Our Curated List of Best Hiking and Outdoor Related Book Recommendations
We are always looking for hiking or outdoor-related literature to inspire ourselves and learn about new areas. Since we are always looking for recommendations, we thought we’d compile some of our favorites off our bookshelf. If you have some recommendations, please add them in the comments at the end of this page!
We broke this list down into categories. Click the button below to skip to that category.
Montana Specific Book Recommendations
These are some books we’ve read that are specific to Montana.
Night of the Grizzlies
Night of the Grizzlies is a non-fiction book about 2 women killed by 2 separate grizzly bears on the same night in Glacier National Park. It is an eye-opening book to learn how bears were treated and what behaviors were reinforced leading up to such a horrendous event.
Death in Glacier
Death in Glacier is a non-fiction book about people that have died from various reasons in Glacier National Park. The book chapters are categorized by ways people died such as drowning, climbing, aircraft, exposure, vehicle accidents, and more.
The Wild Inside
The Wild Inside is a suspense novel about a grizzly bear attack and killing in Glacier National Park. I enjoyed this book for the suspense and discovering the politics of how grizzly bear attacks are interpreted (keep in mind it’s still a fiction book). Excellent read.
National Park Ranger Books
These books are written by past National Park Rangers and give an interesting insight into what National Park Rangers do.
Ranger Confidential is an accumulation of stories by Andrea Lankford about her 12 years as a Park Ranger. There’s a great mixture of stories in here that are very entertaining and surprising. Being a park ranger isn’t just hiking in the woods all day!
Park Ranger is another accumulation of stories by Nancy Eileen Muleady-Mecham during her career as a Park Ranger. The stories are very entertaining. Her stories are very detailed from an emergency medicine perspective – so some of the vitals stats had me glazing over those parts. It’s still a great read to get insight into what it’s like being a park ranger.
General Adventure Books
These are a variety of stories that all have an adventure as the core of their stories.
Hatchet is a classic story on survival when a 13-year-old boy finds himself alone in the Canadian wilderness after his plane crashes. It gave me so many flashbacks to watching similar stories as a kid. A must-read!
The Call of the Wild
The Call of the Wild is another classic story. This book is about a part-dog part-wolf surviving on his own after his master is killed.
Sacajawea is a historical fiction book about Sacajawea’s life. Sacajawea, child of a Shoshoni chief, joined Lewis and Clark’s expedition across the United States. The book has highs and lows as her life wasn’t easy by any means. It is a long, but very interesting read.
One Man’s Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey
One Man’s Wilderness is a memoir about Richard Proenneke’s year spent alone in the Alaskan wilderness building and living in his own cabin. The details and descriptions have you transported to the most serene landscapes you can imagine.
It Happened Like This: A Life in Alaska
It Happened Like This – A Life in Alaska is Adrienne Lindholm’s memoir about living in Alaska. It begins with how she arrived there and you learn how she makes Alaska her new home and new ways of life. Her tales of adventure and general lifestyle in Alaska is an inspiring read.
Home is Forward
Home is Forward is a compilation of hiking stories by Fary Sizer. Having read his Appalachian thru-hike book (lower in this list) I really enjoyed his storytelling and related to his story the most – a computer nerd that just wants to be out hiking all the time.
Braving It: A Father, a Daughter, and an Unforgettable Journey into the Alaskan Wild
Braving It is a story about James Campbell and his teenage daughter’s explorations of Alaska. The stories are amusing for reading a dad’s perspective on taking his teenage daughter on wilderness adventures and how a teenage girl discovers and appreciates the wilderness.
Funny Shit in the Woods
Funny Shit in the Woods is a compilation of short stories about various adventures and scenarios. This book is an upbeat quick read that is sure to put a smile on your face.
Savage Summit is a compilation of a handful of stories about women that climbed K2. Some perished on their journey and others perished while on different climbs. This book is a great perspective on mountaineering as a woman and how hard it can be to make the right decision in difficult situations.
Into Thin Air
Into Thin Air is journalist-mountaineer Jon Krakauer’s memoir about his expedition to Mt. Everest gone wrong. It’s a good read to learn about mountaineer’s perspectives in different scenarios and learn what not to do if you find yourself in a bad situation.
I’ve read a number of thru-hiking books and find them all fascinating. The stories about the people you meet and unexpected scenarios are always amusing.
Lost on the Appalachian Trail
Lost on the Appalachian Trail was the first thru-hike book I read. Kyle Rohrig has a humorous way of describing his journey on the Appalachian Trail. I appreciated his detailed stories and it got me hooked on learning and reading other thru-hikers adventures.
Where’s the Next Shelter
Where’s the Next Shelter is another book about the Appalachian Trail. Gary Sizer’s descriptions and appreciation of nature come through and I found it very relatable. Another great read to get insight into what it’s like hiking the Appalachian Trail.
Becoming Odyssa is Jennifer Pharr Davis’s memoir on hiking the Appalachian Trail solo. This is a great story to get insight into what it’s like to hike the Appalachian Trail from a woman’s perspective.
Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart: An Adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail
Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart: An Adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail is Carrot Quinn’s memoir about her hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. Her quirky personality shines through as she retells her various interactions and experiences while out on the trail.
Thirst: 2600 Miles to Home
Thirst: 2600 Miles to Home is Heather “Anish” Anderson’s story about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail with the goal of getting the FKT (Fastest Known Time) for completing the trail. I hadn’t read a thru-hike story from someone trying to get the FKT before. It gave me a new perspective on other people’s motivations for completing a thru-hike!
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