Jul 3, 2012 at 9:35 pm #1291645
To my fellow lady backpackers: I'm always looking for good books about wilderness trips done by and written by women – especially solo trips (since I always go solo; I don't have any friends who are into hiking or backpacking). Any suggestions? I have a few I really enjoyed reading: Waling Home by Kelly Winters (about her hike of the AT); Canyon Solitude by Patricia McCairen (about her solo raft trip through the Grand Canyon); Deep Water Passage by Ann Linnea (about her trip kayaking the entire coastline of Lake Superior); Solo: On Her Own Adventure (an anthology edited by Susan Fox Rogers of various outdoor trips by women); and Going Alone: Women's Adventures in the Wilderness (another anthology edited by Susan Fox Rogers).Jul 3, 2012 at 11:47 pm #1892129
@butukiLocale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Men read books by women, too. May I suggest a few?
One of my all time favorite books:
"This Cold Heaven: Seven Years in Greenland" by Gretel Ehrlich
"The Solace of Open Spaces" by Gretel Ehrlich
"Terra Incognita: Travels in Antarctica" by Sara Wheeler
"Eating Stone: Imagination and the Loss of the Wild" by Ellen Meloy
"Miles from Nowhere: A Round the World Bicycle Adventure" by Barbara Savage
"The Wind In My Wheels: Travel Tales from the Saddle" by Josie Dew (not wilderness, but great bicycle travel reading (don't read her book about Japan… she lied about a huge portion of her experiences here, and made up a lot of what she thinks the Japanese think like)
"Paddling My Own Canoe" by Audrey SutherlandJul 4, 2012 at 8:59 am #1892182
@bookLocale: Northern California
Wild by Cheryl Strayed is very popular right now. The author solo hikes parts of the pct but it's really a memoir/redemption story.Jul 4, 2012 at 3:04 pm #1892268
Hi Jeffrey – I'm sorry – I didn't mean to exclude the men. My apologies. I've read "The Solace of Open Spaces" and "Terra Incognita". Thank you for the other suggestions – I will definitely check them out.
I've just finished reading "Wild." Overall, it's a very good book that shows the impact that wilderness can have on one's spirit. Not a whole lot of detail about the trail, but there were parts of the book I could relate to (the parts about the author's mother dying, for example).Jul 4, 2012 at 7:42 pm #1892306
@bookLocale: Northern California
Hi Kathy: yeah, I'm a bit tepid about "Wild" too.
Arlene Blum's "Annapurna" on the other hand is spectacular. Plus, she's a Bay Area native!(Gotta love the locals.) "Breaking Trail" is good too.
"Now Go Home" by Anna Maria Spagna is a real treasure. Difficult to find but worth the effort. Anna worked trail crew in the Pacific Northwest (Washington State). This is the kind of real world, trail oriented writing that I sense you might like.
I'll look into your recommendations. Don't stop this thread!Jul 5, 2012 at 1:53 pm #1892448
@acrosomeLocale: Back in the Front Range
Erin McKittrick's book about her and Hig's trek from Seattle to the Aleutians?Jul 6, 2012 at 11:19 pm #1892760
Hi Jeffrey – Oh, yeah Arlene Blum's "Annapurna" is fantastic! I've also gotten hooked on Nevada Barr's Anna Pigeon series, featuring a law-enforcement ranger named Anna Pigeon who is called in to solve various murders in different national parks. Barr, herself, was a park ranger. Two of her novels are set in Michigan's Isle Royale National Park: "A Superior Death" and "Winter Study". Enjoyable reads.
I also enjoyed Anne LaBastille's "Woodswoman" series of books, detailing her life in the Adirondack wilderness.Jul 6, 2012 at 11:25 pm #1892762
Re: Blum's "Annapurna." I have the hardcover edition which has color photographs. It's interesting to look at some of the gear and clothing they used back then. Several of the women wore wool knickers and flannel shirts. Interesting. I also have her autobiography "Breaking Trail" which is also very good.
A bit off-topic here, but speaking of older gear, I still have my copy of William Kemsley's "Backpacking Equipment Buyer's Guide", copyright 1977. It's really interesting to look back at all those old-sytle tents, packs, etc., and to see what was considered high-tech back then.Jul 7, 2012 at 12:32 am #1892766
I can recommend yet another book: "Savage Summit: The Life and Death of the First Women of K2" by Jennifer Jordan. It gives biographies of the women who have summitted K2. Very good read.Jul 7, 2012 at 9:01 am #1892815
@wandering_bobLocale: Oregon, USA
Anything by Cindy Ross- she has written 6 books about her backpacking adventures over the year, both alone, with her husband, and later with their children.
"A Womans' Journey" – her AT thru-hike
"Journey on the Crest" – her 2 year PCT hike
"Scraping Heaven" – their CDT hike
"Kids in the Wild"
"A Hiker's Companion"
"Sex in a Tent" by Michelle Waitzman"
"We're in the Mountains, Not Over the Hill" by Susan Alcorn
"My Journey to Freedom and Ultralight Backpacking" by Carol ("Brawny") Wellman
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