A Blistered Kind of Love: One Couple's Trial by Trail


Angela Ballard - 2003
    At the trailhead, the young couple was warned that there would be tears, that each would have to find their own separate pace, and that at times the tent would seem awfully small for the two of them. They were told that their biggest obstacles to success would be . . . each other.Their first surprise: freeze-dried meals do funny things to your GI- tract. Their first fight: when Angela noticed that Duffy's long legs propel him along the trail faster than she can muster. But on they pressed -- encountering snakes, bears, and fellow thru-hikers with trail names like Crazy Legs and Catch 23. They baked in the deserts of Southern California, gazed awestruck at the snowy, serrated peaks of the High Sierra, and attempted to hide from Northern Washington's seemingly incessant rain. One hundred thirty two days of Pacific Crest Trail later, they made it -- blisters and all.

A Walk for Sunshine: A 2,160 Mile Expedition for Charity on the Appalachian Trail


Jeff Alt - 2000
    As Alt walked more than 5 million steps through freezing temperatures, driving rain, and sunny skies, he was constantly buoyed by the knowledge that his walk was dedicated to his brother who has cerebral palsy. Alt's adventure inspired an annual fundraiser which has raised over $500,000 for Sunshine, the home where his brother lives. This is the 20th anniversary edition. As you walk along with Alt, experience the success of turning dreams into goals and achieving them. Alt's lessons from the trail celebrate family, stewardship of the earth, good health, and the American spirit.

Paddlenorth: Adventure, Resilience, and Renewal in the Arctic Wild


Jennifer Kingsley - 2014
    They battle raging winds, impenetrable sea ice, treacherous rapids, and agonizing sores and blisters while contending with rising tensions among the group. But they also experience the lasting joy of grizzly sightings, icy swims, and the caribou’s summer migration. Woven through this spellbinding narrative are often-harrowing accounts of the journeys of earlier explorers, some of whom never made it back home. Paddlenorth paints an indelible portrait of the spectacular Arctic landscape, rendered with a naturalist’s eye and an artist's sensibility, and offers an eloquent exploration of how wilderness changes us.

The Trail Life: How I Loved it, Hated it, and Learned from it


Julie Urbanski - 2010
    She begins the trail with the sole purpose of getting to Canada and quickly realizes she has a lot to learn not only about backpacking, but more importantly, about herself. Much more than an account of meals, miles and mammals, this book takes key aspects from life on the trail and relates them to how they impact her on a deeper level through valuable lessons learned while traveling one of America's most beautiful and rugged hiking trails. From the simple lessons regarding the importance of food and water to the deeper questions about personal fulfillment and happiness, Stopwatch covers the gamut, sharing the trail experience with all its joys and challenges. This book is for those who enjoy and appreciate challenging, life-altering experiences. Even if you never step foot on the trail, the thought-provoking and entertaining stories from Stopwatch's hike will call on you to evaluate the way you look at yourself, your choices, and the life around you.

Looking for Adventure


Steve Backshall - 2011
    And, Steve Backshall was no different. But after a rainy-day visit to an exhibition of artefacts from Papua New Guinea, it was a question that began to obsess the seven-year old Backshall.Due to this childhood interest, the vast, untamed wildness of Papua New Guinea was where Backshall forged his unlikely path. From crushing lows of early failures to the extraordinary highs of the BBC's Lost Land of the Volcano expedition, it was this dark island which gave Backshall his opportunity. Full of incredible wildlife, extraordinary wilderness, jungles, cannibals, pitfalls, triumph, danger and excitement, Looking for Adventure is the irresistible, inspiring story of a little boy who let his heart rule his head.

Appalachian Trials: A Psychological and Emotional Guide to Successfully Thru-Hiking The Appalachian Trail


Zach Davis - 2012
    Given the countless number of how-to books and websites offering information about logistics, gear, and endurance training, one would think that more people would finish this 2,200 mile trek. Why then, do so many hikers quit prematurely?After successfully thru-hiking the AT in five months with zero prior backpacking experience, author, Zach Davis, is convinced he’s discovered the answer. Aspiring thru-hikers, Davis tells readers, are preparing the wrong way- sweating on the StairMaster, meticulously plotting each re-supply box, or obsessing over the perfect sleeping bag or pair of socks.

On Celtic Tides: One Man's Journey Around Ireland by Sea Kayak


Chris Duff - 1999
    On the western horizon is the pinnacle of Skellig Michael-700 feet of vertical rock rising out of exploding seas. Somewhere on the isolated island are sixth-century monastic ruins where the light of civilization was kept burning during the Dark Ages by early Christian Irish monks. Puffins surface a few yards from the boat, as hundreds of gannets wheel overhead on six foot wing spans. The ocean rises violently and tosses paddler and boat as if they were discarded flotsam. This is just one day of Chris Duff's incredible three month journey.

Dream of a Thousand Lives: A Sojourn in Thailand


Karen Connelly - 2001
    This lyrical portrait of her true-life adventures radiates wit and literary charm. The swampy jungles, the lure of hedonistic Bangkok, the austere, ambient Buddhism, and the torrential rains serve as backdrops for Connelly’s carefully crafted prose. Her account combines a keen sense of adventure with an affinity for Thai culture, chronicling the country’s intriguing underpinnings and exotic charms.

