even or eleven children and twenty-three grandchildren. On May 1995, she quietly skipped out of home into the south wild of Appalachian Trail in Georgia. She describes her accomplishment as “good lark” was very satisfactory for her.

The book exquisitely narrates the first hike story of Grandma Gatewood and the successive ones while blending in the sad and upsetting summary of her earlier life. The writer suggests that Gatewood who was later on referred to as the “Queen of the Forest” was not any close to the eccentric nature many others claimed she had. However, the book describes Gatewoood’s long hike as a means to helping her come to terms and accept a dark secret she’s always carried. Gatewood married a man at 18 years of age who she later found out that he’s of desperate sexual appetite and aggressive temper. All through 30 years laced with repeated mistreats and beatings, she stayed with him until the man almost killer her. She thereafter lived with her children for nearly twenty years. It was suggested by the writer that a National Geographic article could have been the inspirational catalyst to Gatewood’s adventure onto the trails.

Altogether, the book is a great read and more than anything, it is one kind hiking piece you will want to find yourself in the wild with.

6. Becoming Odyssa: Adventures on the Appalachian Trail

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The Becoming Odyssa hiking book is such a piece of art that describes a blend of purpose with passion for everything outdoor. It is Jennifer Pharr Davis who took to life on the trails after graduating from college. As she was unsure about what’s next after college, she got attracted to the Appalachian Trail, an historic trail of over 2,170 miles extending to Maine from Georgia. She got her own fair share of criticism from family and friends who think she’s gone nuts to ever have that thought of trailing the AT cross her mind. Nonetheless, Jennifer stepped out alone to hike the Appalachian trail with the hope that her time in the wild will help her figure out what to do next.

The following 4 months would turn out to be the most emotionally and physically challenging period of her life. In this book, Jennifer exposes you to not only the peculiarities of the trail but also brings you bare close through into her life. She, of course, shares in words the difficulties of the hike, the hardship of laboring on through the blizzards of the trail, dealing with unsolicited companions, the pains of the harsh weather, as well as the ecstasy of the rising up and setting down of the sun. A delve into this book gives you such intimate feeling with the writer as though you have been with her for a long time and known her especially as a long-distance hiker.

Needless to say, the Becoming Odyssa is not just a book about long hikes but much about someone who steps all out in the face of fears and doubts in search of themselves, and find comfort, satisfaction, and bliss in what they find. You can expect to stay glued to the group as it will blow you away and inspire you to take steps that are daring but will bring you thousand miles closer to who you are meant to be.

7. Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart: An Adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail

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This book tells us about a woman who in the wake of realization of her addiction to the internet took to the trails to break free from the numbness the city brings and from the difficulty of connecting with people. For Carrot Quinn, walking the 2,660 miles long Pacific Crest Trail extending from Mexico to Canada was just the perfect thing to get herself figured out. And that became her very first long-distance walk of her life.

Carrot was fazed with diverse physical and emotional challenges as she hiked through the Southern California, with sustaining injuries, aches, blisters, severe weather, heat, exhaustion, dehydration and in fact, loneliness. While hiking through the Pacific Crest Trail, Carrot had an opportunity to come in contact with a pack of strangers and they turned out to develop a close rapport with Carrot as they moved through the trails. As she describes, these people she probably wouldn’t have had the chance to connect with in the “real world” but became closely knitted together by their shared goal of making it to Canada on time before the snow flies.

8. The Backpacker’s Field Manual, Revised and Updated: A Comprehensive Guide to Mastering Backcountry Skills

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Written by Rick Curtis, in 1998 and became a standard when it comes to backpacking. It has since been updated now to provide a thorough view of what backpacking in present times. It brings us face to face with the newest invents in backpacking gears including ultralight hiking tools and Global Positioning Systems. The book comes with a chapter which exhaustively teaches on the basics and essentials of leadership in the outdoor. Whether you are a beginner who is stepping out to hike for the first time or you are an experience hiker, you will easily find this book interesting and indispensable for preparing trip strategies and as a reference while out there on the trail.

The book illustrates with line drawings, teaching on how to do weather forecasting, recognize trees, keep bear out of your camping zones, take care injuries, and many other backcountry skills. It also exposes to proven practical lessons that have been gathered along hikes on the trails over time, offers suggestions on how to downsize and lighten up.

With this book with you as you hike in the wild, approaching the trails comes relatively easy and with every dose of confidence.

These books are more than enough to make a great companion as you go on hiking. It’s like having the writer, who has also been on the trails sometimes ago like you are now, stay by your side to teach you and share in the grieves of your situation. No time spend on reading any of these books is a waste, and when you eventually find one in your hands, it will be worth the read.

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