The best camping books

2 authors have picked their favorite books about camping and why they recommend each book.

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Try Not to Laugh Challenge Camping Joke Book

By Howling Moon Books, C.S. Adams,

Book cover of Try Not to Laugh Challenge Camping Joke Book: for Kids!

This is the book that’ll definitely get ‘em laughing. I like the idea of camping at home—in your living room or in your back yard—as well as in the wilderness. And this book is fun to bring along. Camping and nature-themed riddles, silly jokes, games, and lots of interactive laughs. Good for all ages, too.

Who am I?

I love playing with my kids. When my eldest was eight and we were sitting on the porch together he said, “On my last day of being playful, I want to play with you the whole day. I sure hope it’s on a Saturday.” My kids know that I turn most things into a game, that I’ll screech and stop for a tarantula on the road because it’s educational, that I'll get them to sing their quiz answers, and that I’ll sculpt a cake into almost anything for a school project. I believe learning should be fun, so we would drink lemonade out of measuring cups, guess how many hops from the bed to the closet, and have Whipped Cream Spray Wars every summer (outside, thank you). I also think families would spend more time together if they had a great collection of cool—and easy—stuff to do together. As a writer I’m creative, and never run out of fun ideas. Why not share them with the world?


I wrote...

Family Funbook

By Joni Hilton,

Book cover of Family Funbook

What is my book about?

I’ve always involved my four kids in short activities to get them to hurry along—they never wanted to miss “project time.” It was so fun that it grew until my friends begged me to compile my ideas into a book. Well, two books, actually (the other one is called Five Minute Miracles: 373 Quick Daily Projects for You and Your Kids to Share). If you want quality family time, and wish you had an easy manual of ideas, you have come to the right mom! These just use items you already have around the house, and you’ll love the laughs and closeness they’ll build. Oh—and definitely snap photos.

Be Prepared

By Vera Brosgol,

Book cover of Be Prepared

This humorous and heartfelt graphic memoir is about Vera going to a Russian summer camp—an opportunity to fit in with other kids, especially since the American girls from school go to summer camp. I love this story because wanting to fit in such a universal experience, yet Vera’s experience is unique in many ways. Plus, I love a good summer camp story. After begging her mom to let her go, Vera ends up hating camp, but she sticks it out, makes real friends, and learns so much about herself. 


Who am I?

Growing up, if I wasn’t good at something right away, I’d quit. I didn’t want to embarrass myself in front of others. Because of that, I never experienced how great it felt to overcome obstacles, to succeed at something hard—until I played football. Girls Who Persevere is an important topic to me because so often, girls are treated as if they’re inferior or incapable. It’s ingrained in them that they shouldn’t try certain things (like football!), and if they fail at first, it must mean they can’t do it. I think it’s important to see strong girls doing big things, even when they’re hard. These books show just that.


I wrote...

Play Like a Girl

By Misty Wilson, David Wilson (illustrator),

Book cover of Play Like a Girl

What is my book about?

Misty never shies away from a challenge, on or off the field. So when the boys tell her she can’t play football, there’s only one thing to do: join their team and show them what she’s got. But the training is rougher than she thought—and so are the other guys, who aren’t thrilled about having a girl on their team.

Middle school isn’t so easy, either. Misty wants to fit in with the popular kids, but they think a girl playing football is “weird.” Even her best friend doesn’t get it. Can Misty find a way to score points with her teammates, make new friends, and show everyone—including herself—what it means to play like a girl?

Live Camp Work

By Sharee Collier,

Book cover of Live Camp Work: How to Make Money While Living in an RV and Travel Full-Time, Plus 1000+ Employers Who Hire RVers

Finding a way to make money is the biggest hurdle to full-time travel. Most of our RVing friends have tried work camping at some point. It can be a great way to save money or stay in awesome places for extended periods of time, like national parks. In this book, Sharee shares what work camping is, how to find jobs, and 1000+ employers you can contact for work camping gigs. This is a great resource for anyone starting full-time life, but needs to save a little extra money each month by saving on camping fees.


Who am I?

In 2014, Alyssa Padgett convinced her husband Heath to take her to all 50 states for their honeymoon. Somehow he tricked her into doing it all in an RV. They’ve lived and traveled in an RV ever since. With her husband, Alyssa runs The RV Entrepreneur Podcast, a resource for anyone who wants to run a business while RVing.


