It seems we are today preoccupied with making bucket lists so we can dream about the future and maybe even scratch off a few items from our list. Well Fifty Places to Hike Before You Die by Chris Santella is in keeping with this theme. In this book, published in 2010, hiking experts share their experiences and knowledge of, well fifty trails across the world.
Australia is represented in the form of The Overland Track and the book also includes trails from Argentina, Botswana, Canada, China, Colombia, France, Great Britain, Hawaii, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, New Zealand, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Rwanda, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Tobet, Turkey and the US.
The iconic trails are included such as Annapurna Sanctuary in Nepal, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and The Inca Trail in Peru. Given the author’s heritage there are 19 trails included for the US including Yosemite National Park in California, North Cascades National Park in Washington and The Long Trail in Vermont.
Santella is well practiced in this genre given he has written six other ‘Fifty Places to …’ books. In Fifty Places to Hike Before You Die, four pages are dedicated to each featured trail. The author emphasises in the introduction that the goal is to ‘offer a taste of the hiking experience’ rather than a complete ‘how to guide’. As such, each trail featured is a combination of narrative and quotes from the experts covering where in the world, general geography, climate and history coupled with a kind of ‘day on the trail’ story. There is a ‘If You Go’ section for each trail that very, very briefly covers:
As an example The Overland Track review really is just a ‘taste’ of what you might experience but is enough to whet your appetite with the expectation of having an encounter with a platypus!
This book is a cross between a (small) coffee table book and a trail summary. It is very well presented in hard cover, contains some stunning images and provides a taste of what you may experience if you are planning to undertake any of these hikes.
Fifty Places to Hike Before You Die is a great book for those who want to refine their hiking ‘must do’ list as well as for anyone who is interested in travel and/or the outdoors. This book would be a lovely gift but be warned, you may like it so much you’ll end up buying two copies!
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Cover of Fifty Places to Hike Before You Die
Contents page example
Example of a featured trail – Lhasa in Tibet
This review was done with product purchased by Australian Hiker