The best books for women who love the outdoors

Who am I?

Jennifer Pharr Davis has covered over 14,000 miles - and explored trails on six different continents - and in all fifty states. In 2011 she set a record on the Appalachian Trail by covering 2,190 mile miles in 46 days (an average of 47 miles per day). Jennifer is a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year and a member of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition.


I wrote...

Becoming Odyssa: Adventures on the Appalachian Trail

By Jennifer Pharr Davis,

Book cover of Becoming Odyssa: Adventures on the Appalachian Trail

What is my book about?

After graduating from college, Jennifer isn't sure what she wants to do with her life. Through inexperienced and unprepared, she feels drawn to the Appalachian Trail and sets out along on the long-distance footpath that stretches 2, 175 miles from Georgia to Maine. The next five months are the most physically and emotionally challenging of her life--coping with blisters and aching shoulders, hiking through endless torrents of rain and a blizzard, facing unwanted company and encountering tragedy. The trail becomes a modern day Odyssey that tests Jennifer's faith in God, humanity and herself. But even at her lowest points, it provides enduring friendships, unexpected laughter, and the gift of self-discovery. With every step she takes, Jennifer transitions from an over-confident college graduate to a student of the trail. As she travels along the ridges of the ancient mountain chain, she realizes that she isn't walking through nature--she realizes she is part of nature. And she learns that the Appalachian Trails is more than a 2,175 mile hike: it is a journey that will change a person forever.

The books I picked & why

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Grandma Gatewood's Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail

By Ben Montgomery,

Book cover of Grandma Gatewood's Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail

Why this book?

Grandma Gatewood is the first woman to hike the entire Appalachian Trail alone. She accomplished the feat at age 67 and then went on to hike the trail another two times! But when you read this book you realize that she is a woman of endurance in more ways than one. A very inspiring read.


Untamed: The Wildest Woman in America and the Fight for Cumberland Island

By Will Harlan,

Book cover of Untamed: The Wildest Woman in America and the Fight for Cumberland Island

Why this book?

Carol Ruckdeschel is one of the foremost naturalists of our time. The majority of her learning did not come from books or classrooms but from tens of thousands of hours spent outdoors studying animals and their environment. A book that leaves you feeling more wild.


Gorge: My Journey Up Kilimanjaro at 300 Pounds

By Kara Richardson Whitely,

Book cover of Gorge: My Journey Up Kilimanjaro at 300 Pounds

Why this book?

Hikers come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. Kara proves that the summit does not belong to people who look like Patagonia models, but to anyone who is willing to carry their weight and offload their burdens. An inspiring read for anyone who wants to climb Kilimanjaro and individuals who have dealt with eating disorders.


A Beautiful Work In Progress

By Mirna Valerio,

Book cover of A Beautiful Work In Progress

Why this book?

The author of this book is an amazing combination of personable and empowering. She takes readers on her journey from a city kid growing up in NYC to a trail runner who explores the most scenic trails in the US. When you are finish you will feel like you have a new friend and some new inspiration.


Mud, Rocks, Blazes: Letting Go on the Appalachian Trail Heather Anderson

By Heather Anderson,

Book cover of Mud, Rocks, Blazes: Letting Go on the Appalachian Trail Heather Anderson

Why this book?

This is the story of Heather’s Fastest Known Time on the Appalachian Trail, but it is also the story of a woman learning to dig deeper and find confidence and contentment off the trail. It will make you realize that you have reserves that you have not yet tapped.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in hiking, running, and Georgia (USA)?

5,888 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about hiking, running, and Georgia (USA).

Hiking Explore 28 books about hiking
Running Explore 14 books about running
Georgia (USA) Explore 49 books about Georgia (USA)

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like A Woman of No Importance, Annapurna, and The Great Alone if you like this list.