As much as we’d love to be outdoors as much as possible, certain things require time between walls, like work, laundry, and giving ourselves the permission to be lazy. But that doesn’t mean we can’t keep adventure close at hand. The next time you need a little outdoor fix from your couch, curl up with one of these inspiring memoirs.
From the Appalachian Trail, to the first all-women’s team to summit an 8,000 meter peak, these books are guaranteed to inspire.
1. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
Follow Bill Bryson as he attempts to walk the Appalachian Trail with limited hiking experience. Laugh along with his mis-steps and learn about the wonderful history of this iconic American trail.
2. Terra Incognita: Travels in Antarctica by Sarah Wheeler
Wheeler spends a year exploring the nooks and crannies of Antarctica’s frozen landscape. Catch a glimpse into what life is like on the frozen continent of Antarctica. Filled with fantastic stories from the first explorers to the modern day research stations, Wheeler paints a magnificent picture of the last frontier.
3. Walking the Himalayas by Levinson Wood
This action-packed narrative takes you from war-torn Afghanistan all the way to the high passes of Bhutan. Follow Wood as he travels by foot across the Himalayas. He braves corrupt military guards, daunting trails, and befriends locals along this extensive journey across the greatest mountain range on Earth.
4. Tracks: A Woman’s Solo Trek Across 1,700 Miles of Australian Outback by Robyn Davidson
In an unprecedented journey, Davidson trains a small herd of camels to embark on a journey across Australia’s harshest landscape. The desert’s remote, desolate landscape is not only difficult to survive in, but it shows you what you are really made of.
5. Unbound: A Story of Snow and Self-Discovery by Steph Jagger
Disillusioned by life’s standard trajectory Jagger sets off on an epic journey to chase winter across five continents. What unfolds is a story of personal growth while trying to ski four million vertical feet in one winter.
6. Annapurna: A Woman’s Place by Arlene Blum
In 1978 thirteen women set off to break the mold. They were the first team of Americans, and women, to scale the extreme slopes of Annapurna. Arguably one of the most difficult 8,000 meter peaks, this harrowing tale of courage and teamwork tells a real-world tale of the expedition. These women risked it all to show that women have a place in the high-altitude mountaineering world.
7. No Shortcuts to the Top: Climbing the World’s 14 Highest Peaks by Ed Viesturs
World-class mountaineer Ed Viesturs recounts his journey to summit the highest mountains in the world, without supplemental oxygen. The first American to achieve this remarkable feat, he explains what it means to be a mountaineer.