Book picks similar to
Race to the Pole by James Cracknell


non-fiction
travel
adventure
autobiography

Salt, Sweat, Tears: The Men Who Rowed the Oceans


Adam Rackley - 2014
    For 70 days he and his rowing partner ate, slept and rowed in a boat seven metres long and two metres wide, in one of the world's most extreme environments. This is his story of adventure, endurance and self-discovery.They were following in the wake of pioneers. In 1896 a pair of Norwegian fisherman crossed the 2,500 miles in a wooden fishing dory - and their record stood for 114 years. John Fairfax, a smuggler, gambler and shark hunter, was the first to complete the feat single-handedly in 1969. Others have followed; some have not survived the attempt. This is their story, too.

A Dip in the Ocean: Rowing Solo Across the Indian Ocean


Sarah Outen - 2011
    Powered by the grief of the sudden loss of her father and the determination to live life to the fullest, Sarah and her tiny boat successfully negotiated wild ocean storms, unexpected encounters with whales, and the continuous threat of being capsized by passing container ships. Along the way she broke two oars, ate 500 chocolate bars, and lost 20 kg of bodyweight before arriving in Mauritius. She became the first woman and the youngest person to row solo across the Indian Ocean. Life-affirming, funny, and poignant, Sarah's salty tale of courage and endurance will inspire the taste of adventure in everyone.

From Snow to Ash: Solitude, soul-searching and survival on Australia's toughest hiking trail


Anthony Sharwood - 2020
    

On the Water: Discovering America in a Row Boat


Nathaniel Stone - 2002
    The hull glides in silence and with such perfect balance as to report no motion. I sit up for another stroke, now looking down as the blades ignite swirling pairs of white constellations of phosphorescent plankton. Two opposing heavens. ‘Remember this,’ I think to myself.”Few people have ever considered the eastern United States to be an island, but when Nat Stone began tracing waterways in his new atlas at the age of ten he discovered that if one had a boat it was possible to use a combination of waterways to travel up the Hudson River, west across the barge canals and the Great Lakes, down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico, and back up the eastern seaboard. Years later, still fascinated by the idea of the island, Stone read a biography of Howard Blackburn, a nineteenth-century Gloucester fisherman who had attempted to sail the same route a century before. Stone decided he would row rather than sail, and in April 1999 he launched a scull beneath the Brooklyn Bridge to see how far he could get. After ten months and some six thousand miles he arrived back at the Brooklyn Bridge, and continued rowing on to Eastport, Maine. Retracing Stone’s extraordinary voyage, On the Water is a marvelous portrait of the vibrant cultures inhabiting American shores and the magic of a traveler’s chance encounters. From Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where a rower at the local boathouse bequeaths him a pair of fabled oars, to Vanceburg, Kentucky, where he spends a day fishing with Ed Taylor -- a man whose efficient simplicity recalls The Old Man and the Sea -- Stone makes his way, stroke by stroke, chatting with tugboat operators and sleeping in his boat under the stars. He listens to the live strains of Dwight Yoakum on the banks of the Ohio while the world’s largest Superman statue guards the nearby town square, and winds his way through the Louisiana bayous, where he befriends Scoober, an old man who reminds him that the happiest people are those who’ve “got nothin’.” He briefly adopts a rowing companion -- a kitten -- along the west coast of Florida, and finds himself stuck in the tidal mudflats of Georgia. Along the way, he flavors his narrative with local history and lore and records the evolution of what started out as an adventure but became a lifestyle. An extraordinary literary debut in the lyrical, timeless style of William Least Heat-Moon and Henry David Thoreau, On the Water is a mariner’s tribute to childhood dreams, solitary journeys, and the transformative powers of America’s rivers, lakes, and coastlines.From the Hardcover edition.