The Boardman Tasker Omnibus


Joe Tasker - 1995
    Their four books of lightweight Himalayan expeditioning are here published in one volume for the first time.

Living Dangerously


Ranulph Fiennes - 1988
    Ranulph followed his father's path into the Royal Scots Greys. After that came the SAS, from which he was dismissed for blowing up an American film set at the idyllic Cotswold village of Castle Combs, then two vicious years as a volunteer fighting communist insurgents in Oman. Then began the series of expeditions for which Fiennes is best known and which caused The Guinness Book of Records to hail him in 1984 as 'the world's greatest living explorer.' Up the White Nile in a hovercraft, parachuting onto Europe's highest glacier, forcing his way up 4,000 miles of terrifying rivers in northern Canada and Alaska, overland to the North Pole and to the ends of the earth, across the world's axis-the Transglobe Expedition-which took ten years from conception to completion. He writes here too about his attempt to reach the North Pole without dogs or motorised equipment, beating the world record by 300 miles, his determination to find the lost city of Urbar in the Arabian desert and, finally, his extraordinary journey across the Antarctic Continent via the South Pole. Living Dangerously is a remarkable testament from a remarkable man.

The Unlikely Thru-Hiker: An Appalachian Trail Journey


Derick Lugo - 2019
    He didn't even know if he liked being outside all that much. He certainly couldn't imagine going more than a day without manicuring his goatee. But with a job overseas cut short and no immediate plans, this fixture of the greater New York comedy circuit began to think about what he might do with months of free time and no commitments. He had heard of the Appalachian Trail and knew of its potential for danger and adventure, but he had never seriously considered attempting to hike all 2,190 miles of it. Until that summer left him with a wide-open schedule and a burning curiosity to know: Could he do it? The Unlikely Thru-Hiker is the story of how a young black man from the city, unfamiliar with both the outdoors and thru-hiking culture, sets off with an extremely overweight pack and a willfully can-do attitude to conquer the infamous trail. What follows are lessons on preparation, humility, and nature's wild unpredictability. But this isn't a hard-nosed memoir of discouragement. What sets Lugo apart from the typical walk in the woods is his refusal to let any challenge squash his inner Pollyanna. Through it all, Lugo perseveres with humor, tenacity, and an unshakeable commitment to grooming--earning him the trail name "Mr. Fabulous"--that sees him from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Katahdin in Maine.

The Trail Provides: A Boy's Memoir of Thru-Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail


David Smart - 2018
    Bradley, his older, more adventurous, and slightly-wreckless college fraternity brother presents an enticing offer. Just a few weeks later, the two inexperienced hopefuls abandon society and plunge into a soul-searching sojourn to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail, a 2,650-mile Mexico-to-Canada footpath--barefoot. At the trail’s mercy from day one, the two hikers face the endless pains of walking, rising tensions, and falling behind to the coming winter. The Trail Provides is a thru-hiking memoir filled with stories about companionship and lessons learned, dreams and reality, and leaving everything behind for the desire of transformation, insight, and self-discovery. Now, let’s begin the journey…

Once Upon an Island


David Conover - 1969
    The book retells their adventures and misadventures, their comic failures and satisfying successes.

My Old Man and the Sea


David Hays - 1968
    Some play ball. David Hays and Daniel Hays sailed 17,000 miles through the world's most feared and fabled waters in a little boat they built together. This is their story. Alone with nothing but the mammoth waves of the Southern Ocean, the unceasing wind, a compass, a sextant and a pet cat, they voyage down the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal, past the Galapagos Islands, beyond Easter Island and around their destination--Cape Horn. Father and son narrate in alternating fashion, their voices weaving together an engrossing story of travel, exploration and difficult, dangerous sailing.But more than a tale of adventure, this is a touching account of a father and son's rite of passage as they assess their complex and evolving relationship. Daniel, out of college and unsure of what he wants in his life, sees his father getting older, more forgetful. David deals with unresolved issues he had with his own father, fearful that he'll make the same mistakes with his son, yet frustrated that Daniel treats him like an old man.Moving, often hilarious, often poignant, My Old Man and the Sea is a rich and profound chronicle of their voyage of discovery. Every reader will identify with this uplifting story of a father and son who go down to the sea and find each other.

The Bond: Two Epic Climbs in Alaska and a Lifetime's Connection Between Climbers


Simon McCartney - 2016
    The result was a route so hard and serious that for decades nobody believed they had climbed it – it is still unrepeated to this day. Then, raising the bar even higher, they made the first ascent of the south-west face of Denali, a climb that would prove almost fatal for Simon, and one which would break the bond between him and climbing, separating the two young climbers. But the bond between Simon and Jack couldn’t remain dormant forever. A lifetime later, a chance reconnection with Jack gave Simon the chance to bury the ghosts of what happened high on Denali, when he had faced almost certain death.The Bond is Simon McCartney’s story of these legendary climbs.