4 Best Hiking Books to Help You Explore the Great Outdoors

Are you an outdoor enthusiast looking to enhance your hiking knowledge? Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced adventurer, the right hiking book can provide valuable insights and inspire your next journey. In this article, we’ll explore the best hiking books to help you explore the great outdoors.

4 Best Hiking Books to Help You Explore the Great Outdoors

Why Hiking Books are Essential for Outdoor Enthusiasts

The benefits of hiking are well-known: fresh air, stunning vistas, and a chance to escape the stresses of daily life. But to truly understand and appreciate the hiking experience, you need to deepen your knowledge of the trails, wildlife, and ecosystems you encounter. That’s where hiking books come in.

Enhancing Your Outdoor Knowledge

Whether you’re new to hiking or a seasoned pro, there’s always more to learn about the outdoors. Hiking books can provide valuable insights into trail navigation, gear selection, and safety tips to keep you comfortable and prepared on the trail.

For example, did you know that certain plants can be used for medicinal purposes while hiking? A good hiking book will provide information on which plants can be used for first aid, and which plants should be avoided. Additionally, hiking books can teach you about the different types of wildlife you may encounter on the trail, and how to safely observe them without disturbing their natural habitat.

Inspiring Your Next Adventure

One of the best things about hiking books is that they can ignite your imagination and inspire your next adventure. From epic expeditions to off-the-beaten-path trails, reading about other hikers’ experiences can open up new possibilities and help you plan your next trip.

For example, reading about a solo hike across the Pacific Crest Trail may inspire you to plan your own long-distance hike. Or, reading about a little-known trail in your area may inspire you to explore a new area close to home.

Improving Your Hiking Skills

Even experienced hikers can benefit from refining their skills and techniques. And with detailed instructions and expert advice, hiking books can give you the tools you need to become a better hiker. Whether you’re looking to improve your navigation skills or master the art of ultralight backpacking, there’s a hiking book out there for you.

For example, a hiking book may provide tips on how to pack your backpack efficiently, or how to properly use a compass and map to navigate on the trail. With the right information, you can become a more confident and skilled hiker, ready to tackle any trail.

Overall, hiking books are an essential tool for any outdoor enthusiast. They can deepen your knowledge of the outdoors, inspire your next adventure, and improve your hiking skills. So next time you hit the trail, make sure to bring along a hiking book to enhance your experience.

Top Hiking Books for Beginners

If you’re new to hiking, you may be wondering where to start. Fortunately, there are plenty of hiking books out there geared specifically towards beginners. Hiking is a great way to get outside, explore nature, and get some exercise. But before you hit the trail, it’s important to be prepared and informed. Here are some top hiking books to help you get started:

Trail Guides for New Hikers

Trail guides can be an invaluable resource for new hikers, providing detailed maps, descriptions of trail features, and insider tips. Look for guides that are geared towards your skill level and interests, whether that’s day hikes in your local area or multi-day backpacking trips in a national park. Some great trail guides for beginners include “Hiking for Beginners” by Dan Shaffer and “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Hiking” by Jason Stevenson.

Essential Hiking Tips and Techniques

The Backpacker's Handbook, 4th Edition

As a new hiker, you may have questions about everything from what gear to bring to how to handle different trail conditions. Look for hiking books that cover the basics, such as how to choose the right footwear, pack your backpack, and avoid common hiking mistakes. “The Backpacker’s Handbook” by Chris Townsend is a comprehensive guide to all aspects of backpacking, including gear selection, navigation, and wilderness survival.

Building Your Hiking Confidence

Hiking can be an intimidating activity, especially if you’re not used to spending time in the outdoors. But with the right mindset and preparation, anyone can become a confident and capable hiker. Look for hiking books that focus on building your confidence and helping you overcome any fears or anxieties you may have about hitting the trail. “Hiking and Backpacking: A Complete Guide” by Karen Berger includes tips on how to stay motivated, deal with setbacks, and enjoy the journey.

Remember, hiking is a journey, not a destination. Take the time to enjoy the scenery, breathe in the fresh air, and appreciate the natural beauty around you. With the right resources and a positive attitude, you’ll soon be on your way to becoming a seasoned hiker!

Best Hiking Books for Experienced Adventurers

If you’re an experienced hiker looking to take your skills to the next level, there are plenty of hiking books out there to challenge and inspire you.

Challenging Trails and Expeditions

Into Thin Air

For seasoned hikers, the prospect of tackling a challenging trail or expedition can be a thrilling opportunity. Look for hiking books that detail difficult hikes, mountaineering expeditions, or long-distance backpacking trips. These books can provide tips on how to train for a big hike, navigate challenging terrain, and stay safe in remote wilderness areas.

