The 8 Best Hiking Books of 2024

The 8 Best Hiking Books of 2024

The 8 Best Hiking Books To Inspire Your Next Outdoor Adventure
The 8 Best Hiking Books of 2024 19

Are you searching for the perfect book to fuel your passion for hiking? With so many titles about outdoor adventures available, it can be tricky to know where to start. This article narrows down the options by introducing you to eight inspiring books, each with its unique take on the joys and challenges of hiking.

Let’s dive in and discover these adventure-filled pages that could change your next journey into nature!

Key Takeaways

  • “A Walk in the Woods” by Bill Bryson is a funny book that tells the story of his trip on the Appalachian Trail. It inspires many readers to go on their outdoor adventures.
  • “Into Thin Air” by Jon Krakauer is an exciting book about his 1996 climb to Mt. Everest. It draws readers into its thrilling plot and inspires them to pursue their outdoor challenges.
  • “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed is a hit book that chronicles her journey walking 1,100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, offering inspiration for those looking to heal and understand themselves through outdoor exploration.
  • Other notable hiking books include “The Salt Path” by Raynor Winn“Between a Rock and a Hard Place” by Aron Ralston“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho, “The Living Mountain” by Nan Shepherd, and “Ten Million Steps” by MJ Eberhart. Each book offers unique perspectives and stories that inspire readers to embrace nature’s wonders.

Hiking Books to Inspire Your Next Adventure

1) A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson wrote a funny book called “A Walk in the Woods.” It is about his trip on the Appalachian Trail, one of the longest hiking paths in the US, and it provides lots of fun facts about it.

Many people who read “A Walk in the Woods” choose to have their open-air trips after they finish reading.

2) Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

Into Thin Air” is an exciting book by Jon Krakauer. It tells the story of his 1996 climb on Mt. Everest. Many climbers in the group did not come back safely from this trip. This book draws you into its thrilling plot like a movie.

The writer, Jon Krakauer, has also written “Into The Wild.” Both books are loved by many and talk about outdoor adventures.

If you love hiking or thinking about it, consider reading “Into Thin Air”. It’s rich with true events that can inspire your next adventure!

Into Thin air Jon Krakauer

3) Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

“Wild” by Cheryl Strayed is a hit book. It tells the story of her life’s journey on foot. Starting from the Mojave Desert, she walked around 1,100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail.

This was not just any walk for Cheryl! It was a way to heal and better understand herself after some tough times. The book came out in March 2012, and many people loved it straight away.

You will, too.

4) The Salt Path by Raynor Winn

“The Salt Path” is a book by Raynor Winn. She tells her story about a long walk she took for 54 days. This book shares how she had no home and felt hurt inside as well. It shows how tough walks can help us feel better and stronger.

The way Raynor tells her story makes it easy to think we are on the walk with her! This book is good for those who love taking long, hard outdoor walks.

The Salt Path is a book by Raynor Winn

5) Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston

Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston

Aron Ralston’s book Between a Rock and a Hard Place tells one of the most amazing survival tales. For six days, Ralston got stuck in a remote place in America. He had to do things on his own to stay alive.

This story is not only full of adventure but also shows his brave spirit. It has become so popular that they made it into a movie called “127 Hours.” Aron is no stranger to climbing—he has reached 34 high peaks out of Colorado’s 50! His book gets your heart beating fast while reading about his hard times.

6) The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is not your usual hiking tale. It’s a book about the journey of life. The plot follows a young shepherd on his quest to find his destiny. His adventure takes him far from home, with many twists and turns.

This short read has only 167 pages but holds a big message.

Every page talks about facing fear and going after dreams. Reading this book can give you the push you need for your next outdoor hike. Don’t let age or fear stop you! A fun outdoor trip may be just what you need to discover something new in life, much like the boy in the story who finds his legend.

7) The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd

“The Living Mountain” by Nan Shepherd is a true love letter to the Cairngorms in Scotland. She was an English teacher who loved walking hills. She spent her life digging deep into the heart of these mountains.

