Hiking and Outdoor Books

Outdoor Books

Gill and I are both big readers taking in all types of books. In my case my love of books range from science fiction/fantasy, to the technical, to the inspirational. Where possible I try to find hiking and outdoor books to fill this love of reading.

Since we started Australian Hiker in 2016 we’ve regularly reviewed a range of hiking and outdoor books. Some of these books are well known in their own right or because they have been become screenplays for movies and then others you may never have heard of. The following article brings together the books we’ve reviewed into one convenient place with links to the full review. I’m sure there will be something that will be of  interest to you although sometimes some of these books can be hard to source.

See if something peaks your interest!

A Million Steps

This is the book that has put walking the Camino on my ‘to do’ list. Well worth a read if you are even remotely thinking about this hike

Read our full review here

A Walk in the Woods

This book has been turned into a well known movie by and starring Robert Redford and provides a humorous take on hiking the Appalachian Trail

Read our full review here

Becoming Odyssa

A book for those that are into the US long distance trails but well worth reading even if you aren’t a hiker.

Read our full review here

Best Walks East of Melbourne Book

This guidebook highlights 40 of the best walks east of Melbourne and provides all the details you need to help you do them. Best Walks East of Melbourne has something for everyone

Read our full review here

Best Walks of Victoria’s High Country Book

This guidebook highlights 40 of the best walks through Victoria’s high country ranging from 1.5 km through to 37 km providing something for everyone

Read our full review here

Bold Horizon: High-country Place, People and Story

This book provides a good historic overview of the central/northern region of the Australian Alps and even though I live near, and hike extensively around this area, I learned a lot by reading this book. This historic bent is not really surprising from a book published by Rosenberg Press which has a reputation for this style of book

Read our full review here

Cold Coast

This book is very different to the ones we normally review but just as enjoyable. Cold Coast is a novel by Tasmanian-based author Robyn Mundy set in Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean telling the story of Invanna (Wanny) Waldstad, Svalbard’s first female trapper and hunter.

Read our full review here

Epic Hikes of the World

This is great coffee table book about trails and treks. The only problem you’ll have is deciding where you’re going to hike next!

Read our full review here

Fifty Places to Hike Before You Die

Another  spectacular coffee table book highlighting some of the world’s best hikes along with some amazing images and information

Read our full review here

Gear Basics for Day Hiking by Australian Hiker

Gear Basics for Day Hiking is the first eBook in the Australian Hiker’s collection and provides you with hiking gear basics so you can assess for yourself what gear you may need for the day hikes you’re planning

Read all about this book here

Grandma Gatewood’s Walk

Grandma Gatewood’s Walk is the story of Emma Gatewood who in 1955 and aged 67, set out to become the first woman to walk the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine, USA. Not your stereotypical adventurer

Read our full review here

Hiking the Overland Track

One on the newer guide books on hiking the Overland Track with all the information that you need to plan and undertake this great hike

Read our full review here

How to Navigate

Want to know how to navigate in a clear and easy to understand manner thin this is a great option. Written by a hiker for hikers.

Read our full review here

Into the Wild – The Book

Into the Wild written by Jon Krakauer and first published in 1996, shares its title with the Into the Wild movie about the Christopher McCandless whose decomposed body was found in the Alaskan wilderness in August 1992. The story is about McCandless who rejected consumerism and took on the name Alexander Supertramp in his quest to live a simpler and freer life.

Read our full review here

Japan’s Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage

A great guidebook based around Japan’s Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage trail system. This is one of Japan’s best know trails and is also a sister trail of the Camino.