Running Hot


Lisa Tamati - 2009
    Lisa Tamati was the first New Zealand woman to compete in the race alongside such legends of the sport as Dean Karnazes and David Goggins. But Lisa's story is so much more than that one race. At the age of 19 she suffered a crippling back injury and was told she should give up running. She took that as a challenge and, with her Austrian boyfriend, went on to run, walk, bike, and paddle her way across thousands of miles of Europe, Scandinavia, and Africa before taking on the ultimate challenge—an unassisted crossing of the Libyan Desert. What happened in that desert would change the course of Lisa's life and instill in her a love of desert running. Running Hot is a story of a life lived to the max—a story of challenges, setbacks, heartbreaks, and triumph.

Between a Rock and a White Blaze: Searching for Significance on the Appalachian Trail


Julie Urbanski - 2012
    She is accompanied by her husband, Matt, aka Optimist, for whom it is his second thru-hike of the AT. They are both burnt out from stressful jobs and are both hopeful that the simplicity of the trail life will recharge their batteries, especially since they have experience on their side. For Julie, it is a chance to improve the person that she came to be and came to dislike, and for Matt, it is a chance to relive old memories while living the trail life he’d come to love. While they could never predict all that would unfold over the months ahead, with volatility in the weather and in their moods, they expect the trail to change the way they see themselves and the world around them. They are also not alone on the trail. Each day they are presented with new perspectives from the varied cast of trail characters hiking alongside them, a few of which have a lasting impression on their hike. This book is for those that appreciate challenges that lead us down the path of self-honesty, who are willing to join Matt and Julie as they make their way through rainy weather and rocky terrain, as expectations meet reality, as they meet new people along the way, and as they search for meaning in it all, all the while following the white blazes of the Appalachian Trail.

On the Beaten Path: An Appalachian Pilgrimage


Robert Alden Rubin - 2000
    An eloquent, wise, and witty account of how one man's six-month, end-to-end hike of the Appalachian Trail led him back home.

Sole Searching on the Appalachian Trail


Sam Ducharme - 2018
    With no hiking experience, he bought a backpack and a plane ticket to Georgia and started walking home to New England. One month after deciding to hike the 2,189- mile trail, and after three weeks of intensive YouTube-training, Sam takes his first step north, armed with all the critical gear REI could part with. The journey was long, dangerous and took a toll on his body, but as he lay in his hammock after yet another day of endless climbs and punishing descents, he was determined to finish… or at least make it to day three. This book takes the reader on a modern-day adventure along a 2,189-mile hike from Georgia to Maine on the Appalachian Trail. First-time hiker and retired prison guard “Sam I Am” entertains the reader with trail stories which are humorous, poignant and informative as he hikes northward in his quest to become a “Thru-Hiker.” Comparing himself to a bruised and dirty onion from a career spent inside prisons, Sam I Am takes the readers along as he interacts with thousands of people on the trail and worldwide. With the help of social media and YouTube, these people watched as he shared his adventure from the trail. The countless unexpected acts of kindness Sam I Am received from strangers slowly peeled each dirty layer away. When he stands on top of Katahdin nearly six months after he started, covered in dirt from the trail, it is the cleanest he has been in decades.

Without a Paddle: Racing Twelve Hundred Miles Around Florida by Sea Kayak


Warren Richey - 2010
    A reporter with a beautiful wife and talented son, Richey couldn’t imagine how it could be any better....Then his marriage falls apart and he can’t imagine how it could be any worse.The divorce leaves Richey questioning everything, while struggling to find a way forward. To get his bearings, he enters the first Ultimate Florida Challenge, an all-out twelve-hundred-mile kayak race around Florida.The UFC is less of a race than it is a dare or a threat. The thirty-day deadline sets a grueling, twenty-four-hour-a-day pace through shark- , alligator- , and even python-infested waters. But those twelve hundred miles are only a fraction of a journey that pulls Richey back to when he was embedded with troops in Iraq, reporting on missing children, and hiking the mountains of Montana with his son, and shows him where he went wrong, where he went right, and how to do it better the second time around.Warren Richey’s memoir Without a Paddle is a remarkable physical and emotional journey that cuts to the heart of what it means to be a man, a husband, and a father.