I wrote...

A Beginner's Guide to Living in an RV: Everything I Wish I Knew Before Full-Time RVing Across America

By Alyssa Padgett,

Book cover of A Beginner's Guide to Living in an RV: Everything I Wish I Knew Before Full-Time RVing Across America

What is my book about?

Both aspirational and practical, Living the RV Life is your ultimate guide to living life on the road—for people of all ages looking to downsize, travel, or work on the go. Learn if life in a motor home is right for you, with insightful details on the experiences of full-time RV-ers, tips for how to choose an RV (how big? new or used?), model costs, sample routes and destinations, basic vehicle maintenance, legal and government considerations—and much more! Written in a light and an easy-to-understand style, Living the RV Life is your bible to living a mobile life.

Night of the Howling Dogs

By Graham Salisbury,

Book cover of Night of the Howling Dogs

What starts out as a camping trip in remote Halape for a boy scout troop from Hilo turns desperate when an earthquake hits and their camp is devastated by a tsunami. The boys are scattered, and it’s up to Dylan and his nemesis Louie to reunite the troop and get them to safety. Inspired by real events that I remember, this book is a survival story about friendship, leadership, and teamwork that keeps readers on the edge of their seats.


Who am I?

Growing up in a kanaka maoli—Native Hawaiian—family in Hawai’i, I hungered for stories centered around island kids and their authentic lived experiences. I scoured classrooms, libraries, and bookstores looking for stories that reflected my reality, but all I ever found were dusty collections of ancient legends, not books that appealed to my sense of wonder or adventure. It’s the reason I wrote the Niuhi Shark Saga trilogy and why I’m so excited to share this collection with you. These books are everything I always wanted to read as a child growing up in Hawai‘i—and more!


I wrote...

One Boy, No Water (The Niuhi Shark Saga)

By Lehua Parker,

Book cover of One Boy, No Water (The Niuhi Shark Saga)

What is my book about?

When you’re allergic to water, Hawai‘i isn’t always paradise.

I’m Zader Kaonakai Westin. One drop of water on my skin burns like lava. Uncle Kahana knows more than he says about my water allergy and why I crave raw meat. But I don’t care about secrets. I just want to be a surfing star like my brother Jay instead of the Blalah’s favorite punching bag at Lauele Intermediate. After a shark scare, Jay quits surfing, but surfing’s like breathing to Jay. I have to help my brother get back in the ocean or he’ll go crazy. Staying out of the water seems safer, but Niuhi aren’t like regular sharks. When Niuhi are around, safety is an illusion, and everyone knows it’s bump first, then bite.

Ellie Dwyer's Great Escape

By Diane Winger,

Book cover of Ellie Dwyer's Great Escape

This is one of the few novels I’ve read that perfectly depicts RV life! The main character Ellie ends up living in her car after a hurricane destroys her home. While she’s camping in the back of her car, she quickly becomes interested and maybe a tad jealous at all these people happily camping in their RVs where they have stoves and heaters and real beds.


This easy weekend read is short and sweet (and the first book in a series, if you get hooked). In addition to sharing Ellie’s transition into buying and living in her first RV, there are a few great insights for newbie RVers too. If nonfiction isn’t your thing, this is definitely the best fiction book on RV life that I’ve come across.


Who am I?

In 2014, Alyssa Padgett convinced her husband Heath to take her to all 50 states for their honeymoon. Somehow he tricked her into doing it all in an RV. They’ve lived and traveled in an RV ever since. With her husband, Alyssa runs The RV Entrepreneur Podcast, a resource for anyone who wants to run a business while RVing.


I wrote...

A Beginner's Guide to Living in an RV: Everything I Wish I Knew Before Full-Time RVing Across America

By Alyssa Padgett,

Book cover of A Beginner's Guide to Living in an RV: Everything I Wish I Knew Before Full-Time RVing Across America

What is my book about?

Both aspirational and practical, Living the RV Life is your ultimate guide to living life on the road—for people of all ages looking to downsize, travel, or work on the go. Learn if life in a motor home is right for you, with insightful details on the experiences of full-time RV-ers, tips for how to choose an RV (how big? new or used?), model costs, sample routes and destinations, basic vehicle maintenance, legal and government considerations—and much more! Written in a light and an easy-to-understand style, Living the RV Life is your bible to living a mobile life.

