The best real-life stories to inspire your next camping adventure

Michelle Waitzman Author Of Sex in a Tent: A Wild Couple's Guide to Getting Naughty in Nature
By Michelle Waitzman

Who am I?

I was not a born camper. I was afraid of bugs, allergic to exercise, and rather attached to my bed. In fact, it was not until my late twenties that I began to see the appeal of heading into the woods and sleeping below a starry sky. Past boyfriends tried to convince me that a camping trip would be fun, but a fear of the unknown and a general idea that it would be difficult kept me from giving it a try. Once I discovered camping, there was no turning back. Sex in a Tent is my way of inspiring others who need a little nudge to get out the door.


I wrote...

Sex in a Tent: A Wild Couple's Guide to Getting Naughty in Nature

By Michelle Waitzman, Ann Miya (illustrator),

Book cover of Sex in a Tent: A Wild Couple's Guide to Getting Naughty in Nature

What is my book about?

Sex in a Tent tells you everything you need to know (but were too embarrassed to ask) about thoroughly enjoying the outdoors with a romantic partner. 

It features stories from outdoor lovers around the world, who share their adventures, mishaps, and advice. Author Michelle Waitzman covers every subject from introducing newcomers to the outdoors experience to preventing a wilderness shouting match, looking and smelling sexy without a shower, and supplying lots of inspirational ideas for couples who want to combine their love of the outdoors with their love lives. Sex in a Tent also dishes up recipes for delicious alfresco meals, and gives you the lowdown on some of the most romantic places in the world to pitch a tent.

The books I picked & why

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A Blistered Kind of Love: One Couple's Trial by Trail

By Angela Ballard, Duffy Ballard,

Book cover of A Blistered Kind of Love: One Couple's Trial by Trail

Why this book?

Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail is a monumental undertaking for anyone—but trying to do it with your spouse takes it to another level. I love this memoir because it alternates perspective between husband and wife, revealing how two people can hike the same trail at the same time and experience the same things totally differently. I’ve often found that after a trip with my husband when we compare notes it can seem like we weren’t even on the same trip! It’s a great he-said-she-said tale of adventure.

A Blistered Kind of Love: One Couple's Trial by Trail

By Angela Ballard, Duffy Ballard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Blistered Kind of Love as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On a 2655 mile trek through some of the most rugged and beautiful scenery in America, a young couple from the suburbs discover nature, push their limits and test their commitment to one another.


A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

By Bill Bryson,

Book cover of A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

Why this book?

Bill Bryson is best known for his humorous travel stories, so when he teams up with an old buddy to take on the Appalachian Trail with almost no outdoors experience between them, you know it’s going to be a bumpy and hilarious ride! I found it an inspirational tale, not because they rise to the occasion (they don’t really), but because it shows that you don’t have to be an outdoors expert to enjoy the wilderness and challenge yourself. It isn’t about finishing the journey, it’s about starting it. As someone who has been known to trip over tree roots and fall into slimy creeks, I could totally identify with the author and understand how rewarding it is to become a little less terrible at something.

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

By Bill Bryson,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked A Walk in the Woods as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the author of "Notes from a Small Island" and "The Lost Continent" comes this humorous report on his walk along the Appalachian Trail. The Trail covers 14 states and over 2000 miles, and stretches along the east coast of America from Maine in the north to Georgia in the south. It is famous for being the longest continuous footpath in the world. It snakes through some of the wildest and most specactular landscapes in America, as well as through some of its most poverty-stricken and primitive backwoods areas.


Touching the Void: The True Story of One Man's Miraculous Survival

By Joe Simpson,

Book cover of Touching the Void: The True Story of One Man's Miraculous Survival

Why this book?

Mountain climber Joe Simpson’s amazing tale of survival has to be one of the most intense and riveting adventure stories ever published. Here’s the thing—even though I knew he survived his ordeal (because he wrote the book), I couldn’t help being on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading it because it seems so impossible that this will end well for him. Simpson fell while hiking in the Andes mountains and his climbing partner was left with the impossible decision to cut the rope that attached them, leaving him behind. Simpson, with horrific injuries, had to gather strength and determination that most of us can’t imagine, just to survive. You can feel the biting cold and the searing pain of every moment of his ordeal. You might not want to go climbing after reading this, but you will certainly be inspired to enjoy your life and take nothing for granted.

Touching the Void: The True Story of One Man's Miraculous Survival

By Joe Simpson,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Touching the Void as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Extensive reading is essential for improving fluency
and there is a real need in the ELT classroom for motivating, contemporary
graded material that will instantly appeal to students

Based on the internationally acclaimed book by Joe Simpson, Touching
the Void is the compelling true story of a mountaineering
expedition which goes dreadfully wrong.



LEVEL 3 - LEVEL 4

BOOK ONLY

Perfect also for native English speaking children who are struggling
with their reading

Full colour photos and film stills bring story
to life and aid comprehension

Fact File section explores the making of the film, climbing Everest
and other related…


Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

By Cheryl Strayed,

Book cover of Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

Why this book?

Some women deal with grief and marriage breakdown by shopping too much or eating a lot of ice cream. Cheryl Strayed decided to hike from Mexico to Canada instead! Her memoir, Wild, became a bestseller because Cheryl is relatable and you really feel how hard this journey was, and how rewarding. I love her candid and revealing style that made me feel like I was taking every step by her side. If rugged armchair travel is your thing, you’ll enjoy this book. It’s a bit like Eat Pray Love, but more Hike Collapse Camp.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

By Cheryl Strayed,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked Wild as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an eleven-hundred-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe—and built her back up again.

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the…


How to Shit in the Woods

By Kathleen Meyer,

Book cover of How to Shit in the Woods

Why this book?

This book isn’t like the others on my list (it’s a how-to rather than a memoir), but I want to include it for a couple of reasons. First of all, if you want to have camping adventures you need to know some essentials about how things work in the wilderness, and Meyer broke the taboo around bodily functions and told campers, in plain and straightforward terms, how to do their business. The millions of newbie campers who bought the book, including me, are eternally grateful! Also, I have a personal soft spot for Meyer because I interviewed her for my book. I consider her something of a role model for being your true self, even when it’s not what others expect. And without the runaway success of her book, I’m not sure a publisher would have taken a chance on mine.

How to Shit in the Woods

By Kathleen Meyer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Shit in the Woods as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The definitive guide to eco-friendly outdoor defecation--fully revised with a new introduction by renowned author and environmental activist Bill McKibben.

More than thirty years since its first publication, Kathleen Meyer delivers an update to the beloved guide to relieving yourself responsibly. Meyer's delightfully shameless discussion of a once-secretive activity examines the environmental impact of too much crap (organic and otherwise) on our ever-shrinking wild outdoors.

With the rising popularity of hiking and off-the-grid backpacking as well as the current climate crisis, How to Shit in the Woods provides timely techniques for keeping trails, bushes, and wild waters clean and protected…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in hiking, grief, and mountaineering?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about hiking, grief, and mountaineering.

Hiking Explore 31 books about hiking
Grief Explore 57 books about grief
Mountaineering Explore 26 books about mountaineering

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like A Year in Provence, Into the Wild, and The Glass Castle if you like this list.