Her book shows how spending time with nature can fill us up. Its strong words pack a punch and make us feel like we are right there with her in the wilds of Britain. This book is seen as one of the best books on British nature and landscapes ever written.

The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd, Best Hiking Books

8) Ten Million Steps by MJ Eberhart

Ten Million Steps by MJ Eberhart

Ten Million Steps by MJ Eberhart is a captivating book that follows the author’s journey along the Eastern Continental Trail. This inspiring adventure spans 10 months and covers an impressive 4,400 miles.

This book is even more remarkable because MJ Eberhart was a retired doctor in his 60s when he embarked on this incredible hike. Through his story, we get to experience both the challenges and the breathtaking beauty of hiking.

It’s a must-read for anyone looking for inspiration and a deeper appreciation of the great outdoors.

Benefits of Reading Hiking Books

Reading hiking books offers many benefits, including inspiration and motivation for outdoor adventure. You can learn valuable lessons from experienced hikers, discover new trails and destinations, gain knowledge about outdoor skills and safety, and escape into the beauty of nature through storytelling.

Inspiration and motivation

Reading hiking books can be a great source of inspiration and motivation for your next outdoor adventure. These books are filled with thrilling storiespersonal experiences, and beautiful descriptions of nature that can ignite your wanderlust and fuel your passion for exploration.

As you immerse yourself in these pages, you’ll be transported to breathtaking mountain peaks, dense forests, and picturesque trails, inspiring you to lace up your hiking boots and embark on your own journey.

Whether you’re an experienced hiker or new to the world of outdoor adventures, these books will remind you of the wonders waiting to be discovered in the great outdoors. So grab a book from this list and let the stories inspire you to seek out new trails and create unforgettable memories in nature!

Learning from experienced hikers

By reading hiking books, you can learn valuable lessons from experienced hikers. These books offer insights, tips, and advice to help you confidently navigate the trails and avoid common mistakes.

You’ll learn about different hiking destinations and discover new trails. Learning from the experiences of others allows you to tap into their wisdom and avoid potential pitfalls on your own outdoor adventures.

So whether it’s selecting the right gear or understanding safety precautions, reading about the experiences of seasoned hikers will enhance your knowledge and prepare you for a successful hike.

Discovering new trails and destinations

Embarking on a new hiking adventure is exciting, especially for those over 50 who are looking to explore new trails and destinations. Reading hiking books can be a great way to discover hidden gems and learn about different outdoor experiences.

Whether you’re interested in long-distance hikes or day trips, plenty of books are available that provide detailed information on specific regions and trails. These books can help you plan your next adventure by offering insights into trail difficulty, scenery, and points of interest along the way.

By reading about other hikers’ experiences and recommendations, you’ll feel inspired to step out of your comfort zone and embark on exciting journeys through nature’s wonders.

Gaining knowledge about outdoor skills and safety

Reading hiking books is a great way to learn important outdoor skills and ensure your safety while exploring nature. These books provide valuable information on topics such as navigationwilderness survivalcampsite selectionfirst aid, and more.

Reading these resources gives you the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions in various outdoor situations. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, expanding your understanding of outdoor skills and safety will enhance your hiking experience and help you feel more confident during your adventures.

Escaping into nature through storytelling

Reading hiking books allows us to escape into nature without leaving the comfort of our homes. These books transport us into the beautiful outdoors, where we can experience the wonders of nature through storytelling.

These books’ vivid descriptions and personal experiences help us immerse ourselves in the natural world and appreciate its beauty. By reading these stories, we can feel connected with nature and find inspiration to explore and appreciate the great outdoors.

So, grab a hiking book and let yourself be whisked away on an adventure in nature!

How Hiking Books Can Enhance Your Outdoor Adventure

Hiking books enhance outdoor adventures by providing valuable tips, and insights for planning and preparation, guidance on trail navigation and wilderness survival, sharing personal experiences to help you connect with nature, and inspiring a sense of exploration and adventure.

