Five Must-Read Books to Get You Back on the Trails
Do you enjoy hiking, biking, and experiencing the outdoors, but just can't quite motivate yourself to go anymore?
If you’re struggling to get outside, here are five reads to re-spark interest. These gripping tales of adventure and peril will make you laugh, cry, and marvel at the battle between Man and Nature. If some are too intense, check out the book about an old man’s hiking trip.
Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage
A phenomenal adventure, the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s polar expedition in the early 1900s still captivates. Masterfully written and researched with eyewitness accounts from Shackleton’s companions, the book delivers an exhilarating tale of Shackleton’s shipwreck on the Endurance in the frigid waters of the Arctic and the ensuing fight for survival atop the icy floes dotting the frozen landscape. Stranded on a pack of ice for over a year, Shackleton's final attempts at escape are documented in vivid detail within this thrilling read.
Miracle in the Andes
Plane crash. Avalanche. Cannibalism. Escape. After nearly 40 years, the extraordinary story of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 still resonates with readers. Written in 2006, Miracle in the Andes is the first-hand account of that tragic incident by survivor Nando Parrado. In 1972, a plane carrying 45 people crashed into the Andean Mountains in southern Argentina while heading to a rugby game in Chile. The few survivors remained atop a mountainous glacier for 72 days, as Parrado braved the elements in search of aid. The book boldly recounts the brutal struggles and the constant fight for survival in addition to the final, desperate journey for help.
Call of the Wild
After nearly 100 years in print, Jack London’s timeless classic still tugs at the heartstrings. The story follows Buck, a loyal dog stolen from his master, to the frozen tundra of the Yukon. Buck battles freezing temperatures, brutal new masters, and rival dogs as he begins allowing his natural instincts to take control. Forced to pull a dogsled, Buck quickly learns the harsh realities of the icy north as he comes face-to-face with the animal within. Animal lovers and outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy this unique perspective of the Klondike Gold Rush.
A Walk in the Woods
Hilarious travel writer Bill Bryson chronicles his journey of hiking along the Appalachian Trail with his friend Stephen as they brave harsh weather, dangerous animals, and the recurring desire to give up and go home. The pair perseveres through various challenges and pitfalls (both literal and figurative) as they travel further and further along the trail. If you are interested in ecology and history, the book is a must-read, as Bryson causally relates the story of the Appalachian Trail. For non-literary types, A Walk in the Woods is adapted to film starring Robert Redford, so check it out!
Buried in the Sky
In August 2008, eleven mountaineers died tragically in a series of accidents while attempting to scale K-2, the second most dangerous mountain in the world. Buried in the Sky tells the incredible story of a pair of Sherpa guides who survived the fated expedition. The book dives into the lives of Chhiring Dorje Sherpa and Pasang Lama who offer their perspectives and examines the rich, mountaineering history of the Sherpa people. Their experience sets the framework for Peter Zuckerman’s brilliant narrative as readers discover frozen Himalayan peaks and learn of the fascinating natives who climb them.
So, what do you think? Have you read any of these books? What good ones did we miss? Comment below and let us know what you think!
Be well, Auburn.
Photography: Jack P.