Extreme Classics: The 100 Greatest Adventure Books of All Time by National Geographic Adventure Magazine

The 100 greatest adventure books chosen by National Geographic.

  1. 1. The Worst Journey in the World by Robert Falcon Scott

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    The Worst Journey in the World is a memoir of the 1910-1913 British Antarctic Expedition led by Robert Falcon Scott. It was written and published in 1922 by a survivor of the expedition, Apsley Che...


  2. 2. Journals by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark

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    In 1803, when the United States purchased Louisiana from France, the great expanse of this new American territory was a blank -- not only on the map but in our knowledge. President Thomas Jefferson...


  3. 3. Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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    Wind, Sand and Stars (French title:Terre des hommes (Land of Men)) is a memoir by Antoine de Saint Exupéry published in 1939. It was translated from the French by Lewis Galantiere. The pilot and p...


  4. 4. The Exploration of the Colorado River by John Wesley Powell

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    The Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons by John Wesley Powell is a classic of American exploration literature. It is about the Powell Geographic Expedition of 1869 which was the first...


  5. 5. Arabian Sands by Wilfred Thesiger

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    The southern Arabian desert, a quarter million square miles of sand (650,000 square kilometers), is now a place of oil wells and Land Rovers, but before the 1950s it was still known as the Empty Qu...


  6. 6. Annapurna by Maurice Herzog

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    Annapurna is a book by Maurice Herzog, expedition leader of the first recorded expedition to reach the summit of Annapurna in the Himalayas. The original text was written in French, first published...


  7. 7. Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey

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    Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness is a literary nonfiction work by Edward Abbey (1927–89), published originally in 1968. His fourth book and his first book length non-fiction work, it f...


  8. 8. West With the Night by Beryl Markham

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    West With the Night is a 1942 memoir by Beryl Markham, chronicling her experiences growing up in Kenya (then British East Africa), in the early 1900s, leading to a career as a bush pilot there. It ...


  9. 9. Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

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  10. 10. Travels by Marco Polo


  11. 11. Farthest North by Fridtjof Nansen


  12. 12. The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen

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    The Snow Leopard is a 1978 book by Peter Matthiessen, which is an account of his two month journey along with naturalist George Schaller in 1973 to Crystal Mountain, in the Dolpo region on the Tibe...


  13. 13. Roughing It by Mark Twain

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    Roughing It is a book of semi-autobiographical travel literature written by American humorist Mark Twain. It was written during 1870–71 and published in 1872 as a prequel to his first book Innocent...


  14. 14. Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana

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    Two Years Before the Mast is a book by the American author Richard Henry Dana, Jr., written after a two-year sea voyage starting in 1834 and published in 1840. A film adaptation under the same name...


  15. 15. South by Ernest Shackleton


  16. 16. A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush by Eric Newby


  17. 17. Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl


  18. 18. Travels in West Africa by Mary Kingsley


  19. 19. The Spirit of St. Louis by Charles Lindbergh

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  20. 20. Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer

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    Seven Years in Tibet is an autobiographical travel book written by Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer based on his real life experiences in Tibet between 1944 and 1951 during the Second World War...


  21. 21. Journals (Cook) by James Cook

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    Captain James Cook FRS RN (7 November [O.S. 27 October] 1728 – 14 February 1779) was a British explorer, navigator and cartographer, ultimately rising to the rank of Captain in the Royal Navy. Cook...


  22. 22. Home of the Blizzard by Douglas Mawson


  23. 23. The Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin

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    The Voyage of the Beagle is a title commonly given to the book written by Charles Darwin published in 1839 as his Journal and Remarks, which brought him considerable fame and respect. The title ref...


  24. 24. The Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T.E. Lawrence

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    Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence CB, DSO (16 August 1888 – 19 May 1935), known professionally as T. E. Lawrence, was a British military officer renowned especially for his liaison role dur...


  25. 25. Travels in the Interior Districts of Africa by Mungo Park


  26. 26. The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe

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    The Right Stuff is a 1979 book by Tom Wolfe about the pilots engaged in U.S. postwar experiments with experimental rocket-powered, high-speed aircraft as well as documenting the stories of the firs...


  27. 27. Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum

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    Sailing Alone Around the World (1899) is a sailing memoir by Joshua Slocum about his single-handed global circumnavigation aboard the sloop Spray. Slocum was the first person to sail around the wor...


  28. 28. The Mountain of My Fear by David Roberts


  29. 28. A Wilderness Narrative by David Roberts


  30. 29. First Footsteps in East Africa by Richard Burton

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  31. 30. The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger

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    The Perfect Storm is a creative nonfiction book written by Sebastian Junger and published by W. W. Norton & Company in 1997. The paperback edition followed in 1999 from HarperCollins' Perennial imp...


  32. 31. The Oregon Trail by Francis Parkman


  33. 32. Through the Dark Continent by Henry M. Stanley


  34. 33. A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains by Isabella L. Bird

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  35. 34. In the Land of White Death by Valerian Albanov

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  36. 35. Endurance by F.A. Worsley


  37. 36. Scrambles Amongst the Alps by Edward Whymper


  38. 37. Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen

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    Out of Africa is a memoir by Isak Dinesen, a nom de plume used by the Danish author Baroness Karen von Blixen-Finecke. The book, first published in 1937, recounts events of the seventeen years when...


  39. 38. Scott's Last Expedition: The Journals by Robert Falcon Scott

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  40. 39. Everest: The West Ridge by Thomas Hornbein

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  41. 40. Journey Without Maps by Graham Greene

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    Journey Without Maps (1936) is a travel account by Graham Greene, about a 350-mile, 4-week walk through the interior of Liberia in 1935. It was Greene's first trip outside of Europe. He hoped to le...


