8 Inspiring Women’s Adventure Books For Your Reading List

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Regardless of whether you are preparing for an important, life-changing event, you might be looking for a reading list of inspiring women’s adventure books.

Look no further – these Ultimate List Of Adventure Books Written By Kick Ass Female Adventurists will for it to you. These dynamic reads challenge you to move outside your comfort zone. As you adapt to a changing world and a changing you– and they help you to reinvent yourself in the process.

The books in this list celebrate the power of the female athlete and destroy stigmas about what it means to be a female explorer. Each of these journeys, offered through a profoundly unique, emphatic, and intimate lens.
They will offer you a glimpse at how you, too, can develop a sense of grit while exploring your uncapped potential to succeed.

Regardless of whether you choose to read a tale spun by the fastest person to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, or from the first woman who ever won the world’s most difficult horse reads, these are books that will inspire you to be a badass female, too.


1. Rough Magic: Riding the World’s Loneliest Horse Race: Lara Prior-Palmer
Reading list of inspiring women's adventure books - Number 1

This memoir was penned by a 23-year-old British champion equestrian rider – who was formerly a professional au pair. Lara Prior-Palmer details the great odds she had to overcome in order to become the first ever woman to win the Mongol Derby.

And that’s no small matter – the Mongol Derby is the world’s longest and most grueling horse race. Prior-Palmer won the race at just nineteen years old, but she doesn’t stop there. In this book, she goes on to detail her sassy, honest, and downright beautiful observations about life.

Prior-Palmer shares her experiences of cantering across the luscious greenery and scenery of Mongolia, where her spirit of adventure carries her just as far as she needs to go. Above all, this book reminds us to keep going -no matter how many times we may get knocked down.

2. Swell: A Sailing Surfer’s Voyage of Awakening: Captain Liz Clark

Reading list of inspiring women's adventure books - Number 2

Firstly, Water-lovers will appreciate this book, penned by Captain Liz Clark. At just 25 years old, this woman traversed from Mexica to Bora Bora to Panama -and beyond.

Also, she spent ten years and 20,000 miles as a sea captain and outspoken steward of the environment. She embodies what it truly means to seize the day, and shares her story of spellbinding beauty and bravery as she engages with the restorative power of nature.

This book reminds readers to speed up and experience everything the ocean has to offer – while at the same time slowing down enough to enjoy the little things, too.

3. Lands of Lost Borders: A Journey on the Silk Road: Kate Harris

Reading list of inspiring women's adventure books - Number 3

This book follows the author and her childhood friend, Mel Yule. As they embark on a 6,200-mile bike-packing trip spanning over 10-months.

Harris appeals to the allure of the open road. Adding exceptional imagery as she details the sights and sounds of the 10 countries along the ancient Silk Road trading route.

Perhaps what makes this book’s draw so remarkable is that Harris details every aspect of the unknown road with childlike curiosity. It also weaves in elements of female friendship. Enticing you to read more as the two women continue on during the pedaling adventure of a lifetime.

4. Downriver: Into the Future of Water in the West: Heather Hansman

Reading list of inspiring women's adventure books - Number 4

Heather Hansman is one of just a handful of women. Who have actually paddled the entire length of the Green River. This river spans from Wyoming into Northwestern Colorado before it meets its confluence with the majestic Colorado River in the idyllic Canyonlands National Park.

This raft guide-turned-environmental journalist. Sets out on an epic 730-mile journey as she seeks sustainable solutions for the water crisis in the West.

Hansman navigates flooded fields, encounters with cattle ranchers, dangerous rapids, moonlit camping on sandbars. And the all-too-prevalent sensation of fear as she navigates the biggest thrill of her life.

Regardless of how closely you follow the nation’s water crisis. Or how interested you are in western living. You’ll enjoy the hustle and enthralling narrative of this universal tale of exploration.

5. The Shooting Star: A Girl, Her Backpack, and the World: Shivya Nath

Reading list of inspiring women's adventure books - Number 5

If you’re looking for a book that explores the profound human desire for constant movement, you have to give The Shooting Star a read. This book by debut author Shivya Nath begins as most heavy travel memories do.

After leaving behind a life of sheltered disillusion in the Indian Himalayas, this author, TED talk star, and blogger takes control of her life by leaving the confines of her 9-5 cubicle. She decides to roam the earth with abandon and finds herself in some of the most unique places.

This independent travel writer spent months on end in unexplored regions of the world and is more interested in authentic experiences that she is the ability to bra about them.

Then, the author explores new passions, like minimalism, entrepreneurism, veganism, and even Buddhism as she pursues her drive for movement. She kayaks in northern Goa, hikes with monkeys in Ethiopia’s national parks, and studies the intricacies of native animals on remote Kangaroo Island.

You don’t have to be a nomad to appreciate Nath’s illustrative prose. This book will take you to the furthest corners of the world without requiring you to leave the safety and comfort of your recliner. It will prove its place on your reading list of women’s adventure books.

6. End of the Rope: Mountains, Marriage, and Motherhood: Jan Redford

Reading list of inspiring women's adventure books - Number 6

We get it. Hanging off the side of a mountain isn’t for everybody.

But even if mountaineering isn’t for you, this memoir has plenty to offer. A candid offering by debut explorer Jan Redford, this book explores the entire span of an adventurous life.

Redford is a free-spirited rock climber hailing from a small town in southeastern British Columbia. With a life packed full of near-death experiences, tragedies, triumphs, and relationships with more ups and downs than the rocks she climbs. Redford offers an honest look back at a life well lived.

In this book, she proves that you’re never too old or too late in your life to try to achieve your dreams. Also known as the ability to dyno for a jug, as climbers would say.

Redford proves that it is possible to achieve and even surpass your dreams – regardless of whether you’re the sole woman in a boy’s club

7. Thirst: 2600 Miles to Home: Heather Anderson

Reading list of inspiring women's adventure books - Number 7

Heather Anderson’s debut memoir about her record-breaking hike of the Pacific Crest Trail is a tale not to be missed. She makes it sound simple, detailing how the hike is a basic act of putting one foot in front of the other.

However, her 60-day journey across the sierras and deserts is filled with tales. Battling severe dehydration, dodging mountain lions and rattlesnakes. And her ultimate commitment to keeping the promise she made to her nine-year-old, inactive self.

Anderson details how she walks over 40 miles a day to finish he trail feeling exhausted, yet somehow whole. She is fueled by adrenaline and peanut butter alone, and turns her unending self-doubt into her greatest motivational weapon.

Moreover, she does it all while wearing pink glasses and a zebra-print dress. Need we say more?

8. She Explores: Stories of Life-Changing Adventures on the Road and in the Wild: Gale Straub

Reading list of inspiring women's adventure books - Number 8

She Explores is the literary gathering of dozens of smart, brave women who all come from different backgrounds and experiences. Yet all are connected to one common thread. That thread is the outdoors.

These vastly different women share their experiences through an enthralling series of short tales.

You’ll be surprised with how much this book inspires you to love the wild and your wild self.

Also, this book is sprinkled with gorgeous natural photography. And expert tips about topics like independent hiking excursions.

Finally, the best equipment for your camp kitchen, and even how to find friends who share your love of the great outdoors.

No matter how much of a weekend or even seasonal outdoor warrior, you’ll find a place for this book in your reading list of inspiring women’s adventure books.

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