Now that I’m a hiker (after one trip), I need HIKING BOOKS! (I already have the boots.)

I’ve been on exactly one hiking excursion (last week to Zion National Park), and now I want to do more! I just hosted a hiking book chat at work and the people I talked there to shared great experiences and gave me a lot of ideas. Here are five books about hiking preparedness, places to go and a couple inspirational books among many that caught my eye. All blurbs are from Amazon.

To keep me prepared:

SAS Survival Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to Surviving Anywhere by John “Lofty” Wiseman

Revised to reflect the latest in survival knowledge and technology, and covering new topics such as urban survival and terrorism, the multimillion-copy worldwide bestseller SAS Survival Handbook is the definitive resource for all campers, hikers, and outdoor adventurers. From basic campcraft and navigation to fear management and strategies for coping with any type of disaster.

For suggestions on where to go:

100 Trails, 5000 Ideas from National Geographic

This authoritative travel guide―the next in National Geographic’s best-selling 5,000 Ideas series―takes you from the coast of Florida to the peaks of Wyoming on a series of epic hiking and walking adventures. So grab your hiking boots and get ready to explore 100 trails around all 50 states and Canada.

The World’s Best National Parks in 500 Walks by Mary Caperton Morton

Ever since Yellowstone National Park was established in 1872 as the world’s first national park, the movement to preserve natural landscapes and habitats has spread to every continent. The World’s Best National Parks in 500 Walks is the perfect inspiration for every explorer, from the armchair traveler to the veteran hiker, with full-color photos and vivid descriptions of some of the world’s most spectacular hiking trails. Helpful tips on navigating the routes, planning your trips, and preparing for encounters with wildlife will have you lacing up your boots and strapping on your backpack, whether it’s for a short weekday stroll or a multiday expedition on the world’s most breathtaking trails.

And for inspiration:

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone.

Walking the Amazon by Ed Stafford

In April 2008, Ed Stafford set off to become the first man ever to walk the entire length of the Amazon. He started on the Pacific coast of Peru, crossed the Andes Mountain range to find the official source of the river. His journey lead on through parts of Colombia and right across Brazil; all while outwitting dangerous animals, machete wielding indigenous people as well as negotiating injuries, weather and his own fears and doubts. Yet, Stafford was undeterred. On his grueling 860-day, 4,000-plus mile journey, Stafford witnessed the devastation of deforestation firsthand, the pressure on tribes due to loss of habitats as well as nature in its true-raw form. Jaw-dropping from start to finish, Walking the Amazon is the unforgettable and gripping story of an unprecedented adventure.

Have you ever been hiking? Are you an experienced hiker? Where have you hiked and what books do you recommend?

Thanks for visiting—come back soon!

43 thoughts on “Now that I’m a hiker (after one trip), I need HIKING BOOKS! (I already have the boots.)

    1. Hi Derrick – I used to be a runner, but I had to give that up – too hard on my bones! But I enjoyed my first trip and think I will do more. Thanks for the link to your post – I’ll check it out soon!

  1. I’m not a hiker but I do think that I’d like to be one. Of course that takes effort, so until I make the effort… As for a memoir about hiking how about Fumbling: A Journey of Love, Adventure, and Renewal on the Camino del Santiago by Kerry Egan. I enjoyed her take on what she did and how it changed her.

  2. I love walking in nature. When I was a kid my brother and I would explore the local woodlands. Today I enjoyed a daily walk to the local park where I made a circuit around the lake sitting on benches where I soak in the trees, birds, and lovely sunshine. Hiking is more work than I want to experience. I look forward to reading about your adventures. Be safe out there.

  3. There is nothing like hearing out onto a trail and taking in the beautiful sights and sounds. Bill Bryson has a book about the Appalachian Trail. I’ve never read it, though.

