10 Inspiring Outdoor Adventure Books (Written By Adventurers)

Snowdonia - List of Outdoor adventure books

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During a time when we limiting our outside activities in the UK, how about getting your outdoor fix from reading some awesome adventure books instead.

I’ve found ten outdoor lovers who have not only been on great adventures and challenges but they have also put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboards) and written a book.

There is a mix of outdoor activities, from hiking, running, mountaineering, skiing and even wild swimming. Every book has one thing in common, each person who has written it shares a passion for exploring the outdoors.

What are you waiting for!

Bring their adventures into your home and read about their amazing stories to inspire your next challenge or outdoor adventure (when we can get back out again!)

Scotland mountains - outdoor adventures

*Becky the Traveller participates in the Amazon Services Associates Programme, as well as other affiliate programmes. If you make a purchase through these, I earn from the qualifying links. This is at no extra cost to you. Read more here.

10 Awesome Adventure Books

This list of books is all from recommendations via my Instagram @beckythetraveller or Twitter @becky_traveller. They are also in no particular order, so scroll down to see which ones inspire you.

I’ve added links where you can buy copies of the books online. Let’s show these adventurers some support during this tough time in the UK :).

Let me know of any other adventure book recommendations in the comments.

The Pants of Perspective

One woman’s 3,000-kilometre running adventure through the wilds of New Zealand

By Anna McNuff

The pants of perspective adventure book

About the book

Anna was never anything like those ‘real’ runners on telly – all spindly limbs, tiny shorts and split times – but when she read about New Zealand’s 3,000-kilometre-long Te Araroa Trail, she began to wonder… perhaps being a ‘real’ runner was overrated.

Maybe she could just run it anyway?

Travelling alone through New Zealand’s backcountry for 148 days, Anna scrambled through forests, along ridge-lines, over mountain passes, along beaches and across swollen rivers.

Running up to 52 kilometres in a day, she slept wild most nights and was taken into the homes and hearts of the kiwi people in between.

About the adventurer

Anna McNuff Outdoor adventure book
Anna McNuff is an adventurer, speaker, author and self-confessed mischief-maker.

Named by the Guardian as one of the top female adventurers of our time, she’s the UK ambassador for Girl Guiding and has run, swum and cycled over 20,000 miles across the globe.

Find out more about Anna here annamcnuff.com 

Or follow her on Facebook @amcnuff, Instagram or Twitter @annamcnuff

Where can you buy the book?

Shop online at Amazon 

In Search of Sisu

By Geordie Stewart

Adventure Book In search of Sisu

About the book

‘At the age of 22, Geordie Stewart became the youngest Briton to climb the Seven Summits – the highest mountain on every continent.

Aged 17, he had read an adventure book about Everest and, despite no climbing experience, became obsessed with achieving this ambition. Four years later, despite turning around 150 m from the summit on his first attempt, he stood on top of the world.

The book offers a raw, emotive and passionate insight into the complexity of teenage vulnerabilities. The real aim in those seven mountains was not climbing glory or breaking records but rather a path to contentment.’

In Search of Sisu reveals Geordie’s transition from a self-doubting teenager battling an all-encompassing eating disorder to a young man who had the belief to realise his dreams.’

About the adventurer

Outdoor Adventurer Geordie Stewart
Happy in the mountains Geordie Stewart

Geordie Stewart is an author, adventurer and former soldier.

He is the only person to have climbed the Seven Summits – the highest mountain on every continent – and cycled around the world.

You can find more at geordiestewart.co.uk or follow his adventures on Instagram @geordie_stewart/

Where can you buy the book?

Shop online at Amazon

Unbound

A Story of Snow and Self-Discovery

By Steph Jagger

Outdoor Adventure Book Unbound

About the book

A young woman follows winter across five continents on a physical and spiritual journey that tests her body and soul, in this transformation memoir that speaks to the adventurousness in all of us.

What hiking was for Cheryl Strayed, skiing became for Steph: a crucible in which to crack open her life and get to the very centre of herself. But she would have to break herself down—first physically, then emotionally—before she could start to rebuild.

Electrifying, heartfelt, and full of humour, UNBOUND is Steph’s story—an odyssey of courage and self-discovery that, like Wild and Eat, Pray, Love, will inspire readers to remove their own restraining devices and pursue the life they are meant to lead.

About the adventurer

Outdoor Adventure Book Steph Jagger
World record smasher Steph Jagger

Steph Jagger is an author, speaker, coach, and world record smasher who happens to dabble in alchemy and energy. Her first book was released by Harper Collins in 2017 and details her awe-inspiring journey around the world on skis.

She is currently writing a second memoir due out in Spring 2021.

Find out more about Steph at stephjagger.com or on Instagram @stephjagger

Where can you buy the book?

