ⓘ Outdoor literature is a literature genre about or involving the outdoors. Outdoor literature encompasses several different subgenres including exploration liter ..


ⓘ Outdoor literature

Outdoor literature is a literature genre about or involving the outdoors. Outdoor literature encompasses several different subgenres including exploration literature, adventure literature, mountain literature and nature writing. Another subgenre is the guide book, an early example of which was Thomas Wests guide to the Lake District published in 1778. The genres can include activities such as exploration, survival, sailing, hiking, mountaineering, whitewater boating, geocaching or kayaking, or writing about nature and the environment. Travel literature is similar to outdoor literature but differs in that it does not always deal with the out-of-doors, but there is a considerable overlap between these genres, in particular with regard to long journeys.


1. History

Henry David Thoreaus Walden 1854 is an early and influential work. Although not entirely an outdoor work he lived in a cabin close to civilization he expressed the ideas of why people go out into the wilderness to camp, backpack and hike: to get away from the rush of modern society and simplify life. This was a new perspective for the time and thus Walden has had a lasting influence on most outdoor authors.

Thoreaus careful observations and devastating conclusions have rippled into time, becoming stronger as the weaknesses Thoreau noted have become more pronounced A thrilling pulse beat high in me. My step was light on deck in the crisp air. I felt there could be no turning back, and that I was engaging in an adventure the meaning of which I thoroughly understood.

More than three years later, on June 27, 1898, he returned to Newport, Rhode Island, having circumnavigated the world, a distance of more than 46.000 miles 74.000 km.

The National Outdoor Book Award was established in 1997 as a US-based non-profit program which each year honours the best in outdoor writing and publishing.


2. Outdoor classics

  • Edward Whymper 1871. Scrambles Amongst the Alps in the Years 1860–1869.
  • 19th century
  • Walter Weston 1896. Mountaineering and Exploration in the Japanese Alps.
  • John MacGregor 1866. A Thousand Miles in a Rob Roy Canoe. Considered the first documentation of recreational canoeing.
  • Mark Twain 1872. Roughing It. Part real part fiction, classic account of life in the American Old West.
  • Alfred Lansing 1959. Endurance: Shackletons Incredible Voyage.
  • Nan Shepherd, 1977. The Living Mountain.
  • Maurice Herzog 1951. Annapurna: Conquest of the First 8000-metre Peak. Probably the most influential mountaineering expedition book.
  • Gontran de Poncins 1939. Kabloona. French adventurer living with Eskimos in the late 1930s.
  • Patrick Leigh Fermor, A Time of Gifts 1977; Between the Woods and the Water 1986; The Broken Road 2013. A trilogy describing a walk across Europe.
  • John Muir, 1911. My First Summer in the Sierra.
  • Grey Owl 1935. Pilgrims of the Wild. About Grey Owls life in the wilds of Canada.
  • Wallace Stegner 1954. Beyond the Hundredth Meridian: John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the West.
  • Jon Krakauer 1990s. Into the Wild, Into Thin Air.
  • John Hillaby, Journey to the Jade Sea 1964; Journey through Britain ; Journey through Europe ; Journey to the Gods 1991. Accounts of various long distance walks.
  • Joe Simpson, Touching the Void 1988. Mountain climbing in the Andes.
  • 20th century
  • Rory Stewart, The Places in Between 2006. A walk across Afghanistan in 2002, after the Russians had left.
  • Cheryl Strayed, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail 2013. Describes the grueling life of the long-distance hiker, the perils of the PCT, and its peculiar community of wanderers.
  • 21st century
  • Robert Macfarlane, Mountains of the Mind: A History of a Fascination ; The Wild Places ; The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot 2012. He is one of a number of recent British writers who have provoked a new critical and popular interest in writing about landscape.
  • Jim Perrin, Spirits of Place 1997; The Climbing Essays 2006; West: A Journey through the Landscapes of Loss 2010. A rock climber and travel writer.
  • travel literature encompasses outdoor literature guide books, nature writing, and travel memoirs. One early travel memoirist in Western literature was Pausanias
  • The National Outdoor Book Award NOBA was formed in 1997 as an American - based non - profit program which each year presents awards in ten categories honoring
  • Essay Literary criticism Memoir Outdoor literature Self - Help Spiritual autobiography Travel literature Fiction Adventure novel Airport novels
  • non - fiction outdoor literature and one short story by Donald Hamilton. Inside on the Rail, 7 Outdoor Life, Jan 1955 The World Was Full of Quail, 15 Outdoor Life
  • The Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature is an annual prize of 3, 000 awarded by the Boardman Tasker Charitable Trust to an author or authors
  • Children s literature or juvenile literature includes stories, books, magazines, and poems that are made for children. Modern children s literature is classified
  • earliest published works and is considered a pioneering classic of outdoor literature Stevenson was in his late 20s and still dependent on his parents
  • writing. Ecofiction List of environmental books Nature Natural history Outdoor literature Lyon, Thomas Jefferson 2001 This Incomparable Land: A Guide to
  • wilderness explorers, naturalists, survival instructors, and exponents of outdoor education, adventure education, adventure therapy, wilderness therapy