View Full Version : Books to read, while hiking - Moved to GB

06-07-2006, 07:43 PM
Oops, I wasn't specific in my last post about books to read. I am looking for reccomendations of Books that are very packable and good to read on the trail. Something you can sit on top of a mountain and read a few pages and put away, or something you might read a chapter of at the campsite.

06-07-2006, 08:12 PM
i just read "the pearl" by steinbeck in its entirety on an overnight. i've found that barnes and noble (and other affiliates) have cheap, lightweight versions of many classics that are good for hiking. i am also plowing through the catalog of chuck palahniuk whose most famous work is "fight club", but his other books are equally great. i am also reading thoreau ("walden", etc.), but i suppose that could be considered a bit pretentious on the trail. if you don't care you can pick it up for about 6 bucks. i say bring what you will enjoy reading. hell, bring "forest and crag" if you find it's worth the burden on your back.


Mohamed Ellozy
06-07-2006, 08:47 PM
hell, bring "forest and crag" if you find it's worth the burden on your back. Three pounds eight ounces (according to my kitchen scale) :(

I suggest you leave it at home, and carry something lighter on the trail.

That said, it is my favorite outdoor read (after my collection of back issues of Appalachia, but they fit better on several bookshelves than in a backpack).

06-07-2006, 10:22 PM
One Man's Owl (http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&isbn=0691000654&itm=11) by Bernd Heinrich. Actually, any of his books. Anyone interested in nature will likely find any of his stuff fascinating. Highly, highly recommended.

06-07-2006, 11:39 PM
My copy of Watership Down is quite ragety from being included on many trips. Richard Adams is a master story teller and this is his best. You'll never look at a rabbit the same way after reading it.

06-08-2006, 04:10 AM
hmmm :cool: , If i remember correctly that book was damm near 1200 pages. not exactally in the packable category....Though I will admit it is a good read.
I am more looking for smaller stuff, or anthologies of short storries/ essays/ poems.

Thanks for all the suggestions so far. I really am looking for some stuff to take while solo hiking.

06-08-2006, 04:25 AM
If you like adventure and mystery and don't get spooked out in the dark in the middle of nowhere, NEVADA BARR has a series of books which are great. Main character is Anna Pigeon, a National Park Service Ranger, and each book takes place in a different National Park. http://www.nevadabarr.com/books/booksmain.htm (http://). All are in small paperback, don't take up much room- haven't weighed them yet!

06-08-2006, 04:50 AM
"Two for survival" by Arthur Roth, it is a paperback also, light reading too.

06-08-2006, 06:15 AM
- "Ghosts, Beasts, and Things That Go Bump In the Night, The Campfire Collection" Edited by Kit Duane

- Dept of the Army Field Manual FM 21-76 Survival

Jay H
06-08-2006, 06:38 AM
I'm usually trying to pay attention to rocks and roots while hiking, not reading. :p

I've read lots of various outdoor books while hiking, I like to try to read things that are pertinent to the area I'm in. For example, was in Denali NP once and read Minus 148 by Art Davidson about a bivy on Mt McKinley. When I went to Wrangell St. Elias I read "A Most Hostile mtn" by Jon Waterman (no relation to Guy's or his son) which is about an attempt to climb Mt Elias.

Other than that, Krakauer is usually a good read, I've read some kayaking books by Chris Duff, Kim Heacox, and I've read some other books like Annapurna and Touching the Void when hiking.


keepin' on
06-08-2006, 07:01 AM
Big Sur....all of his books are great (says me)......

EDIT: attached two book lists I compiled the last time the hiking/outdoors book thread made it's way around VFTT

06-08-2006, 08:58 AM
I recently realized that with a small MP3 player, it is possible to carry any book available in audio format no matter what its published size. I tried this out last trip with Anatoli Boukreev's "The Climb." Some may frown at bringing yet another electronic gadget into the woods. But the MP3 player is a lightweight, low bulk solution to bring along something I was going to bring anyway.

Along the more traditional paperback lines, on the last trip to the Catskills with my family I brought along a copy of "Rip Van Winkle" and read it aloud. There was something pleasantly eerie about reading that tale in the dark in the very mountains where Rip supposedly took his nap.

06-08-2006, 08:40 PM
I picked up Tolkien's "The Hobbit" in Hot Springs, NC last year (for $.10 at a library sale) and carried it to Harper's Ferry, where I left it for a hiker behind us. It was a good read to match our own adventure.

06-08-2006, 10:00 PM
Personally I've OD'ed with extreme climbing stories so for now switch over to reading historical fiction. Been reading a series of books by Howard Frank Mosher. Most of his novels are settings in the Vermont Northern Kingdom region around the early 1900's. Presently reading Disapperance.