Read my original nature poems right here!

Read my original nature poems right here!

27 Books About Hiking: Essential Reading List

Books About Hiking

Books about hiking, adventure novels, stories of epic adventure, nature poetry…this list has them all. Many of these I’ve read, others are on my to-read list. A lot of them came recommended from friends and family, and now I’d like to pass on my recommendations to you.

Let’s get to the list…

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14 Nonfiction Books About Hiking:

These books are *actually* about hiking (some of the fiction & poetry books below aren’t necessarily about hiking, but they’d find a happy home on any hiker’s bookcase). They’re meant to inspire you to get outdoors, or give you information to make your hiking adventures successful.

You may recognize some of these authors & book names. Many of them are famous, some were written recently and others quite some time ago.

If you’re a real bookworm, why not start at the top and work your way down?

  1. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
  2. Thirst: 2600 Miles to Home by Heather Andersen
  3. Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey
  4. Beyond the Hundredth Meridian: John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the West by Wallace Stegner
  5. Where’s the Next Shelter? by Gary Rizer
  6. The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon by Kevin Fedarko
  7. Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart: An Adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail by Carrot Quinn
  8. The Unlikely Thru-Hiker: An Appalachian Trail Journey by Derick Lugo
  9. Becoming Odyssa: Adventures on the Appalachian Trail by Jennifer Pharr Davis
  10. The Last Season by Eric Blehm
  11. Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer
  12. The Thousand-Mile Summer: In Desert and High Sierra by Colin Fletcher
  13. Wanderlust: A History of Walking by Rebecca Solnit
  14. Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer

6 Guide and Resource Books:

Guide and resource books make fun gifts, coffee table books, and conversation & idea starters. I often feel the “just get out there and do it” bug after checking out books like this. Know an adventurous friend? Or maybe you’re the adventurous friend! These books might just inspire a lifetime of road-less-traveled memories.

  1. 100 Hikes of a Lifetime: The World’s Ultimate Scenic Trails by Kate Siber
  2. 100 Parks, 5,000 Ideas: Where to Go, When to Go, What to See, What to Do by Joe Yogerst
  3. America’s Best Day Hikes: Spectacular Single-Day Hikes Across the States by Derek Dellinger
  4. A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail (Official Guides to the Appalachian Trail) by Bill Bryson
  5. 100 Drives, 5,000 Ideas: Where to Go, When to Go, What to Do, What to See by Joe Yogerst
  6. The Gentle Art of Tramping by Stephen Graham

5 Fiction Books:

Now this is my kind of section. Fiction books! I love getting lost in tales of grand adventure: books, movies, games, whatever. If fictional stories of adventure are up your alley, you may also want to check out my list of best classic adventure novels.

  1. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Box Set by J.R.R. Tolkien
  2. Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
  3. Green and Purple Birds with Bright Orange Feet by George Callahan
  4. The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
  5. Kim by Rudyard Kipling

2 Stories of Survival & Adventure

This section is a genre that’s new to me. The following books are real stories of incredible survival–usually in austere conditions. Endurance by Alfred Lansing really set me down the path of reading these types of stories, and I think they’re adventurous enough to be relevant to hiking.

A few of these stories are seafaring adventures, but check them out and let me know what you think.

  1. Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing
  2. Batavia’s Graveyard by Mike Dash

Poetry Books for Hikers:

Poetry is near and dear to my spirit. It’s what PineTreePoet is all about, after all. If you love reading poetry, make sure you check out my original hiking poems (dozens of original poems I’d love for you to read).

  1. Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems by Gary Snyder


One of the great tragedies
of life
is how few books
one can read in a year
and how few years
one can stay alive
to read them.

1/15/22 by PineTreePoet


We’re all poets
we just have different pens
and different colored papers
some sing songs and many more
take elevators up tall skyscrapers

10/22/21 by PineTreePoet


A book is a good dream
you can re-dream
without any fuss

12/12/21 by PineTreePoet


Poetry is the clearest translation
of nature’s voice
to human language

6/26/21 by PineTreePoet


I think sunsets
books in the sky

6/17/21 by PineTreePoet


Every trail I’ve walked
is a book page I’ve turned past
sewing a great literary sail
not without curiosity’s mast

12/26/21 by PineTreePoet


I’ve yet to survive a winter
by its end I’m always born anew

into some sun-drawn intellectual
I’m turned into a poet
always carrying a pen or two.

11/30/21 by PineTreePoet

Read more PineTreePoet original poems!
⛰️Poems About Mountains
☀️Poems About Sunset
🌱Environmental Poems
💚Love Poems About Nature


A paperback book
and long rays of sunshine
laying in summer grass
you’ll never smile so fine

8/3/21 by PineTreePoet


can just be
reading a new book
or learning a new word.

2/19/22 by PineTreePoet

The Kindle Oasis for Hiking

I was always a paperback book kinda guy (I like to fill a bookshelf), but my mom bought me a Paperwhite Kindle Oasis, and my reading world changed forever. A Paperwhite Kindle is just like reading a book, with zero bulk. It’s easy on your eyes, waterproof for poolside, beach, or bathtub reading, and it has an adjustable light.

The best feature of the Kindle Oasis is that you can read and “turn” pages with one hand, and it’s featherlight for easy holding. So no matter how I’m laying or sitting, it’s effortless to read (not the case with a physical book). And if I want to switch to an audiobook, the Oasis pairs with headphones or speakers. Laying in bed at night, I can read without special lights, and without tossing and turning to get comfortable holding the book open.

One of the best reading investments I’ve made as a hiker. Did I mention it’s waterproof and packs super light?? Tap here to check it out on Amazon.

Do you have a favorite book from the list? Or is there one I missed? Let me know in the comments.

George Callahan is the creator of Pine Tree Poet. He is an author of fantasy stories and an adventure poet. He prefers mountains and pine trees to most other things, and usually takes his dog Cowboy along for the ride.

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