Bewildered


Laura Waters - 2019
    Armed with maps, a compass and her life in a bag on her back, she set out to walk the untamed landscapes of the Te Araroa trail in New Zealand, 3000 kilometres of raw, wild, mountainous trail winding from the top of the North Island to the frosty tip of the South Island. But when her walking partner dropped out on the second day, she was faced with a choice: abandon the journey, or face her fears and continue on alone? She chose to walk on.For five months, Laura battled not only treacherous terrain and elements, but also the demons of self-doubt and anxiety. As the kilometres fell behind her, nature did its work, stripping away her identity and guiding her towards a new way of being. At the end of Te Araroa, it was the hard-earned insights into the power of nature, emotional wellbeing and fulfilling relationships – with others as well as with herself – that were Laura’s greatest accomplishments. She emerged ‘rewilded’, and it transformed her life.

The Man Who Swam the Amazon: 3,274 Miles on the World's Deadliest River


Martin Strel - 2007
    The Fish Man, as he was called by locals, almost died in the process several times. At the finish his blood pressure was at heart attack level, his entire body full of subcutaneous larvae, and besieged by dehydration and diarrhea and exhaustion. Strel undertook this epic swim to call attention to two issues he is concerned about: deforestation, and river pollution. Along the way he suffered from blisters, sunburn, exotic stomach illnesses, all the while trying to avoid piranhas, anacondas, crocodiles, alligators, river sharks, and a small fish known as the canduru, which when attracted by the smell of urine releases razor-sharp spines into the human orifice it has crawled into.

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.

There Are Mountains to Climb: An Inspirational Journey


Jean Deeds - 1996
    Highly praised account of a 51-year-old woman's 1990s thru-hike and the personal and recreational lessons she learned along the way.

Just Another Mountain: A Memoir of Hope


Sarah Jane Douglas - 2019
    Alone and adrift in the world, she very nearly gave up hope - but she'd made a promise to her mother that she would keep going no matter what. So she turned to the beautiful, dangerous, forbidding mountains of her native Scotland.By walking in her mother's footsteps, she learns to accept her own troubled past, finding the strength to overcome her grief - and, ultimately, to carry on in the face of her own diagnosis twenty years later.Searingly honest and utterly relatable, bringing the exhilarating triumphs and challenges of mountain walking to life with wit, charm and raw candour, Just Another Mountain is a story of hope and redemption, of a mother and a daughter, and of how we can learn both to live and to love. Sometimes all you can do is put one foot in front of the other ... and just keep walking.'I loved Just Another Mountain . . . It's a really good read' - Lorraine Kelly“Honest, raw and beautifully written, this uplifting memoir is testament that in life there are times when there is nothing for it but to scale that mountain” -- The Herald Best Summer Reads 2019'An inspiring book for anyone facing challenges. And a heartfelt reminder that only some mountains look like mountains' - Tristan Gooley, author of The Walker's Guide to Outdoor Clues & Signs and Wild Signs and Star Paths'A beautifully written book . . . a powerful message and a thrilling conclusion to a seemingly unachievable goal' - Rosamund Young, author of The Secret Life of Cows'A story of love and loss and of the redemptive power of mountains, in particular the incomparable mountains of Scotland' -- Stephen Venables, mountaineer and writerAn excellent memoir … vivid and honest … so much more than just a book about walking and climbing in the mountains. Quite frankly it's heart-breaking at times. Sarah Jane Douglas writes beautifully, her descriptive passages of what she sees and experiences on the mountains are some of the best I've read” – read-warbler.blogspot.com