  42. 41. Starlight and Storm by Gaston Rébuffat


  43. 42. My First Summer in the Sierra by John Muir


  44. 43. My Life as an Explorer by Sven Hedin

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    Sven Anders Hedin was a Swedish geographer, topographer, explorer, photographer, and travel writer, as well as an illustrator of his own works. During four expeditions to Central Asia he discovered...


  45. 44. In Trouble Again by Redmond O'Hanlon


  46. 45. The Man Who Walked Through Time by Colin Fletcher

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    The Man Who Walked Through Time (1968) is Colin Fletcher's chronicle of his trek inside the rim of The Grand Canyon from one end to the other. He was the first person to do so in one continues trek...


  47. 46. K2 The Savage Mountain by Charles Houston and Robert Bates

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    K2 is the second-highest mountain on Earth (after Mount Everest). With a peak elevation of 8,611 metres (28,251 ft), K2 is part of the Karakoram range, and is located on the border between the Taxk...


  48. 47. Gipsy Moth Circles the World by Francis Chichester


  49. 48. Man-Eaters of Kumaon by Jim Corbett


  50. 49. Alone by Richard Byrd


  51. 50. Stranger in the Forest by Eric Hansen

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    Stranger in the forest (subtitle: on foot across Borneo) is a 1988 book by Eric Hansen about a seven months and 4000 km long journey (of which 2300 km on foot) through the heartland of Borneo in 19...


  52. 51. Travels in Arabia Deserta by Charles M. Doughty

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  53. 52. The Royal Road to Romance by Richard Halliburton


  54. 53. The Long Walk by Slavomir Rawicz


  55. 54. Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada by Clarence King


  56. 55. My Journey to Lhasa by Alexandra David-Neel


  57. 57. Running the Amazon by Joe Kane

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    Joe Kane is an American author of two books and is also a journalist who writes for numerous publications such as The New Yorker, National Geographic, and Esquire.


  58. 58. Alive by Piers Paul Read

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    Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors is a 1974 book by the British writer Piers Paul Read documenting the events of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571.


  59. 59. The Principal Navigations by Richard Hakluyt


  60. 60. Incidents of Travel in Yucatan by John Lloyd


  61. 61. Shipwreck of the Whaleship Essex by Owen Chase

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    Owen Chase (1798-March 8, 1869 (aged 70)) was First Mate of the whale ship Essex, that was struck and sunk by a sperm whale on November 20, 1820. Chase wrote about the incident in Narrative of the ...


  62. 62. Life in the Far West by George Frederick Ruxton

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  63. 63. My Life As an Explorer (Amundsen) by Roald Amundsen

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  64. 64. News from Tartary by Peter Fleming


  65. 65. Annapurna: A Woman's Place by Arlene Blum


  66. 66. Mutiny on the Bounty by William Bligh


  67. 67. Adrift by Steven Callahan

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    Adrift (subtitle: Seventy-six days lost at sea) is a book by Steven Callahan about his survival in a life raft in the Atlantic Ocean, which lasted 76 days, a staggering record; he is the only man i...


  68. 68. Castaways by Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca

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    The Narváez expedition was a Spanish attempt to install Pánfilo de Narváez as adelantado (governor) of Spanish Florida during the years 1527 – 1528.


  69. 69. Touching the Void by Joe Simpson


  70. 70. Tracks by Robyn Davidson


  71. 71. The Adventures of Captain Bonneville by Washington Irving


  72. 72. Cooper's Creek by Alan Moorehead


  73. 73. The Fearful Void by Geoffrey Moorhouse


  74. 74. No Picnic on Mount Kenya by Felice Benuzzi

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    No Picnic on Mount Kenya: The Story of Three P.O.W.s' Escape to Adventure, by Felice Benuzzi is a mountaineering classic recounting the 1943 attempt of three escaped Italian prisoners of war to rea...


  75. 75. Through the Brazilian Wilderness by Theodore Roosevelt

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  76. 76. The Road to Oxiana by Robert Byron


  77. 77. Minus 148 by Art Davidson

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  78. 78. Travels (Ibn Battúta) by Ibn Battúta

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  79. 79. Jaguars Ripped My Flesh by Tim Cahill


  80. 80. Journal of a Trapper by Osborne Russell


  81. 81. Full Tilt by Dervla Murphy


  82. 82. Terra Incognita by Sara Wheeler

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  83. 83. We Die Alone by David Howarth

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  84. 84. Kabloona by Gontran de Poncins

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    Kabloona is a book by French adventurer Gontran de Poncins, written in collaboration with Lewis Galantiere, first published in English in 1941. It recounts Poncin's solo unsupported journey in the ...


  85. 85. Conquistadors of the Useless by Lionel Terray

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  86. 86. Carrying the Fire by Michael Collins

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  87. 87. Adventures in the Wilderness by William H. H. Murray


  88. 88. The Mountains of My Life by Walter Bonatti


  89. 89. Great Heart by James West Davidson and John Rugge

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  90. 90. Journal of the Voyage to the Pacific by Alexander Mackenzie

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  91. 91. The Valleys of the Assassins by Freya Stark


  92. 92. The Silent World by Jacques Cousteau


  93. 93. Alaska Wilderness by Robert Marshall


  94. 95. I Married Adventure by Osa Johnson


  95. 96. The Descent of Pierre Saint-Martin by Norbert Casteret

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  96. 97. The Crystal Horizon by Reinhold Messner


  97. 99. Grizzly Years by Doug Peacock

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    Doug Peacock is an American naturalist, outdoorsman, and author. He is best known for his book Grizzly Years: In Search of the American Wilderness, a memoir of his experiences in the 1970s and 1980...


  98. 100. One Man's Mountains by Tom Patey