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Outdoor Lit.

I know "lit" has a vague contemporary meaning, but I'm talking about literature. I recently posed a question about what other's favorite musical artists are; now I'm wanting to know, is there any literature (short stories, novels, non-fiction) that fans the flame of your zeal for the outdoors? It seems that I can't always get outside when I want to, but the right book could take me on a journey or deepen my passion to explore to the point that I have no choice but to trek somewhere. Any help is appreciated! 

4 Replies

Hello SaintNick!

I have a suggestion. Here's the background story first. While on a backpacking trip (on a rainy October day in Washington) my daughter and I grabbed our rain gear to watch the rippled lake. When it started pouring we opted for the tent! While reading out loud to her she thought the book sounded like an author she liked. Ironically, she had brought the book with her, and guess what? We were reading different books from the same author! We laughed and later cried at the beautiful words of Kathleen Dean Moore. So, check out her book, Wild Comfort - The Solace of Nature. 

If you are interested in more more info on Kathleen here is a good link:

Enjoy your time outdoors!


At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

@SaintNick413 another great question!  As a hiker, I'm really in love with the book Thirst: 2600 Miles to Home by Heather "Anish" Anderson.  Great memoir of her PCT thru hike. It really captures the mental part of how an outdoor pursuit can affect a person, both the mentally and physically, both the highs and lows.  Have fun out there!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Not exactly literature, but I highly recommend every lover of the outdoors purchase a copy of "Mountaineering Freedom Of The Hills", by the Mountaineers (Seattle).

This has been the 'go to' reference book for all things camping, hiking, backpacking and more, for MANY years.

REI Member Since 1979

REI Member Since 1979

Hi @SaintNick413 

John Krakauer is a personal favorite of mine. And while Into the Wild is excellent, for me his best book is Into Thin Air. His personal account of his expedition to Everest during a massive storm in 1996. It's a heavy read, but the writing is beautiful.

I'm also a big fan of Barbara Kingsolver. While her novels aren't specifically about nature, her time spent traveling the Southwest and growing up in the Appalachia region heavily influences her narrative and the journeys of her characters. Often her stories contain characters who are either scientists or naturalists. My personal favorite is Prodigal Summer. 

Happy Reading!


At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.