Providing valuable tips and insights for planning and preparation

Hiking books offer valuable tips and insights to help you plan and prepare for your outdoor adventure. These books provide guidance on choosing the right gearunderstanding trail maps, and preparing for different weather conditions.

They also offer advice on training and fitness so you can build up your strength and endurance before hitting the trails. Additionally, hiking books share personal experiences from experienced hikers, giving you a sense of what to expect and how to overcome challenges along the way.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, these books can be valuable in ensuring a successful and enjoyable hiking experience.

Offering guidance on trail navigation and wilderness survival

Hiking books are a great resource for those who want to learn more about trail navigation and wilderness survival. These books provide valuable tips and insights to help you stay safe while exploring the great outdoors.

They offer advice on reading maps, using a compass, and navigating different terrains. Additionally, they share important information about outdoor safety, such as what to do in case of emergencies or encounters with wildlife.

Whether you’re a beginner hiker or an experienced adventurer, these books can enhance your knowledge and confidence in hiking and surviving in the wilderness. So if you’re planning your next hiking trip, don’t forget to pick up one of these helpful guides!

Sharing personal experiences to help you connect with nature

Hiking books can be a wonderful way to connect with nature more deeply. Reading about someone’s personal experiences in the great outdoors can inspire and motivate you to get out there yourself.

These stories give you a glimpse into the joys and challenges of hiking and help create that sense of connection with nature. You’ll feel like you’re right there on the trail, exploring new places and discovering the beauty of the natural world.

Whether it’s through vivid descriptions or heartfelt reflections, these personal experiences shared in hiking books can truly enhance your own outdoor adventure.

Inspiring a sense of exploration and adventure

Hiking books can ignite a sense of exploration and adventure within us. Whether reading about thrilling accounts of climbing Mount Everest or embarking on personal journeys through nature, these books can transport us to new places and awaken our inner adventurers.

Through vivid descriptions and captivating storytelling, they inspire us to step outside our comfort zones, discover unfamiliar trails, and embrace the beauty of the great outdoors.

Reading hiking books is not just about escaping into a different world; it’s about finding hope, courage, and inspiration for our own outdoor adventures. So grab a book, immerse yourself in its pages, and let it fuel your desire for exploration!

Tips for Choosing the Right Hiking Book for You

When selecting a hiking book, consider your interests and preferences. Look for recommendations from experienced hikers and check the level of difficulty. Discover the perfect book to inspire your next adventure! Read on to find out more.

Consider your interests and preferences.

When choosing a hiking book, it’s important to consider your interests and preferences. Consider the type of hiking experiences you enjoy, whether long-distance treks or day hikes in nature reserves.

Consider if you prefer memoir-style books that share personal journeys or guidebooks that provide practical information. It’s also worth considering your experience level as a hiker and if you want to learn new skills or gain inspiration from experienced adventurers.

Considering these factors, you can find a hiking book that aligns with your interests and enhances your outdoor adventure journey.

Read reviews and recommendations.

If you’re looking for the best hiking books to inspire your next adventure, reading reviews and recommendations from experts is a good idea. There are many online articles and lists that can help you find the perfect book for your outdoor journey.

One article titled “16 Best Hiking Books to Read in 2023” even names “Into the Wild” by Jon Krakauer as the top hiking book of all time. Other popular choices include “A Walk in the Woods” by Bill Bryson and “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed.

You can make an informed decision by reading reviews and recommendations and choose a book that will inspire you on your hiking adventures.

Look for books by experienced hikers and outdoor enthusiasts

Choose books written by people with a lot of experience hiking and enjoying the outdoors. These authors have firsthand knowledge and expertise that they share in their books. You can learn from their experiences and gain valuable insights into hiking and outdoor adventure by reading their stories.

The recommended books in this article are all written by experienced hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, so you can trust that they offer reliable information and inspiration for your next outdoor adventure.

Check the level of difficulty and relevance to your hiking goals

Before choosing a hiking book, it’s essential to consider the difficulty level and how relevant it is to your hiking goals. This ensures that the book aligns with your abilities and interests, making it more enjoyable and helpful for planning your outdoor adventure.