Walking Home: My Family and Other Rambles


Clare Balding - 2014
    Suddenly he says, 'You should do the Wayfarer's Walk. We always talked about it, do you remember?'So I start thinking about it seriously. It is 71 miles in total. It will be a great family adventure. Won't it?In Clare Balding's family, walking just took too long - she galloped through the countryside and she galloped through life. There was certainly no time to get to know Britain beyond its racecourses.Then, in 1999, Clare took a call out of the blue from a BBC producer looking for a presenter for a new radio series. 'Do you walk?' she asked. 'Well, I walk the dog . . .'That series, Ramblings, is still going strong - and Clare's caught the walking bug. Since then she's covered fifteen hundred miles of footpaths, from the Pennine Way to the South West Coastal Path. She's tackled apocalyptic thunderstorms, struggled with blisters and a twisted ankle, and seduced fans of 'erotic radio' by getting changed in a bus stop. She's walked with historians, geologists, twitchers, botanists and poets, who've told her things they never thought they would reveal.Now she wants her family to share some of that pleasure. Her and her brother Andrew are determined to conquer the Wayfarer's Walk, a route which runs past their family stables Kingsclere. What could possibly go wrong?This is a story of paths and people, of discovering the glories of Britain and Ireland, and of (mis)adventures with the family. Along the way there are charming diversions and life-changing rambles, including her take on the 2012 Olympics. And, finally, this is Clare's story of Walking Home . . .Clare Balding's first book, My Animals and Other Family, was a runaway number one bestseller and won Autobiography of the Year at the 2012 Specsavers National Book Awards. Clare broadcasts on TV and radio for the BBC, Channel 4 and BT Sport. In 2013 she received an OBE for services to broadcasting and journalism. She lives in West London with her partner Alice, their wayward Tibetan Terrier Archie and a cat who couldn't give a damn called Itty.Praise for My Animals and Other Family:'You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll want a horse' Caitlin Moran'Moving, funny, and larger than life' Michael Morpurgo'Simply fabulous' Jilly Cooper'Stonking anecdotes ... sharply charming' Guardian'Magical, enchanting, riotously eccentric' Daily Mail

Big Backpack - Little World


Donna Morang - 2011
    Join her as she travels to three continents, and twelve countries. Step into her classroom and teach English in Mexico, Nicaragua, Colombia, and Vietnam, or vacation with her in Spain, Thailand, and Cambodia. Fall in love with her students learning English, the special street kids, some crazy bartenders, and fellow backpackers. Meet new friends and hear their stories, or laugh with a romantic man or two from around the world. Venture into the countryside to dance with local people, drink moonshine, explore caves, fish for marlin, catch buckets of squid, or squirm as she eats strange bugs and worms. Hold her hand as she explores new city streets and countries-- often lost, once robbed, or tremble when guns are pointed at her, as she crosses one more border. Donna Morang, teacher and traveler has done this and more with a smile and a gusto for life. She definitely knows how to experience life as a true adventurer. This book is NOT about a woman going in search of herself, or looking for a better life. She already knows that life is beautiful, and she lives it to the fullest

Travelled Far: A Collection of Hiking Adventures


Keith Foskett - 2017
     Adventure addict Keith Foskett adores travel and the outdoors. A veteran of El Camino de Santiago in Spain, the Pacific Crest, Appalachian Trail and more, he follows a different lifestyle. Adventure and chasing dreams come first, convention and acceptance are second. In this book he shares a collection of trips, thoughts and observations from his award-winning blog. From the extremes of the New Mexico wilderness to his beloved South Downs in England, he observes the world with clarity, hope, daydreams and humour. With tales of local history, the changing of the seasons, facing death and pursuing his chosen path, this is a glimpse into one man’s unfaltering passion to follow his dreams. About the author. Keith Foskett has hiked over 10,000 miles in recent years and holds a deep respect for our outdoor spaces. He has written several Amazon best-selling books and contributes to various outdoor publications. Two of his books have been short-listed for outdoor book of the year by The Great Outdoors magazine, and his blog was voted outdoor blog of the year by the Go Outdoors group. Partial to a decent bottle of Rioja, he nurtures an unhealthy interest in down sleeping bags and woollen underwear. He was born and still lives in south-east England.

North To South: A man, a bear and a bicycle


James Brooman - 2014
    He was a guy who rarely cycled or had an adventure, a guy who was scared of the fairground rides as a child. But one day he changed; he became a guy with a quest. Armed with a bicycle, a toy bear and some optimism he flew to the north of Alaska and for the next two years rode it to the southern tip of South America in Argentina. This is his tale.

My Midsummer Morning: Rediscovering a Life of Adventure


Alastair Humphreys - 2019
    He had never been overseas; had hardly even left the quiet village he grew up in. His idea was to walk through the country, earning money for food by playing his violin in bars and plazas.Nearly a century later, the book Laurie Lee wrote – As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning – inspired Alastair Humphreys. It made him fall in love with Spain – the landscapes and the spirit – and with Laurie's style of travel. He travelled slow, lived simply, slept on hilltops, relished spontaneity, and loved conversations with the different people he met along the hot and dusty road.For 15 years, Alastair dreamed of retracing Laurie Lee’s footsteps, but could never get past the hurdle of being distinctly unmusical. This year, he decided to go anyway. The journey was his most terrifying yet, risking failure and humiliation every day, and finding himself truly vulnerable to the rhythms of the road and of his own life. But along the way, he found humility, redemption and triumph. It was a very good adventure.