    1. Hi Leon – I know that book – A Walk in the Woods – it’s also a movie. I have read the book but have not seen the movie. Thanks so much for stopping by – I agree with you about the feeling you get when you’re hiking 🙂

  4. Unfortunately, my days of hiking are long over. But I do enjoy going along with hikers when they post their trips. The latest Sam Heughan book about hiking in Scotland was excellent.

    1. OMG – I’ll have to look for that – at one point we were considering hiking the Outer Hebrides but decided it might be too rustic and advanced for novices. Thanks for stopping by – I really enjoyed my first taste of hiking and hope to do more soon. 🙂

  5. How exciting that you went to Zion National Park — it’s on my list of place I need to go! I love hiking — I’m not particularly good at it and stick to easy trails, but I love the experience. My daughter is a dedicated hiker and took me on a couple of challenging trails in the Rocky Mountains on my last visit, and I can’t wait to do more! I’d like to get the book you featured on trails in the national parks. 🙂 Good luck with your continued hiking! (Not a book, but I’ve been enjoying using the AllTrails app whenever I’m traveling and want to find a nearby trail.)

    Oh, and I second the recommendation for the Sam Heughan book!

    1. Hi Lisa – I’m really an amateur and have a lot of respect for people who hike. It’s a much different workout than even vigorous walking – as I learned! I’ve heard about the AllTrails app – we were just talking about it yesterday! Thank you for stopping by to read and comment. I hope you are doing well and that you get to visit Zion soon.

    1. Oh nice! I don’t want to act like I’m a seasoned hiker – Zion was beautiful, however, and it’s hard not to talk too much about it. We did mostly easy hikes, but one moderate which was plenty hard for me! Thanks for stopping by, Betsy!

  6. I am possibly the only woman alive who hated Wild lol. Fine that others enjoyed it. Enjoy the hiking–boots, socks, liner socks, water, and nutrition bars make it nicer. Enjoy. I look forward to some photos!

    1. We felt like it was a bit like skiing in the sense that we wanted to try out as many trails as we could. That was a big trip for us – we’ll try something local until the next big trip! Thanks for stopping by, Lynette 🙂

  7. Hi, Barbara – I am glad that you have caught the hiking bug. These are great books that you have recommended. My favourite hiking book (actually my favourite book of all time) is Bill Bryson’s ‘A Walk in the Woods.’ I believe that you reviewed in several years ago. It continues to make me laugh out loud everytime that I read it!

    1. Hi Donna – yes I read that book a few years ago – I had no idea about hiking back then. I need to get in better shape – I’m a big walker but hiking is a completely different activity! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      1. Walking. Hiking. I love them both. But I agree that they are very different things.
        I am delighted to read that you are getting into it. Hiking is as good for the mind and soul as it is for the body!

  8. Wow-to have your first hike at Zion National Park is pretty amazing.
    I’ve never hiked. I’m not sure why. But I read and loved Wild. Walking the Amazon sounds intriguing.
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Kimberly – it’s taken me a lot of years to get to hiking – haha! I’m definitely going to read Wild. Thanks for stopping by and commenting 🙂

  9. Glad to hear you had a wonderful time at Zion and that you want to do more hiking. The stunning scenery tends to have that effect. I’ll have to check out some of these books. I’ve read Wild before, but the other ones are new to me.

    1. I think you’re right about the scenery – it makes you want to see everything. I’m going to read Wild and maybe watch the movie. It’s been on my list for a few years. Thanks so much for the visit and happy hiking!

  10. Zion looks beautiful, Barbara, and thanks for the book recommendations! I read Wild and became fascinated with hiking the PCT. My husband and I have two backpacking trips planned this year, and might try to hike the PCT for a short trip next year. We’ll backpack as long as our bodies will allow. 🙂 I also love reading books like these about other hiker’s experiences. Fascinating seems to be the best word. 🙂

    1. Hi Lauren – I will come to you for advice. Hiking is a completely different type of fit. I walk all the time, but this was a challenge at times because of the climbing. Thank you for reading and commenting. I think I would like to read Wild – it’s a movie too so maybe I’ll watch it after I read it.

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