Best Outdoor Adventure Books For 2023 - Outdoors Magic

Outdoors Gear, Equipment, News, Reviews, Forums, Walking Routes and More at


Outdoor Features

Best Outdoor Adventure Books For 2023

Tales of daring-do, of adventures and misadventures, and explorations of cultures, landscapes and histories. Here are our favourite new outdoor and adventure books that are guaranteed to inspire...

Every outdoor adventurer has that one book, maybe two, that kick-started their passion and desire for exploration. Maybe it was something by one of the usual suspects, like Laurie Lee, Patrick Leigh Fermor, Dervla Murphy or Jack Kerouac, or maybe it was something more recent.

We’ve certainly been spoilt in the last five years or so with the amount of good outdoor and adventure books out there. A host of great authors have popped up, from the wild adventurers like Alastair Humphreys and Anna McNuff to the philosophers like Robert Macfarlane and Robert Moor. It seems to be a real burgeoning field, and we’re super glad that it is.

And they keep on coming. We’ve pulled together a list of some of our favourite releases from the last year or so, the outdoor books that we think would make excellent gifts for a family member or friend. Who knows, one of these might inspire them to undertake their own epic adventure – and perhaps to write about it as well. So without further ado, here are our favourite outdoor and adventure books for 2023…

Beyond Possible: One Soldier, Fourteen Peaks

By Nirmal Purja

“In the death zone, I came alive” writes Nirmal Purja, Nepal-born British-special-forces-Navy-officer-turned-superhuman-mountaineer. This book recounts Purja’s frankly insane stint of summiting the 14 “death zone” alpine peaks, aptly named for their extremely harsh, inevitably fatal conditions. The last guy to take on every single 8,000+ meter mountain on the planet took almost eight years to complete the challenge. That was the world record until Purja rocked up without much climbing experience and casually smashed the record to smithereens, summiting the deadly peaks in less than seven months. His account of the adventure is epic and full of tense situations from which his narrow escapes leave the reader pumping a fist in the air and waking up their partner in bed. Purja’s story has also been adapted into a Netflix Documentary.



Wanderers: A History Of Women Walking

By Kerri Andrews

A keen hill-walker and member of Mountaineering Scotland, Kerri Andrews is a lecturer and bona fide expert on women’s writing. With her debut book, however, she’s married her two passions together in the form of an exploration on ten women writers who, over the past three hundred years, have found walking essential to their practise and their sense of selves.

Including portraits and analyses of writers such as Elizabeth Carter, Nan Shepherd and Cheryl Strayed, this book offers a much-needed telling of women writers walking throughout history. With insights into Kerri’s own relationship with walking as well as her relationships with the writers themselves, this one’s a fascinating and insightful read.



Riding Out: A Journey Of Love, Loss And New Beginnings

By Simon Parker

‘Riding Out’ details travel journalist Simon Parker’s journey cycling 3427 miles around Britain after the loss of a close friend due to the pandemic. Whilst providing an honest portrait of the UK in a time of crisis, Parker also captures the healing spirit of long-distance adventures, the interesting characters one meets along the way, and the naturally glorious wonders of the British Isles.

Setting out from the northernmost point of Shetland with only a bike, a sleeping bag and stove; Parker takes you on a journey through the Scillies, Dover, the Scottish Highlands and beyond. If you like bikepacking or long-distance backpacking; you’re really gonna love this.



The Ship Beneath The Ice: The Discovery Of Shackleton’s Endurance

By Mensun Bound

Written by the Director of Exploration on the expeditions, ‘The Ship Beneath The Ice’ is the remarkable story of how, over a century after it disappeared under the Antarctic ice, Ernest Shackleton’s ship was discovered in 2022. Whilst detailing the extraordinary journey Shackleton and the Endurance ship went on in 1914, Bound also captures the drama and intensity of the 2022 expeditions, including how they found it in what Shackleton called ‘the most hostile sea on Earth’.



