Outdoor Skills Books
The best outdoor skills books, reviewed and curated by the Trailspace community. The latest review was added on June 4, 2021. Stores' prices and availability are updated daily.
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Recent Outdoor Skills Book Reviews
This dog hiking book is subtitled "Trail-Tested Tips and Expert Advice for Canine Adventures." The book certainly does provide much helpful information for those interested in outdoor adventures with their dogs. It focuses on hiking, but also gives the reader insight into dog behavior and the relationship between dog and human. "The Essential Guide to Hiking with Dogs" varies in its thoroughness as it broaches a plethora of important aspects of dog hiking, but I can recommend it as a helpful guide… Full review
"The Curtis Creek Manifesto" is probably the number one book available on the basics of fly fishing. The author and illustrator, Sheridan Anderson, created a unique and entertaining guide that will provide everything a person needs to know to get started fly fishing and it's done in a book that is only 48 pages long. It has been considered a classic ever since it was first published in 1978. About twenty years ago I was just getting into fly fishing and during a fishing trip a friend recommended… Full review
In-depth, but engaging book focused on simplifying fly fishing. It is a great balance of skills, stories, and phenomenal photography. A great book for anyone interested in flying fishing or just interested in learning new skills. Written by Yvon Chouinard, Craig Mathews, and Mauro Mazzo, Simple Fly Fishing: Techniques for Tenkara and Rod & Reel is a fantastic book on the art and lifestyle of fishing in it most basic form. All three of the authors are lifelong fisherman with decades of experiences. Full review
While no book about sea kayaking is enough to make you a pro paddler (this requires training and experience), "The Complete Book of Sea Kayaking" provides a comprehensive outline of the skills required by aspiring sea kayakers. The 6th edition (2018) has been updated and revised by Wayne Horodowich, who is Derek Hutchinson's (original author) longtime friend and paddling partner. Because of the contributions of two different authors, I found some of the chapters a little disjointed and out-of-date. Full review
This is a very practical and useful book focused on long distance hiker meal planning, but is also just as useful to anyone who goes out on multi-day trips. I have never been a real foodie, so when I go out on multi-day trips I generally don't spend much time planning for what food I'll bring which means I end up with tortillas, energy bars, nuts and candy bars, etc. I also stopped bringing a stove a long time ago to save weight, so I don't have any hot food or drinks during a trip. For the longest… Full review
THE Classic Compendium of Backpacking. In the 1970s Colin Fletcher inspired a generation to get outside with his books The Thousand Mile Summer and The Man Who Walked Through Time. He then started the "Complete" series and told us the nuts and bolts of doing it. The newest revision (now only 16 years old but still seems surprisingly current) has a new format where Colin and his co-author Chip Rawlins do a back-and-forth on various topics, which may put off fans of earlier editions. I found… Full review
Recipes, cookware, and tips for the UL-minded, much of which will also prove useful at other comfort levels. Ultra-hiker Andrew Skurka condenses his many thousands of miles worth of trail food wisdom into this little (37 page) book. I am reviewing the "Pre-edition v2" which I purchased as a $5 pdf file in early 2016. As of June 2017 the project still seems to be in the pre-edition phase (you can get the pdf here). The book opens with brief, first-person accounts of some "food-related mistakes" Skurka… Full review
This is an excellent resource for information related to general mountaineering, but also for a broad range of topics from basic backcountry equipment and navigation, to rock and ice climbing, and a number of other associated topics. The most significant aspect of this book that sets it apart from other mountaineering/climbing references is not necessarily the specific material within the book, but how that content comes into being. This book is a great resource for any experienced back country… Full review
"The AT Guide" by David (Awol) Miller is one of the most comprehensive and easy guides I have used. The guide lists services to get you to Georgia and local hostels and services to get you home from Maine. It lists the water sources and has detailed maps of towns for resupply and rest. It also lists shuttle suppliers and outfitters to exchange or repair gear. Kennels close to the trail are listed for those with hiking buddies.. It's revised yearly because costs change from service providers. It's… Full review