My Summer Reading List: Badass Chicks doing Badass Shit

Summer is the season of getting out and doing! It can feel like everyone is hitting the trails, hiking, camping, backpacking, trail running...  For folks who are rehabbing an injury, tied to a desk, dealing with family obligations, or are otherwise unable to get out, the FOMO can be overwhelming!

When I hurt my knee, I resolved to spend the time I would otherwise spend running or hiking in a hammock reading. In that spirit, I have collected the following titles help quench the thirst for outdoor adventures. My goals with the selections were to find books by female authors or centered on a woman's experience that diverged from the traditional narrative of "wounded woman goes into the woods and is healed." I wanted to read about badass women doing badass things, shedding their excuses and smashing challenges. While not all of the books I chose eschew the "wilderness as therapy" trope, they come at it in unconventional ways and shed light on the many reasons why we seek ourselves in nature.

Whether you join me on this journey and read all of these, or maybe just find one or two new titles to dive into, I hope you enjoy!



Tracks: Robyn Davidson

“So I had made a decision which carried with it things that I could not articulate at the time. I had made the choice instinctively, and only later had given it meaning. The trip had never been billed in my mind as an adventure in the sense of something to be proved. And it struck me then that the most difficult things has been the decision to act, the rest had been merely tenacity -- and the fears were paper tigers. One really could do anything one had decided to do whether it were changing a job, moving to a new place, divorcing a husband or whatever one really cold act to change and control one's life; and the procedure, the process, was its own reward.”


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Thru Hiking Will Break Your Heart: Carrot Quinn

“Time disappears, and it is just me and the mountain, and the wind. I have always been in this windstorm, I think, as I fight my way forward. And I will always be in this windstorm. Up ahead, on a ridge, is a single tree. Someday, I think, I am going to be reincarnated as that tree. As punishment for every choice I've ever made. Or as a reward.” 


Almost Somewhere: Suzanne Roberts

“The thing about being on the trail is that you have hours and hours to think, so at first you review the things you have been thinking about. Then you have the thoughts you were planning to have. But after that you still have thinking time and no planned thoughts, so you start to think about things you never expected to think about.” 


The Pursuit of Endurance: Jennifer Pharr Davis

“Hiking is not escapism; it's realism. The people who choose to spend time outdoors are not running away from anything; we are returning to where we belong.”