THERE ARE WANDERERS IN EVERY GENERATION, people for whom life is the road, the rivers and mountains. Of Generation X, it is Christopher McCandless, immortalized in Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild, and Cheryl Strayed of Wild who have captured the imaginations of a generation who demand that life revolve around more than pensions and mortgages and one-week vacations.
“I’d loved books in my regular-PCT life, but on the trail, they’d taken on even greater meaning… They were the world I could lose myself in when the one I was actually in became too lonely or harsh or difficult to bear.” — Cheryl Strayed, Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found
Here are McCandless and Strayed’s reading lists from the road.
On her 1,100-mile trek along the Pacific Crest Trail during the summer of 1995, Strayed carried practical books like her “bible” Staying Found: The Complete Map and Compass Book. But most of her books were for pleasure, sent in boxes she’d pre-packed to be sent to the post offices along the PCT.