An Island to Oneself: The Story of Six Years on a Desert Island


Tom Neale - 1966
    For years while storekeeping in the South Pacific, he planned, read and talked until the great day when he was landed on his little kingdom, aware of (but undismayed by) the fact that he would have to struggle with the full strength of body and mind to survive. Neale's gripping account of his years spent alone on Suvarov is an unforgettable tale of peril, beauty, and solitude.

Lost on the Appalachian Trail


Kyle Rohrig - 2015
    Confront the terrain, severe weather, injury, dangerous wildlife and questionable characters as you grow and learn just as Kyle did from start to finish on this epic adventure. Make some friends for life, learn the finer points of long distance hiking, and realize that what you take within your backpack is not nearly as important as what you bring within yourself... This exciting and often times humorous narrative does more than simply tell the story of Kyle and Katana's adventures out on the trail. It urges the reader to examine their own life, fears, strengths, weaknesses and dreams, then learn to overcome or realize them. This book tells a story as much as it teaches, inspires and motivates you to get out there and see what the world has to offer. You will learn what it takes mentally and physically to accomplish an undertaking such as hiking thousands of miles through mountainous wilderness and countless obstacles that are all determined to make you quit. As Kyle did, you might even learn some things about yourself... Like "Lost on the Appalachian Trail" on Facebook for more pictures and updates on future hikes!

Swell: Sailing the Pacific in Search of Surf and Self


Liz Clark - 2018
    Instead, it is a path, a constantly evolving journey that directs where you go, how you live, and who you are.In 2006, Liz Clark decided to follow the path that surfing, sailing and love of the ocean had presented to her. Embarking on an adventure that most only dream of taking, she set sail from Santa Barbara, solo, headed to the South Pacific. Nine years later she is still following her path in search of surf and self and the beauty and inspiration that lies beyond the beaten path.In stories overflowing with epic waves and at the whim of the weather, Liz captures her voyage in gripping detail, telling tales of self awareness, solitude, connection to the earth, and really great surf spots.

Balancing on Blue: A Dromomaniac Hiking


Keith Foskett - 2015
    2,000+ miles of unforgiving wilderness. Can he escape the mundane to become a thru-hiker? Shortlisted for Outdoor Book of the Year by The Great Outdoors magazine. Keith Foskett’s dream of escape started with a single step. When the long-distance hiker chose to backpack all 2,180 miles of the Appalachian Trail, he left ordinary life behind for five months. Enduring an incredible test of physical and psychological strength, Foskett was pushed to his limits…Accompanied by an array of eclectic characters – including a drug dealer, a world-champion juggler and a sex-starved Minnesotan – he weaves a route through some of America's wildest landscapes and history, and writes with insight, humour and reflection. Attempting to keep his English sense of humour alive amidst the bumps and bruises, can Foskett survive his journey of self-discovery to emerge victorious?Shortlisted for The Great Outdoors magazine’s Outdoor Book of the Year, Foskett’s novel-like tale is as entertaining as it is insightful. Venture beyond the journal-entry style of most outdoor books and join the humorous hike of a lifetime. Balancing on Blue is a superb standalone travel memoir. If you like living outside the box, escaping into the wild, and journeying deep into the unknown, then you’ll love Keith Foskett’s courageous trek. Discover how this wilderness escape can change you too.

A Thousand New Beginnings: Tales of Solo Female Travel Through Southeast Asia


Kristin Addis - 2016
    This book is a collection of excerpts from her diary and blog during that time in which she found that traveling alone made all the difference in the world.

Tents and Tent Stability: A Month-Long Camping Adventure In Germany - In a Rather Dodgy Tent!


Chris Lown - 2012
    His mission: to explore Germany’s rustic countryside and historical towns, meet the local people, eat their cheese and drink their beer. Whether riding a draisine in the Uckermark National Park, witnessing the spectacle of rabbit showjumping in Jena or bathtub racing on the Edersee, Lown takes in the sights and dissects the culture as he zigzags his way around all sixteen of Germany’s states. But his tent doesn’t fare quite so well. After it survived an act of wanton vandalism, battled against inclement weather and was torn to shreds by a fox with a rapacious appetite and a penchant for Knackwurst, Lown is finally forced to concede that buying a cheap tent wasn’t the wisest of decisions.