Shop online at Amazon 

Mountain Man

446 Mountains, Six Months, One record-breaking adventure

By James Forrest

Adventure Book Mountain Man

About the book

Nicknamed ‘Mountain Man’ by the Sunday Telegraph, James Forrest is the record-breaking adventurer who climbed every mountain in England and Wales in just six months the fastest ever time.

Solo and unsupported, he walked over 1,000 miles and ascended five times the height of Everest during his 446-peak challenge. And he did it all on his days off from work, proving it is possible to integrate an epic adventure into your everyday life.

Winner of Book of the Year in the 2019 Great Outdoors Magazine’s reader awards, Mountain Man recounts collapsing tents and horrific storms to near-fatal mountaineering mishaps: James endured his fair share of hardship out in the hills.

But the good times far outweighed the bad. He slept wild under the stars, met eccentric locals, and exchanged the 21st-century social media bubble for a simpler, more peaceful existence.

What did he learn along the way? That life is more fulfilling when you switch off your phone and climb a mountain.

About the adventurer

James Forrest in tent Outdoor adventure books
Mountain Man himself, James Forrest

James Forrest is a former newspaper reporter turned adventure writer. He writes regularly for outdoor magazines including Trail, County Walking and The Great Outdoors and has been published in The Guardian, Sunday Telegraph and Independent.

He is a prolific peak-bagger, having spent the last three years climbing 1,001 mountains across England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Find out more at jamesmforrest.co.uk or follow James on Twitter @jamesmforrest, Instagram or Facebook @jamesmichaelforrest

Where can you buy the book?

Buy the book from Amazon or contact James directly.

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Outdoor adventure books

Ignore the Fear

By Fiona Quinn

Ignore the fear - adventure book

About the book

No one had ever attempted it before.

Yet as a complete beginner, and a terrified one at that, in April 2018 Fiona Quinn set out to see if she could stand up paddleboard up the west coast of Britain, 800 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats (LEJOG).

Having walked and cycled LEJOG the year before, something inexplicably compelled her to see if she could turn her previous adventures into a length of Britain triathlon and set three new world records.

Along the way, Fiona was joined by dolphins, paddled 40 miles across the Irish Sea, and battled past whirlpools. This inspiring and gripping account shows that no matter what the odds if you dare to start before you’re ready and keep believing in yourself, anything is possible.

About the adventurer

Fiona Quinn author of Ignore the fear book
Fiona Quinn paddling over to Lundy Island

Fiona Quinn is a keynote speaker, endurance adventurer and entrepreneur.

Sharing stories with everyone from school children to business executives, she enthusiastically invites you to change your view of what’s possible.

Find more about Fiona at fionalquinn.com or on Instagram @fionaLquinn

Where you can buy the book?

Buy online at Amazon or signed copies are available from Fiona’s website.

The Last Hillwalker

A Sideways Look at Forty years in Britain’s Mountains

By John D Burns

The Last Hill Walker - Adventure Book

About the book

Beginning with his first tentative steps into the outdoors as a schoolboy in the Lake District this book follows the author’s growing passion for the outdoors. The book opens on a desperate ice climb on the North Face of Ben Nevis and then looks back over the years that put the author in that precarious place.

The following chapters chart an early walk up the spine of Britain and his exploration of the Highlands of Scotland, a place he came to love. Humour is never far away in the author’s travels.

John’s adventures and misadventures are bound to bring a smile to the face of anyone who has ever wandered on to a mountain and found themselves wondering why they are there.

About the adventurer

John Burns - Adventure Book
John Burns

John D Burns writes from his home in Inverness the capital of the Scottish Highlands. He is passionate about the outdoors and spends much of his time in remote bothies.

In recent years he has been a campaigner seeking a more sensitive approach to our wild places and the creatures that live there.

He has also published, Bothy Tales, a collection of tall stories from wild shelters and Sky Dance a comic novel which explores some serious issues about how we treat wild land.

Find out more about John at johndburns.com/

Where can you buy the book?

Available from Amazon or from Vertebrate Publishing (30% discount off)*

Swimming Wild in the Lake District

By Suzanna Cruickshank

Swimming wild in the Lake District book

About the book

Swimming Wild in the Lake District is the first dedicated guide to swimming in the Lake District covering the all larger lakes. The guide features stunning photographs, practical local information and advice for the first time wild swimmer.

The chapters cover each lake in detail with suggested locations and most importantly, where to get something to eat after! The book is the result of several years of research and shares Suzanna’s experiences as a swim guide.

About the adventurer

Suzanna Swims Outdoor adventure book

In 2006, Suzanna took a job in Cumbria on a whim and never looked back. She took up fell walking and it changed her life.

Now she combines her passion for the Lake District landscape with her love of swimming and shares it with others through her walk and swim guiding business.

Find out more about Suzanna’s guided walks + swims at suzannaswims.co.uk or follow her on Facebook – Suzanna Swims, Instagram or Twitter @suzannaswims 

Where can you buy the book?

Pre-order from Vertebrate Publishing (posted out from 2nd April – all being well)

Mind of a Survivor

By Megan Hine

Adventure book Mind of a Survivor

About the book

Faced with the toughest of conditions: bad weather; lack of food and being in the presence of predators, is the ultimate test of character and often the biggest challenge to overcome is in the mind.

In these situations, the human brain is simultaneously the greatest asset and biggest liability. Not everyone is suited to the great outdoors and when danger calls many aren’t as well-equipped to survive, no amount of top of the range kit will save you if you don’t have the right frame of mind.

Here Megan Hine examines the human ability and instinct for survival, showing us how others have developed the attitudes and attributes to thrive in the most dangerous situations, and how those same attitudes and attributes help them confront problems and obstacles at work and at home.

About the adventurer

Megan Hine outdoor adventurer
Megan in Romania

Megan is a Producer, survivalist and guide. Megan’s background in expedition leading, instructing and her extensive survival and ropes training allows her to consult and produce content for the biggest adventure shows on TV.

Her career has taken her all over the globe and seen her dropped into survival scenarios and guiding film crews and expeditions to some of the most remote and hostile environments.

Megan and her team offer bespoke private guiding and adventure/resilience training.

Find out more about Megan at meganhine.com or follow her on Instagram @Megan_hine 

Where can you buy the book?

Buy Megan’s book from Amazon

There is No Map in Hell

By Steve Birkinshaw

 Adventure book - There is no map in hell
About the book

The aim to complete a continuous circuit of all 214 Wainwright fells in the Lake District in the fastest possible time is the ultimate British ultramarathon.

In 2014, Steve attempted to break Joss Naylor’s record by completing two marathons and over 5,000 metres of ascent over the roughest Lake District terrain, every day for a week.

“There is no Map in Hell,” tells the story of Steve’s attempt as he fights through injuries, blisters and extreme fatigue.

Can he push through the pain as his body gradually deteriorates and what happens to him after the attempt?

About the adventurer

Steve Birkenshaw Adventuere
Steve running in the Lake District

Steve was an awkward child and did not fit in at school. He found his passion and happiness running in the fells of the Lake District.

He also found he had an ability to run long distance over the roughest terrain and after 20 years of building up his endurance attempted to break the record for completing the Wainwright fells.

When not running, Steve works as a hydrologist for Newcastle University. He is married to Emma and they have three children.

Read about Steve here or follow on Twitter @sjbirkinshaw and Instagram @steve.j.birkinshaw

Where can you buy the book?

Buy Steve’s book from Amazon

Another Peak

By Alex Stainforth

Another Peak Adventure book

About the book

Reaching the summit of Everest was always the dream, but after an avalanche stopped Alex the first time and an earthquake the second, he had to take a step back. But even as he climbed down, he couldn’t stop wondering – ‘What’s next?’

A restlessness in his bones, and a need to help make things better after the lives claimed in his two climbs, led Alex to his hardest mission yet: ClimbTheUK; to cycle, walk, run and kayak over 5,000 miles to the highest points of all 100 counties in the United Kingdom.

But a history of anxiety, depression and eating disorders rears its multiple heads once more, making this the hardest thing Alex has ever had to do. Finding himself alone too often, with only his thoughts for company, it becomes less of a fight of man and nature and more of man and mind.

About the adventurer

Alex Stainforth Peak Adventure book
Alex at the end of his UK challenge

Alex Staniforth is an adventurer, endurance athlete, inspirational speaker and charity ambassador from Cheshire.

He is the fastest known person to complete the UK county tops in 72 days following two attempts to climb Mount Everest, halted by the 2015 Nepal earthquake at just 18 years old.

He co-founded ‘Mind Over Mountains’, a charity to restore mental health through outdoor experiences and published his first book ‘Icefall’ in 2016.

Read more at www.alexstaniforth.com or follow Alex on Instagram @alexstaniforth_ , Twitter @alex_staniforth or Facebook @AlexAdversity

Where can you buy the book?

Buy Alex’s book from Amazon, Trigger or signed copies from Alex’s website.

 

I hope you found my list of outdoor adventure books inspiring. It’s obviously tough times in the UK at the moment so if you can share this post on your social media channels or with friends in WhatsApp groups that would be fantastic.

Take care, everyone 🙂

Have you read any of these adventure books yet? Let me know in the comments which book is your favourite (if you have one!)

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Outdoor adventure books
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