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Inspiring Books About Women in the Wild

Updated: Sep 8, 2020

I’m going on a PNW road trip soon, and I’m super excited to explore new trails along the way! Although I have a long way to go, I’ve very slowly started consolidating gear and packing. One thing I never travel without is a good book, so I spent some time browsing my bookshelf today. As I was searching through the familiar titles, four of my all-time favorite reads that feature inspirational outdoor women stood out to me.

If you haven't read these books yet, consider squeezing them into your summer reading!



By: Cheryl Strayed

If you haven’t read Wild yet, put it on the top of your list! In this memoir, Cheryl Strayed pulls readers in to relive the highs and lows of her life. After suffering through the loss of a loved one and the end of her marriage, she finds herself seeking an experience to transform her current life. She has nothing left to lose when she decides to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mohave desert all the way to Oregon.

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

By: Ben Montgomery

Emma Gatewood, known by many as Grandma Gatewood, was the first woman to hike the Appalachian Trail alone. Now, she didn’t just hike the entire 2,175 miles once, she completed the thru-hike three times. If that’s not enough to blow your mind, she bagged all of those miles while over the age of 65! Her story extends far beyond her thru-hiking accomplishments to leave readers inspired to take on the world.

Climbing Free: My Life in the Vertical World

By: Lynn Hill

Lynn Hill is a remarkable big wall climber and arguably the best climber in history. She was the first person in history to climb The Nose on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. You don’t have to be a climber to appreciate the sheer bravery and determination of this extraordinary athlete!

Becoming Odyssa: Adventures on the Appalachian Trail

By: Jennifer Pharr Davis

Have you ever asked yourself, “What am I going to do with my life?”

*Raises Hand*

Jennifer asked herself the same question after she completed her college degree. Underprepared but uncontrollably drawn to the adventurous spirit of the Appalachian Trail, she set out on foot to complete the thru-hike from Georgia to Maine! With every mile, she learns something new as she hikes her way toward becoming a graduate of the trail.


I’m still on the hunt for a good read to bring with me on my road trip. Help me out, and share your favorite books in the comments!

Emily is a freelance travel and outdoor recreation writer for hire. Samples of her published work can be found at

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