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Books to Read Before an Adventure

Books to Read Before an Adventure

Monday, October 03, 2022

If you’re preparing to go on an outdoor adventure, small or large, a great way to immerse yourself in the outdoors before your trip even begins is to read about adventure! We’ve carefully selected a list of great books that might inspire and encourage you on your next trip while also allowing you to escape into the pages of a book and get a better understanding of why we explore, and what we can gain from it! 

Books to Read Before an Outdoor Adventure

1) Becoming Odyessa by Jennifer Pharr Davis

Becoming Odyessa is a true story about a woman who is drawn to the Appalachian Trail, a 2175-mile footpath that stretches from Georgia to Maine. She faces a lot of doubt from her friends and family, who think she's crazy for doing it alone. 

But despite the discouraging words she hears, she sets out alone to hike the trail, hoping it will give her time to think about her future. This is a story of a brave woman who faces challenges along her journey but discovers herself along the way.

2) Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

Into the Wild is a very well-known adventure story that is actually based on a true story. In the book, you’ll follow Christopher Johnson McCandless, a rich young man who’s tired of having everything handed to him, so he decides to abandon his life and journey to Alaska with almost nothing.

This true and tragic cautionary tale shows the importance of pushing your limits, but also asking for help when life challenges you. 

“Don't settle down and sit in one place. Move around, be nomadic, make each day a new horizon. You are still going to live a long time, Ron, and it would be a shame if you did not take the opportunity to revolutionize your life and move into an entirely new realm of experience.” - Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

3) Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

From the same author of Into the Wild, this book is a true first-hand account of the Mount Everest Disaster of 1996. In this book, Krakauer recounts the horror that he and his fellow climbers experienced that year and also examines why many climbers, including himself, feel the desire to climb Everest in the first place. 

Similar to Into the Wild, reading this emotional and thoughtful book will give readers a better understanding of the emotional journey that goes along with an adventure, no matter how challenging.  

4) The Worst Journey in the World by Apsley Cherry-Garrard

This book is a memoir by Apsley Cherry Gi and also an amazingly told firsthand account of the difficulties Apsley Cherry-Garrard faced when he was traveling to the South Pole on an expedition in 1910-1913. In this heart-wrenching story, the author provides the real journal entries from him and the men he traveled with as he recollects his crucial story of survival.

5) Roughing It by Mark Twain

Mark Twain is one of the most appreciated American authors of the 19th century for his works, such as Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. This book is quite different from his more well-known books, and is not what you’d expect. 

In this autobiography, Twain takes you on a humorous journey to the western United States while painting a perfectly imperfect picture of U.S. history for us to analyze. 

“The air up there in the clouds is very pure and fine, bracing and delicious. And why shouldn't it be?--it is the same the angels breathe.” -Mark Twain, Roughing It.

6) The Journals of Lewis and Clark

If you’re looking for another great primary source for the importance of exploring and adventure, The Journals of Lewis and Clark is a great place to start. 

In these journal entries, you’ll read about the lives of Lewis and Clark as they explored unknown parts of the country after the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 while also learning about the history of these two men and the United States. Reading first-hand accounts of these men can show us what you’ll find when you take an adventure head-on. 

7) The Long Walk by Slavonic Rawicz

The incredible true tale takes place in the 1940s Russian Federation. This story will take you on the dangerous journey of seven escaped Soviet prisoners on their way to freedom, who bravely marched out of Siberia through China, the Gobi Desert, Tibet, and over the Himalayas to British India for safety. 

This story was ghostwritten by Ronald Downing in 1956 based on conversations he had with Slavomir Rawicz, one of the escaped prisoners. Reading this book will show you why adventure is sometimes a necessary choice. 

“What is most important is the deeply felt conviction that freedom is like oxygen, and I hope The Long Walk is a reminder that when lost, freedom is difficult to regain.” - Slavonic Rawicz, The Long Walk.

8) No Picnic on Mount Kenya: The Story of Three POWs Escape to Adventure by Felice Benuzzi

This powerful memoir tells the true story of one Italian prisoner of war in East Africa during World War II. Benuzzi takes us through the escape from a British prisoner of war camp, so he can have a chance to climb Mount Kenya. 

Goodreads explains that “Not many people would break out of a POW camp and trek for days across perilous terrain before climbing the north face of Mount Kenya with improvised equipment, meager rations, and a picture of the mountain on a tin of beef as their most accurate guide. Fewer still would break back into the camp on their return.” 

9) To Shake the Sleeping Self by Jedediah Jenkins

Jedidiah Jenkins quit his dream job and spent sixteen months cycling from Oregon to Patagonia. He documented his journey on social media, where he gained a large following and began to ask the question: What makes a life worth living? In this truthful and emotional memoir, Jedediah recounts his brave adventure along with the people and places he encountered on his way. 

“Traveling alone, you get to be whoever you want. I don't mean to lie. I mean, you get to be a blank slate. You can't leave behind your skin color, your height, or the handsomeness or homeliness of your face. But you can leave your story behind.” - Jedediah Jenkins, To Shake the Sleeping Self

Ready for Your Adventure?

If your teen is ready to join us for the adventure of a lifetime, reach out to Created for Adventure today!