Best Camping Books to Read in 2023 (for Adults & Kids)

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If you’ve been looking for books about camping, then you know that there is a range of options. The best camping books range from romance to comedy to horror – and that’s just for adults! 

That’s why we have put together the best camping books to read as an adult, and a list of the best camping books to read for children. This way you both can gear up for your trip together or take a moment to read and relax while on the trail.

Best Camping Books to Read (For Adults)

The best camping books for adults range greatly in genre and style. Some are beloved classics with a long history of being pre-camping favorites, while others are perfect for those that want to stay up late and be thrilled around a campfire.

Angels Fall by Nora Roberts

This romance/thriller won the Quill Award for Book of the Year and the Quill Award for Romance when it came out in 2006.

The fiction book follower Reece Gilmore as she tries to solve a crime only she witnessed while camping – while trying not to fall in love with the only person in town that believes her. 

If you fall in love with this camping romance, don’t worry – there’s also a movie to enjoy.

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

This comedic book blends Bill Bryson’s account of attempting to hike the Appalachian Trail with facts about camping, hiking, and the history of the trail itself.

The book has been enormously popular since it came out in 1998 and has inspired more people than ever to undertake the journey themselves. 

books to read while camping

Camping Grounds by Phoebe S.K. Young

This book is great for history lovers that want to dig deep into the true roots of camping in the United States of America.

The 2021 book uses camping as a lens to view political, economic, and social change throughout the country’s history and positions camping not as a niche hobby, but rather as a necessity for most people.

Woman in the Wild by Susan Joy Paul

In this book, adventurer and outdoorsman Susan Joy Paul gives carefully crafted instructions for those interested in getting involved in hiking, camping, or backcountry camping, with an emphasis on helping women become comfortable in these situations.

Based on her own experiences, she goes over everything from basic first aid needs to starting high-altitude mountaineering.

The Girl who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King

If you’re looking for a scary story to read around the fire, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King may be your best bet. This 1999 thriller begins with a family camping trip, where the main character, Trisha, becomes lost in the woods.

The rest of the story follows her attempts at survival. 

While this may not be the best choice if you’re trying to encourage others to go camping, this book is great if you want to enjoy a camping-based horror novel with relatively low stakes for a Stephen King book.

Best Camping Books to Read (For Kids)

There are many different types of kids’ books about camping that will get them geared up and excited to go out into the great unknown (or at least a state park) with you.

Books are a great way to help children develop empathy, promote brain development, and better understand things that they have not experienced or are afraid of.

A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee by Chris Van Dusen

When Mr. Magee and his dog Dee go camping, they expect it to be peaceful. Instead, they find themselves on a wild adventure.

This 2003 book is full of beautiful illustrations and simple rhymes that will allow children of all ages to follow and laugh along with this story.

Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping by Melanie Watt

This book is ideal for kids who get nervous spending the night outdoors. In it, Scaredy Squirrel wants to camp out on his couch – but when difficulties arise, he has to go outdoors to test his survival skills.

Children and adults can find humor in this book and enjoy it when read aloud, making it one of the most popular choices for children’s books about camping.

A Kid’s Guide to Camping by Eileen Ogintz

This book touts itself as the child’s ultimate guide to camping. It includes tips and information from kids and parents, as well as interactive puzzles, games, and other activities for children.

Flashlight by Lizi Boyd

This book is distinctive for being all illustrations without any words.

Art fills up each page as a young boy wanders through the woods at night, using his flashlight to illuminate new findings and understand that there is nothing scary about the dark. 

Many give this book with a flashlight for children to have, making the book real at night.

This book is a good choice for children who will not have a nightlight while camping and have some anxiety about facing the dark.

Toasting Marshmallows: Campfire Poems by Kristine O’Connell George

Many of these books are for younger readers, but this collection is perfect for kids still working on reading but want the occasional advanced sections.

The poetry helps those gearing up to go camping or who want something thematic to read around the campfire.

How to Make Camping Not Boring

what to do when camping

There are many ways to keep camping exciting for yourself without sacrificing your children. Here are a few ways to make camping not boring for any age group.

Do Your Research

Make sure to look up what is going on where you’re camping.

Within the campground, mark down trails your kids can do far in advance and other amenities – see if there is a pool you know your kids will want to enjoy or items you can rent like bikes or canoes.

Don’t forget to look to see what else might be going on nearby. Often during camping months, there are fairs, festivals, or other events that can be a nice break in between outdoor activities. 

Plan and Balance Activities

Prepare indoor and outdoor activities to keep everyone’s mind stimulated and excited. If your child is interested in rocks, try planning a toured nature hike focused on their special interest.

You should also prepare for activities on days when the weather won’t allow you to enjoy the outside. 

This can include putting together a special indoor activity (depending on if you’re in a tent, camper, or RV) or a trip to a nearby museum or restaurant.

By offering this balance, you and your child won’t get bored or frustrated by rain – instead, it just allows for a different kind of excitement for the day.

Don’t Overexert Yourself or Kids

As many parents know, children can tune in when the adults around them are excited. Staying positive, encouraging, and genuinely excited about camping will help your children feel that excitement too.

Do this by taking time for yourself when tired, and don’t try to force your children into activities they’re not ready for.

In Conclusion

Camping is a wonderful way to spend time in nature and with others. These books are guaranteed to get everyone ready and excited for the great outdoors in no time.

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