For the women – young and old – in your life who love reading and being inspired to plan their next adventure, here are a few books that I’d recommend. By no means an exhaustive list, I first sought out books by Canadian female adventurers; alas, this turned out to be too limiting so I broadened my search and reading list to incorporate any female adventurers and even adventurer couples.
Do you have any recommendations? I’m always looking for my next read…share in the comments!
Gold Rush: Reliving the Klondike Adventure in Canada’s North, Ian & Sally Wilson
I first picked up Gold Rush by accident…and was hooked! Although Ian is the primary author with his first person account, it’s safe to say Sally’s voice and experiences come through and you will simply be drawn into their story of following the old gold rush route through British Columbia. They horseback on the Stikine Trail, hike the Chilkoot trail, pan for gold over the winter in the Yukon and build a raft to float down the Yukon River. And, yes, Sally does it all!
FYI: I now own a gold pan and hope to go gold panning next summer as a direct result of reading this book. I have the gooooold fever!
Arctic Adventures: Exploring Canada’s North by Canoe and Dog Team, Ian & Sally Wilson
Prior to their Gold Rush trip, this amazing Canadian couple decided to travel for one year in the arctic by canoe and dog sled team. Not having any experience with dog sleds (in fact, Sally was afraid of dogs) wasn’t worth dwelling on for these two: they’d learn. I love their confidence in themselves and the trust they have with each other.
Rowboat in a Hurricane: My Amazing Journey Across the Changing Atlantic Ocean, Julie Angus
Julie Angus was the first woman to row the 10,000 km across the Atlantic Ocean, from mainland to mainland. A scientist originally, Julie has joined her husband Colin in the adventurer lifestyle and has written this and another book, “Rowed Trip: From Scotland to Syrian by Oar”. I’m not really sure I would enjoy living in that teeny-tiny cabin (with my husband!) for that length of time but whatever you think of their means of travel, the experience of living at sea will likely make you want to try it!
Check out their website at www.angusadventures.com
All that Glitters: A Climber’s Journey Through Addiction and Depression, Margo Talbot
A different adventuring account than above, Margo is brutally honest in how ice climbing saved her life by helping her escape from drug dealing and crime. The mountains provided her healing and she shows us her courage as she struggles to escape that past or, at least, come to terms with it.
Her website: www.margotalbot.com
How to Climb Mont Blanc in a Skirt: A Handbook for the Lady Adventurer, Mick Conefrey
Ok, ok…this one is written by a man. Although that is too bad let’s not focus on that for a minute (and I beg your forgiveness of sneaking this one in!). This “handbook” is a wonderful read and he actually wrote it in response to his other handbook: The Adventurer’s Handbook. While working on that one, he realized there were very, very few accounts of female adventurers and he decided to change that. A fun, witty, enjoyable read that can be flipped through or read front-to-back, How to Climb Mont Blanc will open your eyes to the women who came before you and broke down those barriers.
Miles From Nowhere: A Round-the-World Bicycle Adventure, Barbara Savage
She had me chuckling pretty early on. Barbara’s writing is entertaining and engaging and you will be planning a cycle tour by the end of this read! Travelling with her husband through 25 countries, covering 37,000 km, over a two year period, the couple experienced all that the road has to offer. The horrific twist in this story is that, as this book went to press, Barbara succumbed to head injuries she received in a cycling accident near her home in California.
Mountaineer Books is a great place to search for your next adventure book: www.mountaineersbooks.org
I Promise Not To Suffer: A Fool for Love Hikes the Pacific Crest Trail, Gail Storey
I had to include at least ONE book about the PCT! I’ve read a few accounts now (both male and female authors) and I found Gail’s writing to be the best. Her account is about hiking and about the PCT. You learn about what gear her and her husband (an ultra lighter) choose, how she’s feeling and her experiences, and about the trail itself. Obviously, I found myself transported back to the various areas she writes of and it touched a particularly personal note for me but I think just about anyone can experience the PCT from their couch. And maybe inspire you to plan a trek (partial or thru)?
Her website: www.gailstorey.com
Why not Wild?
1) It’s been done and recommended…and you’ve probably read it.
2) It’s not really about hiking or the PCT – it’s her journey of self-discovery. I wanted to recommend more active/adventure books!