Ultimate Road Trips Australia

By Lee Atkinson,

Book cover of Ultimate Road Trips Australia

Australians love a road-trip – the longer, the better. This book, by one of Australia’s top driving holiday experts, is jam-packed with information and advice to make yours as easy as possible. Driving is definitely the best way to see our vast continent, and the route maps and distance lists are hugely useful. It’s a great resource on where to stay – everything from swank hotels to camping spots – and what to do. Want to know the best time of year to visit a certain place? That’s covered too.


Who am I?

As a full-time travel writer for 30 years, I’ve travelled all over Australia and am still constantly surprised and thrilled by new places. Ask me what my favourite place is, and it’s impossible to choose! From the grandeur of Western Australia’s Kimberley and the red ochre colours of the Outback to the deep blue of the oceans and lush rainforests...I love it all and I love sharing my discoveries – both in cities and on the long and winding roads – with readers. When I’m not travelling or writing about it, I’m usually planning the next trip!


I wrote...

Frommer's Australia

By Lee Mylne,

Book cover of Frommer's Australia

What is my book about?

Find the Australia of your dreams – scope out Sydney’s best surf beaches, find the top laneway cafes and street art scenes in arty Melbourne, discover the best places to come face-to-face with Australia’s unique wildlife, and the most colourful underwater playgrounds on the Great Barrier Reef. Learn why Indigenous experiences are the key to unlocking Australia’s reality. Then there are the hotels, restaurants and unmissable attractions…and I’ve visited them all.

Updated every year (until the pandemic temporarily interrupted travel plans), this guide distills the best of Australia’s capital cities and their surrounds. The Frommer’s format is tried and tested, honest and opinionated and designed to appeal to all budgets.

Struck

By Rachel Langley,

Book cover of Struck

This story was interesting in the way that the author had two main characters who were twins with widely different roles. With one taking the role of the chosen one and the other being in a place to save her, this was an intense rollercoaster ride from beginning to end. Not to mention the worldbuilding, traveling through lightning, was a very unique idea that amped up the suspense. 


Who am I?

I’m a writer of all genres that’s found a lot of love, particularly in fantasy and thrillers. My love for epic fantasies first began when I was young, and like all young readers, was introduced to Harry Potter and the Magic Tree House series. The idea of being whisked away to a magical world captivated me, and so, I started to create my own stories to keep that magic alive. 


I wrote...

The Council

By Kayla Krantz,

Book cover of The Council

What is my book about?

The Council is the governing Coven over the Land of Five, a region entirely inhabited—and split apart—by witches with varying powers. Lilith Lace, a witch thought to be born powerless, happily resides in Ignis, the Coven of Fire, until she suddenly develops telekinesis, an ability only seen in some witches born in Mentis, the Coven of the Mind. She's terrified of it, unsure who she can trust. Her best friends, Helena and Clio, are hot and cold about what she can do, leaving Lilith even more unsure about her future.

At her Arcane Ceremony, the truth comes out. When the Council learns what she can do, she’s taken under their wing and is finally told the truth—everything she’s learned about the Land of Five, herself included, have been nothing but lies.

Yes, Let's

By Galen Goodwin Longstreth, Maris Wicks,

Book cover of Yes, Let's

I love this book because it basically shows what a perfect outdoor day looks like, and inspires ideas for things to do. This book follows a family as they drive out to the country to go on a hike. The illustrations do a great job of adding to the text, as we see everyone in the family having their own little stories throughout the book.


Who am I?

I’m the kind of person who can stare at a leaf and be mesmerized by its colours and textures. As an author, illustrator, and photographer I am constantly inspired by nature, and through my work I hope that I can inspire others to find beauty in the outdoors. As a father, my favourite moments with my kids are when we are outside looking under rocks, following a ladybug, climbing trees, or trying to find the best stick. I love seeing how other authors share their passion, and this list shows some of the many ways that we can appreciate nature and all that’s in it.


I wrote...

My Forest Is Green

By Darren Lebeuf, Ashley Barron (illustrator),

Book cover of My Forest Is Green

What is my book about?