Read our full review here

One Man’s Climb

One Man’s Climb is the story of Adrian Hayes’s two summit attempts on K2. The first in 2013 was unsuccessful followed by his subsequent and successful attempt in 2014. Usually I’m not into biographical/autobiographical books preferring instead to ‘do’ rather than read about others doing, but I knew I was going to enjoy this book even before I started

Read our full review here

On the Trail: A History of American Hiking

This book is US-focused and discusses the historic timeline of hiking in the USA from its infancy to where we now stand now. While US based, it also provides an insight on the development of hiking worldwide. A good read for history buffs

Read our full review here

On the Trail with Boots McFarland Vol 1

Boots McFarland is the creation of US based cartoonist Geolyn Carvin and provides humorous and very relatable insights about hiking and camping. I see myself in so many of her drawings!

Read our full review here

Perfect Motion

Have you ever wanted to know a bit about the physiology of walking? This is a great book with real life examples.

Read our full review here

The Bondi to Manly Walk

The ultimate guidebook to this wonderful Sydney walk.

Read our full review here

The Book of Australian Trees

An Australian Children’s book that also doubles as a coffee table book

Read our full review here

The Japan Alps and Mount Fuji

This guidebook from Cicerone Press , as mentioned, pretty well covers the Japanese Alps, including Mt Fuji. A good compact sized book for thsoe wanting to some some short or long hikes in Japans main mountan regions.

Read our full review here

Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart

A personal account of a thru hikers journey on the US based Pacific Crest Trail and a good read for those interested in this American long distance hike

Read our full review here

The Only Way Home

This is unique personal account of a 2,500km journey on the 5,300km Bicentennial National Trail. What makes the author, Liz Byrons, journey unique is that it was done with the aid of two donkeys, Grace and Charley who rather than being simple beasts of burden were also partners in this journey. This is one of the most enjoyable non fiction books that I have read in a long time.

Read our full review here


Tracks is the story of Robyn Davidson’s journey across the Australian desert from Alice Springs in central Australia to the western Australian coast, a distance of 2700 km (1700 miles). Robyn undertook her journey at a time where adventure travel was still for those special few individuals who seemed larger than life. And generally not a women!

Read our full review here

Trail Life – Ray Jardine’s Lightweight Backpacking

Ray Jardine is considered the father of ultralight hiking and this book discusses the concept of what that means for us as hikers. While this book is dated, the concepts are still very current

Read our full review here

Trail Tested by Justin Lichter

This book is focused on ultralight hiking. It does so without forcing it down your throat and deals with the concept as a part of the overall book rather than as a separate issue

Read our full review here

Tricky’s Bad Day

The central character in the book is Tricky (short for Patrick) who just can’t seem to get things to go his way. This book is a warm and funny story about the chaos within the life of a young family and the freedom that comes from an outside adventure. It’s a great book for the kids

Read our full review here

Ultralight Backpackin’ Tips by Mike Clelland

While this book is aimed squarely at those hikers who want to lighten their load, it will make the traditional hiker rethink what is really essential to carry and perhaps result a shift in how you hike. If you’re working towards doing a long trail or at that stage where you are trying to reduce the weight you carry for logistical reasons and still retain a level of comfort, then this book is well worth reading

Read our full review here

Up: A Mother and Daughter’s Peakbagging Adventure

Up: A Mother and Daughter’s Peakbagging Adventure (Up for short) was written by Patricia Ellis Herr and published in 2012. As the title suggests, Up is a story of mountain peaks and great vistas supplemented with a few hiking ‘lessons’

Read our full review here

Walk with your Wolf

A self help book aimed at getting you back on trail if you need the motivation.

Read our full review here


This book which has been turned into one of the best known hiking movies of all time and provides a different perspective to Cheryl Strayed’s iconic trip that made the Pacific Crest Trail so famous

Read our full review here

Wild By Nature

This is the story as told by Swiss adventurer, Sark Marquis, as she walks 10,000 miles (16,000 km) from Siberia through Asia finishing her journey in Australia over a three year period. A very big trip!

Read our full review here

Wild Food Plants of Australia

This field guide is a great introduction to Australian wild food plants and even if you aren’t into trying any out it’s a great opportunity to learn.

Read our full review here

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