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4 Books Every Hiker Should Read

4 Books Every Hiker Should Read

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I love reading, especially on those inbetween days when I don’t have a lot of money to go out or the weather is really bad. These are just a few of the books that I have read recently that I believe every hiker should give a chance before their next adventure.

 Into The Wild

“Our joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. “
-Christopher McCandless

This is one of my all time favorite books. Into The Wild is about a young man, Christopher McCandless (also known as Alexander Supertramp) and the biggest adventure of his life. He goes from being a college grad from Emory, to traveling across the country, getting stuck in Mexico and eventually living off the land in rural Alaska. What personally grabs me about this text is how passionate his personal writings are about life and nature. If he was still alive today I’m sure his writings would be found next to legends like John Muir and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

 

Wild 
 “I simply did not let myself to become afraid. Fear begets fear. Power begets power. I willed myself to beget power. And it wasn’t long before I actually wasn’t afraid” -Cheryl Strayed

This book has become very popular in recent years due to a movie release and a mention in the Gilmore Girls reboot. It’s about one woman who set off to conquer the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail, a trail that runs from the border of Mexico, through the United States, to the border of Canada. It was not just the hike that made this author note worthy, it’s that she did it alone as a female. Cheryl Strayed explains what inspired her to embark on this journey as a normal woman who was just looking for a little escape from life. Although the movie is pretty good, I truly recommend the book, it’s a great read, and anyways books always give more details than the movies do.

Almost Somewhere 
“We think we are so important, our problems so large, but then a place like this renders us small, our problems nothing more than the echo of birdsong in wind, maybe not even so much as that” -Suzanne Roberts

I read this while camping in Mammoth and Yosemite with my family back in 2015. It’s about three girls all completing the JMT John Muir Trail, a trail that goes from Mt. Baldy to Yosemite, together and what it was like along the way. It’s always inspiring hearing how a group of younger individuals can conquer something great without technology. Following through Suzanne Roberts writings you get a taste of not only what to expect on the hike but what it is like to do it with two other women. It was a relatively quick read, but the type that you could back up again sometime and still enjoy it as if it were the first time that you read it.

A Walk In The Woods

“I wanted to quit and to do this forever, sleep in a bed and in a tent, see what was over the next hill and never see a hill again. All of this all at once, every moment, on the trail or off.”
-Bill Bryson

I can never help but think of my father and neighbor when referencing this book. It’s about two men in the later years who go out to seek finishing the world’s longest foot patch trail, a total of 2,000 miles, stretching from Maine to Georgia, the Appalachian Trail. What sets this book off as different from the rest is its author’s sarcasm and bluntness about completing a 2,000 mile hike. Bryson is real with his writing, and tells his story as if he was telling it to any group of friends sitting around a dinner table. Although there are sections that can become tough to read, as they are a little slow, once you get past them, you find your self laughing all over again at Bryson’s sarcastic comments, and feel like your back on the trail with him.