How to take books with you hiking

Reading a book after a long day of hiking is something a great deal of hikers enjoy. Here is how to take your books on hiking trips.

Books are a great way to relax from a long day of hiking. They can give you a nice story before bed or can teach you about all things in life. Depending on the book. For a just in case scenario you can pack a small survival book to help identify wild edibles. Or just read about knights and castles.


A favorite book of mine that has become sort of a tradition of mine to bring with me on backpacking trips is Cormac McCarthy the Road.

As a lover of post apocalyptic books this book has a special place for me.

And as an added bonus I got it at a book sale for 0,50 cents, and is a very light and thin book.

There are several different ways to take books with you hiking. For a quick overview and jump guide you can look below.

Taking normal Paperback books with you hiking

Paperback books are cheaper than hardcover books, lighter weight and more easily replaceable.

Something blasphemous that some hikers do is to slowly destroy books while on trail. I could never bring myself to do it. But you can tear of the pages of the book as soon as you finish reading that page.

That way your book gets lighter the further you read into it. Till eventually you can toss it to the side. In this day and age of waste and replaceable everything you can join in on that bandwagon. However book burning has never led to something good. No judging.

In different hostels and campsites they often have a mini library where you can swap out books. This is a great way to give back and pick up a new book. Without any further waste.


You can find paperback books virtually anywhere, from gas stations to book stores and online.

Bringing a kindle or E reader

Bringing a Kindle or E-reader is a way of reading books that you encounter more and more while on trail. Since their lighter weight than most books and can store thousands of books. They are also very comfortable to read with and do not take much room up in your pack.

The biggest downside of bringing E readers or Kindles with you hiking is that it is another thing that takes up power. And you have to charge with sometimes precious power bank reserves.

If you get the right one however they can last a good long time without needing charging. When you use the backlight a lot this can severely impact the battery life.

Using your phone for reading during hikes


Perhaps the most obvious way of bringing books with you on hiking trips is to simply install Google Books, Aldiko or the Amazon Kindle app on your phone. These three apps or applications offer a nice reading experience in a compact form.

There is also an option to change the backlight or screen color as you like. This is a nice way to adapt to the changing light. Or to not expose your eyes to much to blue light.

To be honest this is the way most hikers would read books while out an trail since your using your phone for everything else to. It is also my way of carrying books with you on hiking trails.

To save power on your phone be sure to turn on the airplane mode. Filter out the blue light and adjust your screen brightness. That way you would be surprised how long your phone battery could last. If you want to learn more about Charging your phone while hiking be sure to check out my separate article on that subject.

Happy hiking and Hike for Purpose! Share your favorite way of carrying books with you down below!

I'm Frank, the main guy and owner of this website. Loves hiking, gear and bushcraft. And can get quite nerdy about them. In the woods several times a week preparing for my next hike. Always searching for another hill, which is quite difficult in the Netherlands. That's why I search around several countries. More about me on the about page.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *