Best Books To Have in Your Backpack

Here’s an interesting list from a website called Bookride, which has compiled their selection of Backpacker Classics, or the best books to have in your pack when you’re out on the trail.

There are indeed some classic books of both fiction and non-fiction on their list. Things like On the Road by Jack Kerouac and Snow Leopard by Peter Mathiessen, both of which are well known adventure classics. Other popular works, such as One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Milton’s Paradise Lost earn a spot too, and the rest of the books are equally diverse and eclectic.

When defining what makes a good “backpacker classic” Bookride says they “should have an element of profundity, preferably mystical -if not it should have cult status or be a statement about who you really are.” Personally, I look for something entertaining, and in paperback form. Hardbacks taking up space and adding weight aren’t a lot of fun for your pack. But all in all, this is a good list that is difficult to argue with. Lots of classic books. But I have to argue with the inclusion of Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger’s seminal novel. No one outside of a high school classroom should subject themselves to that one. 😉

Fun list. What did they miss? The one that stands out most to me is Into Thin Air. Thanks to Gregory Goes There, the official blog of Gregory Packs, for the link!

Kraig Becker

12 thoughts on “Best Books To Have in Your Backpack”

  1. Don't Panic?

    Where is the Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy?

    Sorry to brag about this book, but it has all elements you are looking for in a book when you backpack. Not to mention the friendly big letters on the cover.

  2. Agree with "Into The Wild'. But I'd also take "The Climb" by Anatoli Boukreev along with it for comparison. 😉

    I'd add "Walden" by Thoreau, and some Emerson too.

  3. Oops! Meant "agree with Into Thin Air", but Into The Wild is also good. (My brain was Into The Dead Tired Zone when I first posted. 😉
    (enjoyed Left For Dead by Beck Weathers too.)

  4. Nat Geo's list is another great one. My goal it so get all of the books on their list and this one on a Kindle. Than I can have all of them in my backpack at any time! 🙂

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