The best books for hikertrash and other vagabonds

The Books I Picked & Why

On the Road

By Jack Kerouac

On the Road

Why this book?

“I looked at the high cracked ceilings and really didn’t know who I was for about fifteen strange seconds. I wasn’t scared, I was just somebody else, some stranger, and my whole life was a haunted life, the life of a ghost…I was halfway across America, at the dividing line between the East of my youth and the West of my future, and maybe that’s why it happened right there and then that strange red afternoon.”

When I read these words set the book down and stared up at my own ceiling. Never before had I read someone captured the restlessness I felt. The need to push onward, to move, to find the self that was inside me somewhere. Jack Kerouac captures the vagabond impetus like no other.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Into the Wild

By Jon Krakauer

Into the Wild

Why this book?

Every vagabond feels the need to walk away from who they are and start again. Hikertrash know the need to find that new start in the wild. Krakauer captures this with his incredible profile of Chris McCandless who renames himself “Supertramp.” While Chris doesn’t walk the Pacific Crest Trail, he immerses himself into wild nature with an incredible willingness to discover depths of himself that few are willing to examine.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

The Unlikely Thru-Hiker: An Appalachian Trail Journey

By Derick Lugo

The Unlikely Thru-Hiker: An Appalachian Trail Journey

Why this book?

All aspiring hikertrash have to start somewhere and Derick relates this journey with great honesty and humor. I started my vagabond life on the Appalachian Trail a decade before Derick did, but I found myself laughing in commiseration with his escapades as he learned what it means to walk across the country. Unlikely captures not only the highlights of hikertrash life, but also the lows, the drudgery, and the beautiful camaraderie that forms between people on journeys. Whether you hike or wander a different path, these themes connect for us all.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

By Cheryl Strayed

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

Why this book?

Wild is the quintessential journey through grief and back to self. There are a handful of experiences that unite all humans and loss is one of these threads. Cheryl weaves her narrative of grief with the powerful magic of wandering in nature. Together they illustrate just how strong our connection to the Earth and each other is.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Eat Pray Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia

By Elizabeth Gilbert

Eat Pray Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia

Why this book?

What is more truly vagabond than packing up your life and traveling abroad for a year? Elizabeth dives deep into herself by going solo and immersing herself in three cultures. Hers is the perfect illustration of rejecting societal norms and her own internal demons to find the abundant life she wants.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Closely Related Book Lists

Distantly Related Book Lists

Random Book Lists