Best Hiking Books
Some of the best hiking books aren’t about hiking
As a hiker, I love reading books about as much as I do hiking. Finding the best hiking books often means finding a book about something related the hiking.
If you are stuck in the passenger seat of a long holiday road trip a.k.a. The Super Circuit, then you need something, anything the cut the time. Direct from my bookshelves, here are books I keep reading over and over because they are that wonderful of an escape.
Sometimes, I go a little mad and combine hiking and listening to a good book. I only use one earpiece so I can still hear what is going on around me! You can use Audible to listen to books. (I almost said books on tape! A long time ago, I used to work powerline clearance and covered about 8-10 miles per day, and I listened to books on tape to keep my mind entertained.)
If you are struggling with what to that outdoorsy person or just want to buy yourself a gift for surviving this long here is the list of great books:
Best Hiking Books:
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. I read this and had to stop to catch my breath from laughing so hard. Bryson goes ill-prepared into the woods a.k.a. the Appalachian Trail to see what the experience is like and discovers it means a lot more and is a lot harder than he thought it would be. The movie pales in comparison.
If A Walk in the Woods isn’t funny enough, then following three birders in The Big Year (by Mark Obmascik) as they race against time, the elements, and each other to see as many bird species as possible in one year will make you laugh. My favorite mental image is when the guy ran his pants up the flagpole. The movie is good but not nearly as wonderful as the book.
The Wild Duck Chase is along the same lines as The Big Year but it follows several waterfowl artists as they get ready to compete in the highly competitive Federal Duck Stamp Contest. Some artist plan for a year what they are going to paint some pray to the canvas gods that the paint will be dry by judging time.
For the new birders and the old birders, A Supremely Bad Idea by Luke Dempsey is a hilarious tale of what happens when curiosity turns into obsession. Anyone who has found themselves doing a Christmas bird count and then buying binoculars and then planning their vacation according to migration times and flight paths will understand.