One book that comes to mind is “Into Thin Air” by Jon Krakauer. This gripping account of the 1996 Mount Everest disaster details the harrowing experience of a group of climbers caught in a deadly blizzard. It offers a cautionary tale of the dangers of high-altitude mountaineering and the importance of preparation and teamwork.

Another book worth checking out is “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed. This memoir chronicles Strayed’s solo hike along the Pacific Crest Trail, a challenging 2,650-mile trek through California, Oregon, and Washington. Strayed’s journey is a testament to the healing power of nature and the resilience of the human spirit.

Advanced Hiking Techniques and Navigation

The Complete Walker IV

If you’re looking to refine your hiking skills and techniques, consider picking up a book that focuses on advanced navigation, wilderness survival, and other outdoor skills. These books can help you become a more confident and self-sufficient hiker.

The Complete Walker IV” by Colin Fletcher is a classic guide to backpacking and hiking that covers everything from gear selection to wilderness first aid. This updated edition includes information on the latest technology and techniques, as well as insights from other experienced hikers.

Another great resource is “Bushcraft 101” by Dave Canterbury. This book offers practical tips on how to survive in the wilderness using only basic tools and skills. It covers topics like shelter-building, fire-starting, and foraging for food.

Stories of Legendary Hikers and Their Journeys

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail (Official Guides to the Appalachian Trail)

Reading about the journeys of famous hikers and mountaineers can be a great source of inspiration and insight. Look for books that detail the exploits of famous hikers like Cheryl Strayed, Bill Bryson, or John Muir. These books can offer valuable lessons in determination, perseverance, and the power of the human spirit.

A Walk in the Woods” by Bill Bryson is a hilarious and informative account of the author’s attempt to hike the Appalachian Trail. Bryson’s witty observations and colorful characters make this book a joy to read, while also offering insights into the history and ecology of the trail.

My First Summer in the Sierra” by John Muir is a classic of nature writing that recounts Muir’s experiences as a shepherd in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Muir’s vivid descriptions of the landscape and wildlife are a testament to his passion for nature and his role as a pioneer of the conservation movement.

Whether you’re looking for inspiration, information, or just a good read, there are plenty of hiking books out there to suit your needs. So grab a book, lace up your boots, and hit the trail!

Hiking Books Focused on Nature and Wildlife

Hiking is a wonderful way to explore the great outdoors, and it offers a chance to connect with nature and learn about the wildlife and ecosystems that make up our planet. If you’re an avid hiker looking to deepen your understanding of the natural world, there are many hiking books available that can help you do just that. Here are some tips to help you choose the best hiking books focused on nature and wildlife.

Identifying Flora and Fauna on the Trail

One of the most exciting aspects of hiking is spotting wildlife and identifying plant species. If you’re interested in learning more about the flora and fauna you’ll encounter on the trail, look for hiking books that focus on identifying common animals and plants. These books can help you appreciate the natural world and become a more knowledgeable hiker.

For example, if you’re hiking in the mountains, you might want to pick up a book that focuses on identifying alpine plants and animals. Or, if you’re hiking in a desert environment, you might want to look for a book that teaches you how to identify different types of cacti and other desert plants.

Understanding the Ecosystems You Encounter

As you hike through different environments, from mountains to deserts to forests, you’ll encounter a variety of ecosystems. Hiking books focused on ecology and natural history can help you understand the interconnected web of life and learn how to protect the areas you explore.

These books can also teach you about the history and geology of the areas you’re hiking in. For example, if you’re hiking in a national park, you might want to read a book that explains how the park was formed and what makes it unique.

Tips for Responsible Hiking and Leave No Trace Principles

Hiking is about more than just personal recreation—it’s also about stewardship. As a hiker, it’s your responsibility to leave the trail and the natural environment better than you found it. Look for hiking books that focus on Leave No Trace principles and responsible hiking practices. These books can help you learn how to minimize your impact on the environment and preserve these special places for future generations.

Some hiking books also offer tips on how to plan a responsible hiking trip, including how to pack and what to bring with you. They might also offer advice on how to deal with unexpected situations, such as encountering wildlife or getting lost on the trail.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, there’s a hiking book out there for you. Reading about other hikers’ experiences, refining your skills and techniques, and deepening your knowledge of the natural world can all add a new dimension to your hiking experience. So pick up a book, lace up your boots, and hit the trail.


Why do you need a hiking book?

Hiking books can help you learn about the equipment and any potential problems that may arise while hiking. However, many hiking books just tell of the good experiences and funny anecdotes that occurred along the way.

What are the best hiking books for American National Parks?

Leave Only Footprints by Conor Knighton, Roaming America by Renee and Matthew Hahnel, and Your Guide to the National Parks by Michael Joseph are all good books.

What are the best hiking books for European trips?

Lonely Planet Epic Hikes of Europe, Explore Europe on Foot by Cassandra Overby, and Wanderlust Europe by Alex Roddie are all great choices.

YouTube video
Eddison Monroe