Whether you’re hunkered down by a crackling winter fire or enjoying a warm summer breeze in the hammock, a good tale of outdoor adventure is the perfect way to spend an afternoon. Here are some books about epic outdoor adventures, a few reference books to help you plan your next quest, and some movies and podcasts thrown in for good measure! Let the adventure of the mind begin!
Outdoor Adventure Books
Take the Path of Most Resistance: How the Appalachain Trail Saved Me from the Sixties and Taught Me Everything You Need To Know
David Hiscoe shares a witty, creative tale of his 1973 hike through the iconic Appalachian Trail from Main to Georgia. Some of his stories are funny, some are romantic, and some will leave you a bit unnerved. This is more than a mediocre thru-hike memoir or backwoods tale. Hiscoe creates hilarious parallels between his office cubicle experiences, his work in higher education, and his outdoor adventures.
Writings by John Muir
John Muir was one of America’s most famous naturalists, philosopher, glaciologist, and conservationists. He is known as “John of the Mountains and “Father of the National Parks”.
John’s essays and books recount his adventures in the Sierra Nevada mountains and his activism that helped to preserve the Yosemite Valley, Sequoia National Park, and many other beautiful wilderness areas. John is also known for his work co-founding the Sierra Club.
Touching The Void
Joe Simpson tells the harrowing tale he and his mountaineering friend trying to survive after a horrific accident derails their plans to conquer an unclimbed route in the Peruvian Andes. Simpson fell off the vertical face of an ice ledge, breaking his leg. The two climbers endured a blizzard and other life-threatening conditions during their efforts to survive. You won’t be able to put this book down!
The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon
Kevin Fedarko recounts the true story of the fastest boat ride ever down the entire length of the Colorado River and through the Grand Canyon in 1983. The Emerald Mile was a boat doomed for destruction before it was rescued and restored by Kenton Grua. Kenton and Kevin set out to nail the all-time record for the fastest boat ever propelled from Lee’s Ferry to Lake Mead.
This is THE resource on traveling and living in an RV. Mark Polk covers all the topics every beginner want to know and it’s a great refresher or reference for experts. It includes handy pictures and great tips. Mark covers all types of RVs from Class A motorhomes to pop-up campers.
Coleman: The Outdoor Adventure Cookbook
Nothing caps a day of adventure like a hearty, tasty meal on the camp grill. This is more than just a cookbook. Coleman includes helpful camping tips, packing lists, and so much more. They include recipes for breakfasts, snacks, sandwiches, salads, hot dishes, sides, and deserts. There is truly a recipe for everyone in this book.
Most of the recipes are not geared toward backpacking but it’s a great resource for car camping or RV adventures—something where you’ll have a cooler and grill at your disposal.
Fifty Places to Camp Before You Die
Are you looking to add to your bucket list? This book features the top spots to pitch a tent, from glorious national parks in America to exotic locations around the world. The author, Chris Santella, includes helpful information and tips that will help you plan your own perfect outdoor adventure.
Movies and Podcasts for Outdoor Adventure Enthusiasts
After the death of her mom and a divorce, Cheryl makes a rash decision to hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest trail… alone. It’s a heartwarming, funny movie that captures the tale of one woman forging ahead against all odds. Cheryl Strayed wrote the book, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail that the movie is based on.
This is a documentary about the first African American expedition to ascend Denali, North America’s highest peak. It’s also a fascinating exploration of the complex relationship many African-Americans have with the outdoors. But nine African-American climbers intend to bridge the adventure gap by tackling America’s biggest mountain on the 100thanniversary of its first summit.
This comedy is about two old men who set out to hike the Appalachian Trail. Bill Bryson is a celebrated travel writer who is supposed to be retiring, but he can’t quite settle yet. His long-lost friend Katz accompanies Bill and the two of them have very different ideas of what “adventure” is. Enjoy their mishaps, blunders, and mistakes; cheer them on through each stage of their journey and meet some of the weird, wacky, and wonderful thru-hiking characters on the Appalachian Trail.
The Sharp End Podcast
Each month The Sharp End podcast hosts interview climbers, skiers, and outdoor rescue workers involved in life-threatening incidents and share their lessons. The goal is to help everyone become safer outdoor adventurers. Though this podcast is primarily geared toward rock climbers, it is a fascinating and educational podcast for many outdoor adventure enthusiasts.
Host Sam Nuerminger interviews RVers from all walks of life—from young couples building businesses while paying off debt to retirees exploring the country and spending time with their grandchildren.
Women On The Road Podcast
Host, Laura Hughes interviews women about their travel and outdoor adventures. The unique twist in Women On The Road is that Laura is a full-time “vanlifer” who travels around the country herself! Check out this all-woman podcast that is fun, educational, and elevates women having great outdoor adventures in their own ways.
The Dirtbag Diaries Podcast
This podcast has been a staple for countless adventure enthusiasts for over 10 years! Hear stories about dreamers, athletes, wanderers, inventors, survivors, and everything in between. While narrating journeys and stories, Dirtbag Diaries host Fitz Cahall inspires listeners to go out and achieve our own bucket lists, whatever they may be. It’s a fun podcast with ten years of back episodes to get you started!
Do you have a favorite adventure book, movie, or podcast? Share in the comments below so we can add them to our lists!