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Escape the screen and trek through stories where every word is a step on an epic trail.

From grueling journeys to transformative adventures, these hand-picked hiking tales are your compass to the rugged beauty of nature’s finest paths.

Ready to hit the trail with the best hiking books ever assembled?

Best Hiking Books:

  1. A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail
  2. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
  3. The Complete Walker IV
  4. The Pacific Crest Trail: Exploring America’s Wilderness Trail
  5. How to Hike the Appalachian Trail: A Comprehensive Guide to Plan and Prepare for a Successful Thru-Hike
  6. Appalachian Trials: A Psychological and Emotional Guide to Successfully Thru-Hiking the Appalachian Trail
  7. The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide
  8. Hiking Through: One Man’s Journey to Peace and Freedom on the Appalachian Trail
  9. The Cactus Eaters: How I Lost My Mind and Almost Found Myself on the Pacific Crest Trail
  10. Becoming Odyssa: Adventures on the Appalachian Trail
  11. Awol on the Appalachian Trail

#1 A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

  • ✍️ Author: Bill Bryson
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 1998
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: Biographies and Autobiographies, Fiction and Literature

Join author Bill Bryson as he takes you along the Appalachian Trail in the witty and insightful “A Walk in the Woods.” Combining the charm of a travelogue with humorous anecdotes and thought-provoking observations, Bryson’s narrative captures the beauty and challenge of one of America’s most famed trails.

Whether detailing the history behind the landscapes or recounting encounters with fellow hikers and wildlife, this book is an entertaining and informative companion for any armchair adventurer or seasoned hiker looking for a laugh.

#2 Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

  • ✍️ Author: Cheryl Strayed
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 2012
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: Biographies and Autobiographies

“Wild” is Cheryl Strayed’s raw and powerful memoir of self-discovery, chronicling her solo journey along the Pacific Crest Trail. After personal tragedies and a life spinning out of control, Strayed hiked over a thousand miles as a way to heal and find a new path in life.

Readers will be riveted by her physical and emotional challenges on the trail, making it a deeply personal and inspiring tale of resilience and the transformative nature of wilderness.

#3 The Complete Walker IV

  • ✍️ Author: Colin Fletcher and Chip Rawlins
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 2002
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: Strategy and Coaching

Regarded as “the hiker’s bible,” “The Complete Walker IV” is an exhaustive guide for walkers of all levels. The book reflects Colin Fletcher’s profound passion for walking and offers detailed information on gear, survival techniques, and the philosophy of walking.

This updated edition, with contributions by Chip Rawlins, covers the latest developments in hiking gear and resources. For anyone seeking to step into the world of hiking, this book is an indispensable source of practical advice and inspiration.

#4 The Pacific Crest Trail: Exploring America’s Wilderness Trail

  • ✍️ Author: Mark Larabee and Barney Scout Mann
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 2016
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: History

“The Pacific Crest Trail: Exploring America’s Wilderness Trail” is a visually stunning and comprehensive account of one of America’s most iconic trails.

Authored by Mark Larabee with contributions from Barney Scout Mann, this book offers a spectacular photographic journey along the length of the PCT, with deep dives into the history and the natural wonders encountered along the way. It’s an essential read for those fascinated by the trail’s history and the wilderness it traverses.

#5 How to Hike the Appalachian Trail: A Comprehensive Guide to Plan and Prepare for a Successful Thru-Hike

  • ✍️ Author: Chris Cage
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 2017
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: Strategy and Coaching

Chris Cage’s “How to Hike the Appalachian Trail” is a practical resource that equips aspiring thru-hikers with the know-how to tackle this epic journey.

Drawing on his own experiences and extensive research, Cage lays out clear, step-by-step instructions on preparing for the trek, from financial planning to packing lists. This book is perfect for those who dream of completing the Appalachian Trail and want expert advice to make it a reality.