The Book of Trespass: Crossing The Lines That Divide Us 

By Nick Hayes

Beginning with an enthralling account of the mass trespass of Kinder Scout, Nick Hayes takes us on a journey up and over fields, hills and private lands, investigating the vast chunks of land unavailable to the general public (even in 2022). While a passionate argument for the case of social inequality and its relationship to the uneven distribution of land, ‘The Book Of Trespass’ also contains beautiful passages about the UK’s great outdoor spaces, including how freeing it feels to walk across them. Hayes interweaves his strolls on private lands with fascinating tales throughout history in, what culminates in, a powerful case for change. All in all; a relevant and revealing read.



The Outdoor Swimmers’ Handbook

By Kate Rew

Combining well-researched information on how to swim safely with first-hand accounts of outdoor swimming in the UK, ‘The Outdoor Swimmers’ Handbook’ is as much a beginner’s guide as it is a companion for enthusiasts. As founder of The Outdoor Swimming Society movement, it’s no surprise that Kate Rew has some inspiring aquatic tales to tell. “When swimming”, she writes, “we are part of the planet and all the elements again, in a place where moons wane, storms swell and life ebbs and flows throughout the seasons.”



Running Home: A Memoir

By Katie Arnold

You may know Katie Arnold from her work as a travel journalist; she’s spent over a decade living and reporting on the most thrilling adventures and athletic feats across the world. Hers was a life of daring and danger, following in the equally intrepid footsteps of her father, David Arnold, who also adventured around the globe as a photographer for National Geographic. This memoir may not inspire its readers to go mountain climbing, or cliff jumping, but it will certainly ignite (or re-kindle) a burning relationship with the essential exercise, the core of it all: running. Following the death of her father, Arnold felt paralysed and feared that she’d lost a vital connection to life, reality, and memory. She turned to the most reliable method she had for maintaining mental and physical health and began running longer and longer distances. In Running Home, Arnold recounts the next three years as she built up to running 100km ultramarathons and learned about the transcendent, spiritual benefits that arise from fighting to continue placing one foot in front of the other.



Closer To The Edge

By Leo Houlding

Amongst many other mind-boggling ascents (including Everest), Cumbrian rock climber Leo Houlding is perhaps best known as the first Briton to free climb El Capitan at just 18. Suffice to say, he’s well-renowned as one of Britains’s best adventure climbers.

‘Closer To The Edge’ is Leo’s first-hand account of how he got to where he is today, including his childhood spent climbing in the Lake District, mentors that inspired him, and infamous TV appearances on Top Gear, amongst other things. He details what drives him, how he assesses on-the-mountain risks, and even explores how he teaches his own kids to climb safely. Both hair-raising and heart-warming – this is a cracking memoir to see you through this winter.



Alone On The Wall

By Alex Honnold (with David Roberts)

From Yosemite’s famous Half Dome to El Sendero in Mexico, ‘Alone On The Wall’ explores world-famous athlete Alex Honnold’s seven best climbing achievements to date. In case you didn’t know – Alex Honnold is well-regarded as one of the greatest climbers of all time, having been the first person to free solo Yosemite’s El Capitan in 2017 (watch ‘Free Solo’ for more details).

Now, for the first time, Honnold explores his relationship with climbing in his own words. Including page-turning descriptions of the infamous El Cap climb, advice on maintaining focus in the face of danger, and lessons in life as well as climbing tips, ‘Alone On The Wall’ is one hell of a ride. It really gets to the essence of free soloing, and what it means to pursue your passion at – literally – all costs.



The Salt Path

By Raynor Winn

After learning that her husband is terminally ill, and that their home and livelihood are being taken away, Raynor and her husband Moth embark on an 630-mile journey along The South West Coast Path. Spanning the coastline from Somerset to Dorset in what is otherwise known as England’s longest national trail, ‘The Salt Path’ is about coming to terms with grief as well as what it means to call a place home. As they spend their days walking along jagged cliffs and ancient trails, with everything they need on their backs, you get a real sense of the power of nature, and what it can do for your well-being.




Newsletter Terms & Conditions

Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers. If you are not interested you can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell your data and you'll only get messages from us and our partners whose products and services we think you'll enjoy.

Read our full Privacy Policy as well as Terms & Conditions.