You can find a book suitable for your fitness level and experience by checking the difficulty level. Additionally, considering relevance allows you to focus on books that specifically cover topics or trails that interest you.

So, take some time to assess a hiking book’s difficulty level and relevance before diving in!


In conclusion, these 8 hiking books will inspire your next outdoor adventure. From “A Walk in the Woods” by Bill Bryson to “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed, these books offer exciting tales and valuable insights for hikers of all levels.

So grab a book, get inspired, and plan your next hike!

Additional Resources for Hiking Enthusiasts

Discover more about the hiking world with these additional resources, including websites, social media accounts, gear recommendations, and hiking communities. Join the conversation and connect with fellow outdoor enthusiasts to enhance your next adventure! Keep reading to find out more.

Websites and blogs about hiking and outdoor adventure

If you’re over 50 and looking for websites and blogs about hiking and outdoor adventure, here are some great options:

  1. The Great Outdoors Magazine – This website offers a wealth of information on hiking trails, gear reviews, and tips for outdoor enthusiasts.
  2. Section Hiker – Section Hiker is a blog focusing on long-distance hiking and backpacking. It provides detailed trail guides and gear recommendations specifically for older hikers.
  3. Outdoor Adventure Blog covers various outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, and rock climbing. It offers practical advice and personal stories to inspire your next adventure.
  4. Fifty Plus Fitness Association – This website is dedicated to promoting fitness for people over 50. It features articles on hiking and other physical activities that are suitable for older adults.
  5. The Outbound Collective – The Outbound Collective is an online community of outdoor adventurers. Their website includes trip reports, photography, and resources to help you plan your next hiking expedition.
  6. Aging Outside the Box – Aging Outside the Box is a blog encouraging older adults to embrace an active lifestyle. They provide tips on staying fit and healthy while enjoying the great outdoors.

Social media accounts to follow for hiking inspiration

Looking for hiking inspiration? Check out these social media accounts that are perfect for Over 50’s outdoor enthusiasts:

  1. @HikingAdventures: This account features stunning photos and videos of hiking trails around the world, along with helpful tips and recommendations.
  2. @OutdoorExplorers: Get inspired by the beautiful landscapes and stories shared by fellow hikers on this account. They also provide useful information about gear, safety, and planning.
  3. @NatureWanderlust: Discover hidden gems and lesser-known hiking destinations through this account’s breathtaking images and travel stories.
  4. @ActiveRetirees: Specifically catering to active seniors, this account showcases the adventures of older adults who love hiking and exploring nature. It’s a great source of inspiration for those in their golden years.
  5. @Trailblazers50Plus: Follow this community of mature hikers who are passionate about staying active and enjoying nature as they share their experiences, tips, and encouragement.

Outdoor gear and equipment recommendations

For your next outdoor adventure, here are some recommendations for outdoor gear and equipment specifically tailored to hikers over 50:

  1. Sturdy hiking boots: Invest in a good pair of hiking boots that provide support and stability for your feet and ankles.
  2. Trekking poles: These can help reduce the strain on your joints and improve balance while hiking on uneven terrain.
  3. Lightweight backpack: Look for a backpack that is comfortable to wear and has enough storage space for all your essentials.
  4. Moisture-wicking clothing: Choose clothing made from materials that will wick away sweat and keep you dry, such as merino wool or synthetic fabrics.
  5. Sun protection: Don’t forget to bring a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun’s rays.
  6. Portable water filter: Stay hydrated by bringing a portable water filter that allows you to drink from natural water sources along the trail safely.
  7. First aid kit: Be prepared for any minor injuries or emergencies with a basic first aid kit containing band-aids, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and other essential items.
  8. Navigation tools: Carry a map of the area you’ll be hiking in, along with a compass or GPS device to help you navigate the trails.