With art supplies in tow, a young boy explores the urban forest near his home, then interprets what he sees with his art. The boy is a keen observer who uses poetic, rhythmic language to describe the diversity he finds through all four seasons. His forest is both “fluffy” and “prickly,” “dense” and “sparse,” “crispy” and “soft.” It's also “scattered and soggy, and spotted and foggy.” His forest is made up of many colors — but he decides that “mostly it's green.” Each aspect of the forest inspires the boy to create a different kind of art: charcoal rubbing, rock art, photography, sponge painting, snow sculpture, cut-paper collage. To this artist, there's always something new to discover, and to capture!

Poppleton in Spring

By Cynthia Rylant, Mark Teague (illustrator),

Book cover of Poppleton in Spring

Rylant is the true maestro of early readers, with her trademark blend of kid-friendly adventure, childhood truth, and humor. It’s hard to pick a favorite from her many offerings, but the Poppleton books—about an independent-minded pig with lots of plans—stand out for their appealing silliness and the bright, energetic pictures by Teague.  In this book, Poppleton embarks on a spring-cleaning project to clear out his overcrowded house but ends up finding a host of new treasures at the home of his llama friend, Cherry Sue. He has other schemes for enjoying the springtime—maybe he’ll go for a bike ride or camp out under the stars—but with Poppleton, you never know how these adventures will end up.


Who am I?

I’m the author of nearly thirty books for children, ranging from board books to young adult novels. This list combines two of my great loves: animals and early readers. I love animals because they are funny, amazing, and mysterious, and they have brought me so much joy throughout my life. I love early readers because they are small books about big feelings—big problems, big dramas, big adventures. The words may be simple, but there is nothing simple about the emotions in these stories. For beginning readers, these first, short chapter books are the gateway to a lifetime of literary pleasures. Below are a few of my favorites, old and new. 


I wrote...

The Miniature World of Marvin & James

By Elise Broach, Kelly Murphy (illustrator),

Book cover of The Miniature World of Marvin & James

What is my book about?

My early reader series is based on the characters in my middle-grade mystery, Masterpiece, about a beetle named Marvin and a boy named James. In the first book, the two best friends must endure a separation, as James leaves on vacation and Marvin is left behind, lonely and bored. Fortunately, Marvin’s cousin Elaine is bursting with ideas for adventure. Together, they explore an electric pencil sharpener, which seems like an excellent place to have some fun... until, suddenly, it’s not. With a pencil blocking the hole, will Marvin and Elaine make it out alive?  And will Marvin ever be reunited with James?

Hilda and the Black Hound

By Luke Pearson,

Book cover of Hilda and the Black Hound: Hilda Book 4

I wish I’d known someone like Hilda as a child. Heck, I wish I’d been Hilda! She’s adventurous, she’s kind, she’s unafraid to right wrongs. She makes mistakes – how else is one to learn and grow? – but her heart is true, and she admits her errors and becomes an even better version of herself. This book is great for making you see the magical potential in truly mundane things (like the space beneath your sofa or behind your bookshelf!). The story is beautifully illustrated. I never want to leave Hilda’s world, and I’m always eager to return.


Who am I?

In my opinion, a good adventure story does two things at once: it compels you to turn pages, while, paradoxically, also enticing you to get off the couch and go out into the beautiful, magical world, pregnant with unlimited possibilities, right outside your door, just waiting for you to notice it. I’ve hitchhiked, I’ve been lost in the jungle, I’ve sailed, I’ve run whitewater rivers, and I’ve written and drawn New Yorker cartoons and picture books. I hope these books are as hard for you to put down as they were for me, and when you do put ‘em down, it’s only to throw on your rucksack and head out in search of adventure!


I wrote...

Red Scare: A Graphic Novel

By Liam Francis Walsh,

Book cover of Red Scare: A Graphic Novel

What is my book about?

Peggy is scared: She's struggling to recover from polio and needs crutches to walk, and she and her neighbors are worried about the rumors of Communist spies doing bad things. On top of all that, Peggy has a hard time at school and gets taunted by her classmates. When she finds a mysterious artifact that gives her the ability to fly, she thinks it's the solution to all her problems. But if Peggy wants to keep it, she'll have to overcome bullies, outsmart FBI agents, and escape from some very strange spies!

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