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10 Book Recommendations for Nature Lovers and Outdoor Enthusiasts

Updated: 5 days ago

When it's the dead of winter and we're still months away from blue skies, kayaking days, and hiking under the green forest, one of my favorite ways to connect to nature is through books. If I can't live out my hiking dreams in real life, I can at least learn more about nature and the world while I'm bundled up on the couch. Here are 10 book recommendations for every nature lover and outdoor enthusiast!

If you feel the same way, here are 10 outdoorsy books for the nature lovers:

  • Igiwara: The Kinship of Plants and People Ethnobotanist Enrique Salmón highlights 80 plants revered by North America’s indigenous peoples. Learn how the connection between plants and people has been revered by native cultures for thousands of years.

  • Nowhere for Very Long: The Unexpected Road to an Unconventional Life Brianna Madia details her experience living out of her van Bertha in the canyons of Utah. Brianna sheds a light on the downsides of living an unconventional life and her personal transformation. "Nowhere for Very Long is the true story of a woman learning and unlearning, from backroads to breakdowns, from married to solo, and finally, from lost to found to lost again . . . this time, on purpose."

  • Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail "#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an eleven-hundred-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe—and built her back up again." Cheryl Strayed delivers a powerful memoir about how through-hiking changed her perspective on the world.

  • Valley of Giants: Stories from Women at the Heart of Yosemite Climbing Read stories from over 40 contributors to this anthology of the importance of women in climbing history. "Though long overlooked, women have always been at the center of Yosemite--climbing, crafting equipment, and establishing new routes. In Valley of Giants, editor and climber Lauren DeLaunay Miller pulls together journal excerpts, original essays, interviews, archival materials, and memorable firsts that span the past century of climbing in the Valley."

  • Upstream: Selected Essays Mary Oliver, one of the New York Times' most beloved poets, intersects the natural and spiritual worlds with her beautiful imagery. “There's hardly a page in my copy of Upstream that isn't folded down or underlined and scribbled on, so charged is Oliver's language . . .” —Maureen Corrigan, NPR’s Fresh Air

  • Girl in the Woods: A Memoir "Girl in the Woods is Aspen Matis’s exhilarating true-life adventure of hiking from Mexico to Canada—a coming-of-age story, a survival story, and a triumphant story of overcoming emotional devastation." A 19-year old young woman treks alone in the wilderness, discovering herself in the process.

  • Into the Wild "NATIONAL BESTSELLER • In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter. This is the unforgettable story of how Christopher Johnson McCandless came to die."

  • The Hidden Life of Trees In the first book in his Mysteries of Nature Series, author Peter Wohlleben details how trees communicate to one another. If you love biology and learning about the intricacies of nature, this series is perfect for you! "One of the most beloved books of our time: an illuminating account of the forest, and the science that shows us how trees communicate, feel, and live in social networks. After reading this book, a walk in the woods will never be the same again."

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