Fall is the perfect time to slip into something cozy and curl up with a good book. Here at Chaco HQ, we like a good adventure tale as much as anyone out there — the more likely it is to inspire us to cinch up our buckle straps and get out there, the better. We were curious: what are Chaco Nation’s go-to adventure tales? So we asked. Whether you read to escape or read to get inspired to head outside, these are some of Chaco Nation’s favorite books for outdoor lovers:

The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho 

Paulo Coelho’s fable about following one’s true calling, over sand and distant lands, to find treasure in a place that as closer than you expected. 

Into the Wild – Jon Krakauer

Krauker’s book remains a classic, exemplary example of well researched, fleshed-out biography. Not without controversy, Chris McCandless tragic journey is a gripping portrait of an iconoclast, determined to make his own way to the very end. 

A Sand County Almanac – Aldo Leopald

Leopald, an elder statesman of conservation, delights in the bucolic and honors the longstanding American tradition of the farmer’s almanac in the place he calls home.

My Side of the Mountain – Jean Craighead George

Jean Craighead George’s children’s tale of young Sam escaping to the mountains, living in a hollowed out tree, and living a self sufficient life in the Catskills is enough to make a child or adult alike want to dress in buckskin and make acorn pancakes. And of course there’s Frightful, the peregrine falcon that Sam befriends and trains. 

The Monkey Wrench Gang – Edward Abbey

Abbey’s classic novel that began a movement, inspiring generations of survey stake pullers, chain sawers of telephone poles, and would be dam breakers. 

photo by @denver_englishspringer on Instagram

Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube – Blair Braverman

Braverman, a writer, dogsledder, and all around adventurer extraordinaire recounts her journey with dogsledding and outdoor spaces. Equally bold and tender, Braverman’s honesty and storytelling leaves you breathless (and often wanting to pull on a puffy jacket).

She Explores: Stories of Life-Changing Adventures on the Road and in the Wild – Gale Straub & Various Authors

Gale Straub, the founder and creative force behind the She Explores blog and podcast, compiled a book of stories collected over the years from contributors and friends. The result is a wide ranging, diverse compilation of stories about engaging with the outdoors. In short: a can’t miss adventure companion. 

Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life – William Finnegan

Finnegan’s surf odyssey seamlessly blends a lifelong passion and obsession with expertly crafted memoir, documenting a throughline of odysseys, tides, and swell throughout his life. Careful though, if you don’t surf, Finnegan’s straightforward yet poetic descriptions will send you out into the water to try and experience it all first hand. Also, it won the Pulitzer Prize.

Dirt Work: An Education in Woods – Christine Byl

Byl traces her journey from temp job on a trail crew in Glacier NPS to a card carrying nature lover — all while meditating on the larger topics of hard work, gender, and wilderness.

Microadventures: Local Discoveries for Great Escapes – Alastair Humphreys

No time for Everest? Humphreys preaches the virtues of distilling the grand adventure into a local overnight getaway and prioritizing time outdoors. Reading this will have you heading from a 9-5 to a bivy sack and back to your early morning meeting smelling like campfire smoke. 

An American Sunrise: Poems

Poetry and the outdoors are woven together and there’s no one better to turn to than our current Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo. Harjo, the first Native American poet laureate, writes in her latest collection about a return to her family lands of East Mississippi where the Mvskoke were forcibly removed 200 years ago to what is now present day Oklahoma. Blending personal and historical, it’s an essential read that helps inform how we view wild spaces in today’s atmosphere. 

Did we miss a favorite of yours? Something that absolutely needs to be on the list? Tell us why it’s absolute essential reading by tagging @chacofootwear on Instagram or Twitter.

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