As Far as the Eye Can See: Reflections of an Appalachian Trail Hiker


David Brill - 1990
    In 1979, David Brill became one of the first of a new generation to complete the Georgia-to-Maine hike. As Far as the Eye Can See chronicles his six-month, 2,100-mile walk, a quest to grow, to breathe, to change, to discover what really mattered to him. This book is for anyone interested in getting beyond the day-to-day slog of the hike to explore the emotional and spiritual dimensions of a long journey on foot.

The Good Life: Up the Yukon Without a Paddle


Dorian Amos - 2004
    Having searched their world atlas they decided to sell up and move to Canada in pursuit of a better life. Having bought Pricey the car, Boris Lock their faithful dog, a canoe and their fishing equipment they set off into the Yukon Wilderness to find a place they could call home. After months of camping alone in the great outdoors—where they encountered bears and wild men of the mountains—they eventually arrived at Dawson City, home to one of the great gold rushes of the 20th century. It was here that they found a run-down log cabin in the mountains nearby and began a new and gratifying life. A life they had always known they wanted.

Skywalker: Highs and Lows on the Pacific Crest Trail


Bill Walker - 2010
    Bill Walker ("Skywalker"), who stands 6'11", might seem like anything but average. Yet in a brutally honest tone, he lays to bare all his considerable weaknesses and fears. Among these are crushing weight loss and fatigue, along with a fear of getting lost or a bear stealing his food. Nonetheless, he is bound and determined to hike the PCT, which at 2,663 miles, runs all the way from Mexico to Canada.The PCT's calling card is its stunning beauty. It has a diversity of geography unequaled by any footpath in the world. Haunting and beckoning the PCT hiker are the implacable desert, the towering majesty of the so-called High Sierra, and the ruggedly bleak, northern Cascade range. Indeed, the PCT hiker faces much greater extremes of terrain and climate than on the famed Appalachian Trail. Completing this demanding challenge calls for overwhelming clarity of purpose.Walker's signature characteristic as a writer is his real talent in capturing people ("Skywalker's humor, his delight in human foibles appeal to a broad audience."--Jeff Minnick, Smoky Mountain Book News). Obviously, he is a people person because he runs into and vividly describes a truly colorful cast of characters from seemingly all walks of American life. Among these are Uber Bitch, Shit Bag, and Serial Killer; the reader learns how these hikers ended up with their names (hint: blunders).The reader need not worry that Walker is a bully. Throughout this irreverent narrative, he turns his considerable supply of humor back on himself in ruthlessly self-deprecating fashion. It all makes for a delightful read.

Polar Dream: The First Solo Expedition by a Woman and Her Dog to the Magnetic North Pole


Helen Thayer - 1992
    Her only companion was Charlie, her loyal husky, who was integral to her survival. Polar Dream is the story of their heroic trek and extraordinary relationship as they faced polar bears, unimaginable cold, and a storm that destroyed most of their supplies and food. A new epilogue, maps, and many previously unpublished expedition photographs are new to this second edition. "A page-turner.... Fully captures the drama of what was a remarkable achievement." — The Washington Times

Running North: A Yukon Adventure


Ann Mariah Cook - 1998
    RUNNING NORTH is the true story of how Ann Cook, her husband, George, and their young daughter, Kathleen, moved to Alaska and how their Siberians became the first team from the lower forty-eight states to finish the Yukon Quest. It tracks George on his horrific journey through the Yukon, recording the frostbite, the hallucinations that come with exhaustion, the wolves, and the nights out on the ice at minus ninety degrees Fahrenheit. This is the great story of man struggling against nature and surviving. But unlike most accounts of high adventure that center solely on the adventurer and the quest, RUNNING NORTH is also the story of Ann Cook, who drove the truck and carried the gear and kept the family together. In the tradition of MY OLD MAN AND THE SEA, she tells both stories in simple, elegant prose that reveals the tragedy, joy, and folly that lie on either side of the curtain separating the adventurer from the world left behind. They run up against crazy landlords, win over gruff neighbors, drive a broken-down truck that sucks oil like Alaskans suck coffee, listen to a radio show that keeps trappers in contact with the world, meet mysterious fishermen who appear without notice and disappear without a sign, fight with a young cousin who will betray them in the end, protect their young daughter from the dangers of their new wild world, and stare awestruck at the wide sweep of Alaskan landscape. RUNNING NORTH is the story of two very different adventures on the edge: one among the racers braving the Yukon and the other among the people they leave behind.