Hiking communities and forums for sharing experiences and tips

Hiking communities and forums are great for hikers over 50 to connect with others who share their love for the outdoors. In these communities, they can find valuable tips, advice, and information from experienced hikers. Here are some benefits of joining hiking communities and forums:

  1. Connect with like-minded individuals who have similar interests and passions.
  2. Share your own experiences, stories, and photos from your hiking adventures.
  3. Seek advice, ask questions, and learn from experienced hikers in the community.
  4. Discover new trails and destinations recommended by fellow hikers.
  5. Find recommendations for hiking gear, equipment, and safety tips.
  6. Foster a sense of community by engaging in discussions and supporting one another.

After reading these inspiring hiking books, you might wonder what your next steps should be for your outdoor adventure journey. Well, here are some recommendations to get you started.

  1. Plan Your Trip: First, decide on the type of outdoor adventure you want to experience. Whether it’s a challenging hike or a peaceful camping trip, plan out the location and duration of your adventure.
  2. Gather Essential Gear: Ensure you have all the gear for your outdoor adventure. This includes items like sturdy hiking boots, a backpack, appropriate clothing layers, navigation tools (like maps and compass), and safety equipment (such as a first aid kit).
  3. Brush Up on Outdoor Skills: If you’re new to hiking or haven’t been in a while, it’s essential to brush up on basic outdoor skills like trail navigation, wilderness survival techniques, and Leave No Trace principles.
  4. Join Hiking Groups or Clubs: Consider joining local hiking groups or clubs catering to Over 50’s hikers. These communities can provide valuable insights and advice from experienced hikers who share your interests.
  5. Start Small and Gradually Increase Difficulty: Begin with shorter hikes on well-marked trails before gradually increasing your adventures’ difficulty level and distance. This approach will help build confidence and endurance over time.
  6. Stay Informed about Trail Conditions: Before embarking on any hike or outdoor activity, check for updates on trail conditions from reliable sources such as national park websites or local authorities. Knowing about potential hazards allows you to prepare accordingly.
  7. Seek Professional Guidance if Needed: If you’re considering more advanced activities like mountaineering or long-distance treks but lack experience in those areas, seek professional guidance through guided tours or hire an experienced guide who can ensure safety while providing expert knowledge.
  8. Practice Safety Precautions: Prioritize safety during all aspects of your outdoor adventures by following proper precautions, such as informing someone about your plans, carrying necessary safety equipment, and being aware of your physical limits.

By following these recommended steps, you’ll be well-prepared to embark on a fulfilling outdoor adventure journey that combines the inspiration from the hiking books you’ve read with practical skills and precautions.

Let your age be no barrier – there’s a great big world out there waiting for you to explore!


What is an outdoor adventure book?

An outdoor adventure book is a type of story that talks about hikes and other thrilling adventures in the great outdoors.

Why should I read a book about hiking?

Reading a hiking book can inspire your next trip, teach you more about the natural world, and fill you with love for reading!

Which are some of the best books to read if I’m looking for an adventure?

The best outdoor adventure books recount hiker’s tales on trails like the Appalachian Trail or Pacific Crest Trail, journeys of self-discovery and inspiring stories from climbers who braved Mount Everest.

Can these books help me plan my next hike?

Yes! These must-read guidebooks offer helpful tips for your next adventure – backpacking across the Alaskan wilderness or taking a simple walk in the woods.

Who writes these inspiring outdoor adventures?

Many authors write hiking books, but names like Cheryl Strayed and Jon Krakauer may often come up as they have shared deeply personal memoirs loved by many hikers.

Are these just regular tale-telling kind of books?

Nope! Most are part travelogue with highs and lows recounted vividly; some even narrate interactions with people met on their hike making them all-time favourite stories among readers.

Author: Walking Holiday Ireland

Cliff Waijenberg is a passionate hiker, nature enthusiast, and the proud founder and owner of Walking Holiday Ireland. Cliff has always been captivated by the Emerald Isle's breathtaking landscapes and rich cultural history. His love for the outdoors and genuine desire to share Ireland's hidden gems with travellers worldwide led him to establish Walking Holiday Ireland.

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