Top Ten Books to Take Camping

One of the best things about camping is that you have time away from the distractions of modern society. Whether that means no video games, no music, no T.V. , or just no social distractions, being out in the wilderness can be soothing to both the mind and the body.

Many of today's younger generation associate books only with school. Their mistake is to misunderstand the true nature of imagination and creativity only books can provide. Many of the best movies and T.V. shows of today are descendents from books. From classic novels being made into movies to graphic novels becoming today's Anime sensations, books are often the genesis of visual entertainment.

When out in the wild, whether it be camping, hiking, or just a day trip to off-grid, modern technology is usually not available or conducive to the experience. That's where books come in. Requiring no electricity or power source, weighing almost nothing, and infinitely reusable, books can be a great source of entertainment and enlightenment while exploring the wild world. Below are the best books you can take with you into the wilderness. Some will keep you entertained and other will serve to open your mind to the wonders of nature around you.
The Top Ten
1 Desert Solitaire - Edward Abbey

What began as a diary of his experience as a Park Ranger in the remote Utah Desert, became a staple of wilderness reading. Chronicling both the desert and one of the last unfettered rafting trips down the Colorado River (before the Dams were built), this book will both entertain and inspire.

2 Walden - Henry David Thoreau

One of the most iconic books in American literature, Thoreau writes his thoughts on both wilderness and man's ability to survive in a world growing faster than he can cope with.

"I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself than be crowded on a velvet cushion."

What a great man.

3 Red - Terry Tempest Williams

One of the most prolific female nature writers, Williams captures the beauty and serenity of the desert with her poetic yet poignant depiction of our place in the world.

4 Into the Wild - Jon Krakauer

Made popular by the 2007 movie of the same name, this non-fiction book tells the story of a man putting all conventions behind himself in the name of discovering his own personal truth and place in the world. If this book doesn't make you want to throw it all away and really live then nothing will.

I did take this book on camp with me 3 years ago, still love this book.

5 The Mountains of California - John Muir

His first book is both one of his best and shortest. This book chronicles one of America's best naturalists traveling through one of America's best landscapes. What else do you need?

6 The Power of Myth - Joseph Campbell

While not a nature book specifically, Campbell write about myths and their sadly disappearing place in modern society. From rites of passage to mythic journeys undertaken by the body and spirit, this book opens your eyes to the wonders of the human condition. You'll see your time in nature as more than just a vacation and instead, it will become a part of a vital transformation into a being of the world.

7 The Monkey Wrench Gang - Edward Abbey

Another book from the Desert anarchist. This book will get you in the mood to save nature and rebel against society in all the right ways. Both hilarious and heartfelt, you'll undoubtedly see yourself represented by at least one of the characters.

8 Siddhartha - Hermann Hesse

Not all spiritual books are religious nor are all books about nature secular. This story about a man seeking his own true freedom and awakening by experiencing the world and all its forms. Traversing both nature and civilization, the hero reminds us what it means to be a part of our surroundings and to be human.

9 The Forest Unseen: a Year's Watch In Nature - David George Haskell

Winner of 3 prestigious awards and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, this book is about the wonders of nature at a micro scale. Visiting a patch of ground (one-square meter in size) for a year, a biologist tells us of the wonders of the little things. This book will get you looking at every leaf and grain of dirt in a whole other light.

10 Wild - Cheryl Strayed

Popularized by the 2014 movie, Wild is the autobiographical story of a self-destructive woman who leaves her past behind her in the hopes of self-discovery. She is an anti-hero who one can identify with to some degree, but who still has a vague hope for the future. Encountering fear and triumph in the woods, Cheryl reminds us to not let go of our hopes and to push past struggles.

The Contenders
11 Lord of the Flies - William Golding

This sounds like your fate if you go camping too long.

12 Holes - Louis Sachar

The only book that I know in this list!

13 Hatchet - Gary Paulsen
14 For Crying Out Loud: The World According to Clarkson Volume 3 - Jeremy Clarkson
15 The City and the Stars - Arthur C Clark
16 A Walk in the Woods - Bill Bryson's

Hilarious look at the challenges involved with hiking the Appalachian Trail.

17 Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
18 Cherub: Class A - Robert Muchamore
19 Watership Down - Rex Collings
20 As I Was Saying: The World According to Clarkson - Jeremy Clarkson
21 And Another Thing: The World According to Clarkson Volume 2 - Jeremy Clarkson
22 How Hard Can It Be: The World According to Clarkson Volume 4 - Jeremy Clarkson
23 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
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