Skip to content

Fixation Friday: Outdoor Adventures

Explore our New Shop-By-Interest Pages

By Ashly Moore Sheldon • November 30, 2023

Fixation Friday is what has our customers ticking this week! In this new blog series, we explore a trending topic and the different forms it takes in our lives. This week, we're breaking down the topic of Outdoor Adventures and following the paths (and trails) this theme leads us down. To get us started, here are a few great reads focused on general outdoor adventuring:

For women who could use a little guidance for adventuring on your own or in groups, try A Woman's Guide to the Wild: Your Complete Outdoor Handbook or Woman in the Wild: The Everywoman's Guide to Hiking, Camping, and Backcountry Travel. For inspiration, check out Wild, Cheryl Strayed's thrilling memoir about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.


Even if you think it's too cold for camping at the moment, now is a perfect time to start planning your fair weather adventures. Get some ideas about where you want to go with Where Should We Camp Next?: A 50-State Guide to Amazing Campgrounds and Other Unique Outdoor Accommodations. If you're new to camping, get a handle on the basics with Sleeping Bags to S'Mores or The Camping Life

Get your young'uns excited (and knowledgeable) with these guides for kids. Wilderness Adventure Camp: Essential Outdoor Survival Skills for Kids is designed for ages 9 to 12 years, while Outdoor School: Hiking and Camping is geared to kids a little older (ages 10–14).

Finally, for camp cooks, here are a few guides for keeping all your campers sated and well nourished:

Hiking Trails

There is, of course, some overlap between the topics of Hiking & Camping, but if you're looking for some inspiration to hit the trails, we've got a range (get it?) of ideas to get you started. How to Suffer Outside is a funny and approachable beginner's guide to hiking and backpacking. If the weather is getting in your way, consider The Joy of Winter Hiking offering insights into the many benefits of outdoor adventures during the colder months.

America's Best Day Hikes has the power to propel readers beyond their own backyard to experience some of the most spectacular day hikes from across the country. America's Great Hiking Trails is another guide with a broad scope across the US.

If you're struggling to find hikes for young adventurers, Wendy Gorton's terrific series, 50 Hikes with Kids, identifies kid-friendly hikes for specific regions from across the country. So far, she's covered Oregon & Washington, California, New England, New York, Pennsylvania & New Jersey, Texas, Colorado, and Utah. Coming in 2024: Virginia & Maryland and Illinois, Indiana & Ohio.

Another way to get motivated is to read hiking memoirs. Here are some that we love:

  • The Living MountainNan Shepherd describes her many journeys—both breathtaking and harsh—into the Cairngorm mountains of Scotland
  • A Walk in the WoodsBill Bryson tells the funny, fascinating, and moving story of his adventures hiking the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine.
  • Leave Only Footprints—CBS correspondent Conor Knighton shares a behind-the-scenery look at his year visiting all of America's National Parks.
  • On Trails—In this exploration of the paths that lie under our feet, Robert Moor interweaves his hiking adventures with science, history, and philosophy.
  • Wanderlust—From essayist Rebecca Solnit, a thought-provoking look at the history of walking as a political and cultural activity.

Natural Beauty

If you enjoy Nature Writing—either as a complement or alternative to time spent outdoors—here's a list of classic and contemporary books exploring and extolling wilderness and nature.

  • Braiding Sweetgrass—Botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer weaves together the Indigenous wisdom of her heritage with the scientific knowledge of her field in this gorgeous essay collection.
  • Waterlog—Nature writer Roger Deakin shares his personal journey of swimming through the British Isles in this fascinating celebration of the magic of water.
  • The Sun is a Compass—This lyrical account of ornithologist Caroline Van Hemert's 4,000-mile self-propelled journey from the Pacific rainforest to the Alaskan Arctic takes on the form of a love letter to nature.
  • My First Summer in the Sierra—Legendary naturalist John Muir's journal of his first foray into Yosemite, the breathtaking wilderness he later helped to preserve.
  • Arctic Dreams—Nature writer Barry Lopez explores the many-faceted wonders of the Far North: its strangely stunted forest, its mesmerizing aurora borealis, its frozen seas.
  • Upstream—Revered poet Mary Oliver reflects on her tendencies to lose herself within the beauty and mysteries of both the natural world and the world of literature.
  • The Overstory—This Pulitzer-winning novel by Richard Powers is a sweeping, impassioned paean to trees and the natural world.

Childhood Wonder

One of the best things about outdoor adventures with kids is getting to see the natural world through fresh eyes and remember our own youthful encounters with the wild. These picture books are a great way to experience that childhood wonder and get your young adventurers excited to get outdoors.

That's it for this week's Fixation Friday. You can also check out last week's post on Holiday Traditions, if you missed it.

As always, we'd love to hear your thoughts. Any reflections on Outdoor Adventures you'd like to share?

You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for daily book recommendations, literary tidbits, and more.

Read more by Ashly Moore Sheldon

Leave a Comment

Related Subjects

Copyright © 2023 Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Do Not Sell/Share My Personal Information | Cookie Policy | Cookie Preferences | Accessibility Statement
ThriftBooks® and the ThriftBooks® logo are registered trademarks of Thrift Books Global, LLC
GoDaddy Verified and Secured