The 9 Best Books On Adventure

The other day I was asked if there is anything in life that I would rather do than go on an outdoor adventure. I didn’t know how to immediately respond. I went for a walk and thought long and hard about the question. Well, the fact is that real life responsibilities don’t permit me to go climbing mountains every day. So, what do I do to get that same awesome feeling and feel fully connected to an adventurous life?

The only thing that comes close to going on an outdoor adventure for me is reading about someone else’s. Below are the 9 greatest books on adventure. From climbing into the abyss on Everest to the story of one of history’s greatest Antarctic expeditions each of these books will pull you right into the action as if you were experiencing it for yourself.

The 9 Best Books on Adventure

  1. Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing
  2. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
  3. Klondike: The Last Great Gold Rush by Pierre Berton
  4. Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
  5. In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick
  6. The Kingdom by Clive Cussler
  7. The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Millard
  8. The Kon-Tiki Expedition: By Raft Across the South Seas by Thor Heyerdahl
  9. Wild by Cheryl Strayed


1) Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred LansingEndurance

Set in the year 1914, Endurance is one of history’s most extraordinary sea adventures. This book recounts the story of the famed explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton and his crew of 28 men on their attempt to cross the Antarctic Continent. It is a tale of incredible determination and highlights the human will to survive. Shackleton displays one of the greatest demonstrations of leadership of his time against the most impossible of odds.


2) A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

On his return back from living abroad in England, American Author Bill Bryson came up with the idea to hike the Appalachian Trail. The Appalachian Trail extends more than 2,200 miles long and starts in Springer Mountain, Georgia, and ends at Mount Katahdin in Maine. Through his use of history, comedy, and anecdotes, Bryson’s personal writing style makes you feel like you are on the actual trail along with him. A Walk in the Woods is perfect for any one who is thinking of doing the thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail.


3) Klondike: The Last Great Gold Rush by Pierre Berton

In 1896, gold was discovered in the Yukon Territory of Canada. Over the next couple of years, over 100,000 people from across the world descended on the Pacific Northwest in their own search for Klondike Gold. Author Pierre Berton brilliantly tells of their incredible journey though vast mountains and rushing rivers all while enduring arctic temperatures. Klondike is perfect for any one interested in Gold Rush history as well as learning about one of man’s greatest adventures.


4) Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

Mount Everest sits on top of the world at 29,029 feet. The brave few who attempt to conquer its summit face insurmountable odds, and the most inhospitable weather on the planet. On May 11th, 1996, author Jon Krakauer was attempting to climb Mount Everest when the weather at the summit turned unexpectedly and a massive storm closed in. The result was one of the worst mountaineering disasters of our time. Into Thin Air tells the story of the courageous climbers on the mountain that fateful day and those that they had to leave behind.


5) In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel PhilbrickIn_the_Heart_of_the_Sea_--_book_cover

Based on a true story, Nathaniel Philbrick recounts the tale of the whale ship Essex. In 1819, the whaling ship and its twenty-member crew left Nantucket Island for the South Pacific. On their journey, they encountered an aggressive sperm whale that sank their vessel. Forced to abandon ship and huddle together in three small boats for ninety days, In the Heart of the Sea is a tale of epic struggle and human survival, and a must read for every adventurer.


6) The Kingdom by Clive Cussler

There are few authors that can match Clive Cussler’s literary prowess. With over 50 titles to his name, Cussler’s ability to weave history, action, and adventure is unmatched. The Kingdom follows treasure hunters, Sam and Remi Fargo deep into the Himalayan mountains in Nepal as they look to solve an ancient mystery of monstrous proportions. It is filled with close calls, twists and turns, and as with any of the Clive Cussler novels you will be unable to put it down.


7) The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Millard

Following his defeat in the 1912 Presidential election, history’s most famous adventurer Theodore Roosevelt headed to Brazil to navigate the river in one of the most dangerous places on earth, the Amazon jungle. Roosevelt, his son Kermit, famous Brazilian explorer Candido Rondon, and crew faced treacherous waters, tribal attacks, deadly diseases, and murder along their route. The River of Doubt follows Roosevelt on his journey of nearly 1,000 miles in which he cements his legacy as a champion of exploration and the environment.


8) The Kon-Tiki Expedition: By Raft Across the South Seas by Thor Heyerdahl

Norwegian Explorer Thor Heyerdahl, believed that people from South America could have settled in Polynesia over 700 years ago. To prove that it was possible, in 1947, Heyerdahl and a crew of five sailed a wooden raft, named Kon Tiki, 4,340 miles from Peru to an island in the South Pacific. On their 101-day adventure, they battled sharks, ferocious storms, and strife among the group. The Kon-Tiki Expedition, written by Heyerdahl bodly tells the story of the Kon Tiki and the crew that managed its sails.


cam-cheryl-strayed-wild-book-cover9) Wild by Cheryl Strayed

The Pacific Coast Trail, one of America’s longest trails, is 2,663 miles in length and passes through 25 national forests, 7 national parks, and 3 U.S. states. Hiking the PCT is considered to be one of America’s great adventures. Author Cheryl Strayed, as a way to let go of and move on from her personal struggles decided to hike the Trail. Wild is a captivating novel, which shows how nature and adventure can heal and propel us to new heights in our lives.

I hope you enjoyed our Top 9 Best Books on Adventure. I look forward to one day reading about your great adventure!

If you would like to learn more about our adventures click HERE or if you have a favorite book on adventure we would love to hear about it just shoot me an email at

Happy Reading!


Jeff Bonaldi
Founder & CEO
The Explorer’s Passage

About Jeff Bonaldi

Jeff Bonaldi is the Founder and CEO of The Explorer’s Passage, a premier adventure travel company. His mission is to provide travelers with the opportunity to transform their lives and the planet through the power of adventure.

Learn more about Jeff’s story and his company HERE.

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