#6 Appalachian Trials: A Psychological and Emotional Guide to Successfully Thru-Hiking the Appalachian Trail

  • ✍️ Author: Zach Davis
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 2012
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: Strategy and Coaching

Zach Davis’s “Appalachian Trials” uniquely focuses on the mental and emotional aspects of thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Recognizing that a hiker’s mindset can be the biggest obstacle to success, Davis offers strategies to prepare for the psychological challenges one might face. His guidance on motivation, goal setting, and overcoming adversity provides an invaluable toolkit for any long-distance hiker looking to mentally conquer the trail.

#7 The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide

  • ✍️ Author: Andrew Skurka
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 2017 (Second Edition)
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: Strategy and Coaching

National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, Andrew Skurka, presents “The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide,” offering expert advice on backpacking gear and techniques.

Skurka draws from his extensive experience to help hikers of all levels choose the right equipment for various conditions. This comprehensive guide is filled with practical tips on how to pack light, stay safe, and enjoy the backcountry.

#8 Hiking Through: One Man’s Journey to Peace and Freedom on the Appalachian Trail

  • ✍️ Author: Paul Stutzman
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 2012
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: Biographies and Autobiographies

“Hiking Through” is the personal story of Paul Stutzman, who embarked on a transformative journey along the Appalachian Trail after losing his wife to cancer.

His pilgrimage was both a quest for peace and a voyage to rediscover life’s purpose. Readers will be inspired by Stutzman’s candid account of his spiritual and physical trek through nature’s beauty and the companionships he formed along the way.

#9 The Cactus Eaters: How I Lost My Mind and Almost Found Myself on the Pacific Crest Trail

  • ✍️ Author: Dan White
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 2008
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: Biographies and Autobiographies

In “The Cactus Eaters,” Dan White narrates his grueling and often humorous account of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail with his girlfriend. A

tale of adventure and misadventure, White’s vivid storytelling paints a portrait of a novice hiker facing the unforgiving wilderness. This memoir is filled with insights about the trail, the people who frequent it, and the surprising transformation that takes place when pushed to the limit.

#10 Becoming Odyssa: Adventures on the Appalachian Trail

  • ✍️ Author: Jennifer Pharr Davis
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 2010
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: Biographies and Autobiographies

Jennifer Pharr Davis’s “Becoming Odyssa” chronicles her journey of self-discovery on the Appalachian Trail as a young college graduate.

Facing the physical and emotional challenges of the trail, Davis recounts how the experience taught her about resilience and the importance of pursuing one’s passions. Her inspiring story is a testament to the life-altering power of long-distance hiking and an invitation for readers to explore their adventurous spirit.

#11 Awol on the Appalachian Trail

  • ✍️ Author: David Miller
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 2010
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: Biographies and Autobiographies

“Awol on the Appalachian Trail” is David Miller’s engaging account of leaving his job and the comfort of daily life to complete a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail.

Miller’s vivid descriptions of the trials, joys, and the eclectic collection of characters he meets on the trail create a compelling narrative that captures the essence of the thru-hiker experience. His book is not only an adventure story but also a reflection on the broader significance of taking risks and following dreams.

FAQ

What are the best Hiking books of all time?

β€œA Walk in the Woods” by Bill Bryson, β€œWild” by Cheryl Strayed, β€œInto the Wild” by Jon Krakauer, β€œThe Complete Walker IV” by Colin Fletcher, and β€œTouching the Void” by Joe Simpson are the best Hiking books of all time. These compelling narratives and comprehensive guides encompass the adventure, challenges, and joys of hiking.

What is the best Hiking book for adults?

“Wild” by Cheryl Strayed is the best Hiking book for adults, offering an inspiring personal memoir of self-discovery and healing on the Pacific Crest Trail.

What are the best books for Hiking fundamentals and strategy?

β€œThe Complete Walker IV” and β€œMountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills” are the best books for Hiking fundamentals and strategy, providing extensive information on gear, planning, and safety for hikers of all levels.

Melanie has been traveling for over 12 years and decided to share her passion with others. She is a travel writer and planner who grew up near the Canadian Rockies and loves everything outdoors, especially hiking and birdwatching. Her mission is to help every day people explore the outdoor world and connect with nature.

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