Categories: Activities

Our Favorite Outdoor Books (Excellent Whether You’re Inside or Outside)

If you’re looking for a good book to read, we’ve got you. The Hipcamp team pulled together a list of our best books about the outdoors. When people who love outdoor adventures are needing to stay at home, it can be challenging. We’re leaning into self-care activities, including reading books recommended by our friends and co-workers and watching inspiring films about the outdoors. Because we care about our community, we wanted to share some of our top picks with the people that matter most to us, and that means you!

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants

By Robin Wall Kimmerer
Find it: Here

In “Braiding Sweetgrass,” Robin Wall Kimmerer combines her indigenous cultural background with her scientific training and knowledge to present a unified worldview of how we can learn from nature: by studying and listening. The resounding message? Humans can have a positive impact on the earth if we learn to hear and heed its lessons.


By E. O. Wilson
Find it: Here

In “Half-Earth,” E. O. Wilson suggests that Earth’s colossal ecological problems demand world-changing solutions NOW. His plea? Devote half of the surface of the earth to Nature. Wilson urges that saving the biosphere must be seen as a moral enterprise and the most urgent task in human existence.

The Shepherd’s Life

By James Rebanks
Find it: Here

From Geraldine Brooks: “Mr. Rebanks writes with loving eloquence about a kind of deep-rooted life that is all but lost in the developed world. Herdwick sheep, the local breed, are set free to graze on unfenced commons and could head off to Scotland were they not “hefted” ― tied to their home range by invisible bonds of instinct and inheritance. Mr. Rebanks is himself hefted to his land and deftly conveys the worth and beauty of such a connection.”


By Isabella Tree
Find it: Here

Wilding explores what happens when the author’s 3,500 acres of farmed and depleted land is left to become wild again. Isabella Tree takes you on the journey of her family farm’s trials, triumphs, and transformation.

Rancher Farmer Fisherman: Conservation Heroes of the American Heartland

By Miriam Horn
Find it: Here

From Tina Rosenberg, “The most powerful, compelling, and eloquent solutions for our problems come from the inside. In this lush, gorgeously written book, Miriam Horn shows men and women preserving the natural world around them―not out of an abstract sense of environmentalism, but because they love the land and water, their communities, and way of life. A profoundly hopeful book.”

The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate

By Peter Wohlleben
Find it: Here

Instagram? Facebook? According to Wohlleben, the forest is perhaps the largest social network in our world today. In “The Hidden Life of Trees,” Wohlleben discusses how trees are much like people—in how they communicate, support each other, and feel.

Phenomenal: A Hesitant Adventurer’s Search for Wonder in the Natural World

By Leigh Ann Henion
Find it: Here

From BookPage: “Leigh Ann Henion’s “Phenomenal: A Hesitant Adventuer’s Search for Wonder in the Natural World” is an inspiring nonfiction narrative about exploration and identity… It’s a fascinating journey, and Henion chronicles it with the heart and eye of an artist. This delightful hybrid of a book blends memoir, history, and philosophy into a modern meditation on motherhood and the quest for a fulfilled life.”

The Omnivore’s Dilemma

By Michael Pollan
Find it: Here

Michael Pollan has changed the way Americans think about what’s for dinner. Following the food supply-chain all the way to the source, Pollan uncovers the truths of how our food is really being made, and “the profound consequences that even the simplest everyday food choices have on both ourselves and the natural world.”


By Cheryl Strayed
Find it: Here

In the midst of a life that seemed to be crumbling from all directions, author Cheryl Strayed decides to begin the ultimate adventure — hiking the Pacific Crest Trail from start to finish as a young woman alone. Wild retells the terrifying, hilarious, and unforgettable moments Strayed faced on her solo journey through some of America’s most beautiful terrain.

Desert Solitaire

By Ed Abbey
Find it: Here

From The New York Times, “Edward Abbey lived for three seasons in the desert at Moab, Utah, and what he discovered about the land before him, the world around him, and the heart that beat within, is a fascinating, sometimes raucous, always personal account of a place that has already disappeared, but is worth remembering and living through again and again.”


By Monbiot
Find it: Here

From Science, “Part personal journal, part restoration ecology primer, “Feral” popularizes the concept of re-wilding and will likely prompt wildlife managers, landowners, policy-makers, and the general public to question their perception of the natural world and its role in our lives.”

Which books do you recommend that we read?

Have a recommendation for an excellent book about the outdoors we should know about? Please let us know by tweeting to us @hipcamp. If you found our list of books helpful, share the article with a friend. Sharing is caring!

Coffee-drinkin', true-crime obsessed, small-town gal from Texas, living in a big city + trying to save our planet!

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