ReadersMagnet compiled a list of books that will make us long for the great outdoors.

As we enter the New Year, many are filled with excitement over the possibility of finally ending this pandemic. The goal of finally being able to enjoy the outside world seems yet distant still, but for now, these five books should remind us of the beauty and wonder of the great outdoors.

Surviving the Great Outdoors by Brendan Leonard

Brendan Leonard is from Denver, Colorado. He is a columnist at The Outside, and his works have appeared in Runner’s World, National Geographic Adventure, Climbing, and Alpinist and on, and in dozens of other publications. In 2017, he published the book Surviving the Great Outdoors. It is an introduction to the Outdoors, with emphasis on teaching beginners basic tips and tricks. With over 400 strategies for engaging outdoors, including hiking, camping, mountain climbing, skiing, sledding, and even sailing, Leonard’s book is truly a must-read for Outdoor lovers. The book teaches not only practical skills such as bandaging, driving in the sand, or removing a tick from your skin, Leonard also shares navigational skills and how to read topographical maps. Reading Brendan Leonard’s Surviving the Great Outdoors will make you appreciate the outdoor life more.

World of Hunting and Fishing by Mike Honeycutt

When we think of the outdoors, we think of excursions. But real outdoor adventures like Mike Honeycutt think beyond the ordinary encounters. Mike Honeycutt is a hunter and a travel writer from South-Central Missouri. He is the author of the book Into the Wild, published in 2019. A year earlier, he released Mike Honeycutt’s World of Hunting and Fishing, a travelogue that features Mike’s extensive outdoor adventures. Mike’s travel experiences have taken him all over the world and across all seven continents. In this book, he shares his trips from the savannas of northern Cameroon to the jungles of southern Cameroon and from the mountains of the Rocky Mountains in the United States to a Himalayan tahr hunt in the mountains of New Zealand. Mike’s stories also feature his time with local villagers, communities and how beautiful it is to encounter different cultures, food, tradition, and way of life. More than the hunting of wild game, Mike’s travelogue reminds us that the truly great beauty of this life lies out in the wild.

The Sound of Mountain Water by Wallace Stegner

More than thirty years since its first publication, Wallace Stegner’s timeless narrative The Sound of the Moutain Water continues to inspire nature lovers, conservationists, and outdoor adventurers. Wallace Stegner is an American novelist, environmentalist, and historian with won the Pulitzer Prize in 1972 and the U.S. National Book Award in 197. The Sound of the Mountain Water is a collection of essays, letters, and speeches written and collected over a period of twenty-five years. It covers the post-World War II boom that saw the rise in settlement from Montana and Idaho to Utah and Nevada. Stegner chronicles the changes throughout the decades but at the same time pays homage to the serene and beauty of the Western landscape. The book is, first and foremost, a celebration of the great American outdoors.

The Spine of the Continent by Mary Ellen Hannibal

Published in 2012, Mary Ellen Hannibal’s The spine of the Continent is about climate change and how it is affecting the outdoors and the millions of plants and animals relying on a balanced climate to survive. It is also a book about saving the outdoors. In her book, Hannibal introduces us to one of the biggest conservation efforts ever to save biodiversities: the creation of a linked and expanding protected areas that cover from Yukon to Mexico and the entire length of North America. The spine continent is spearheaded by Michael Soule, the founder of conservation biology alongside E.O. Wilson and Paul Ehrlich. On the other hand, the book is not just a documentation of this huge undertaking but serves as an inspiration for all of us to preserve the beauty of the great outdoors.

The Not-so Great Outdoors by Madeline Kloepper

Because of the pandemic, travel restrictions and outdoor activities have been restricted since the early months of 2020. Many of us were forced to stay at home and watch as the world dealt with Covid-19. No more going to malls, restaurants, movies, and other public places. However, it also made us appreciate our nearby environment, those within our backyard or spots within our neighborhood, and the not-so-great outdoors (nearby rivers, woods, etc.). The Not-So-Great Outdoors by Madeline Kloepper is all about a reluctant camper who realizes that the beauty of the “not-so-great outdoors.” While joining her family for a summer camping, a grumpy urban kid soon discovers that nature’s simplicity can be grander than tall buildings, malls, and city life.