You are what you Read

Rolfe Oostra

What could be better than being warmly wrapped up deep inside your cozy down sleeping bag, in a comfortable tent, brew on, sitting out a storm and reading a book about adventurers like yourself climbing the very same mountain you are trying to climb…

Not into mountains? Then the same feeling of utter contentment can be captured by reading a book about Amazonian explorers whilst swinging in a hammock, evading a swarm of mosquitoes under a bomb-proof net in some rustic jungle hide-away…

Into hot sandy places? Well how about a story about a caravan crossing the Sahara to Timbuktu whilst lounging in a Bedouin tent, gazing at the endless cosmos stretching to infinity far above you, drinking sweet mint tea…

As human beings we need stories. They, like the adventure itself, add a whole new dimension to being where you are, to what you can aspire to and become. And of course, they transport you into another world and offer suitable inspiration when you’re curled up on the sofa next to the fire on a wintery weekend afternoon!

Here are our top 10 favourites reads from each of the extreme regions we run expeditions to. To us, they are as essential as crampons, head scarves, pulks and mosquito nets…


Alpine Warriors, Bernadette McDonald | Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer | One Mountain, Thousand Summits, Freddie Wilkinson | No Picnic on Mount Kenya, Felice Benuzzi |The White Spider, Heinrich Harrer | True Summit, David Roberts | The Push, Tommy Caldwell | Kiss or Kill, Mark Twight | The Tower, Kelly Cordes | Touching The Void, Joe Simpson



Michael Palin, Sahara | The Life of My Choice, Wilfred Thesiger | The Shadow of the Sun, Ryszard Kapuscinski | I Didn’t Do It For You, Michela Wrong | The World’s Most Dangerous Place, James Fergusson | First Footsteps In East Africa, Richard F Burton | Sands of Death, Michael Asher | Desert Flower, Waris Dirie | The Book Smugglers of Timbuktu, Charlie English | Into Africa, Martin Dugard



Into The Abyss, Benedict Allen | White Fever, Jacek Hugo-Bader | Shackleton: By Endurance We Conquer, Michael Smith | Mawson’s Will, Lennard Bickel | Alone On The Ice, David Roberts | In the Kingdom of Ice, Hampton Sides | Fatal Passage, Ken McGoogan | The Worst Journey in the World, Apsley Cherry-Garrard | Frost on My Moustache, Tim Moore | Mind Over Matter, Ranulph Fiennes



Radio Congo, Ben Rawlence | Conquistadors, Michael Wood | Crazy River, Richard Grant | Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad | Through Jaguar Eyes,  Benedict Allen | The Lost City of Z, David Grann | The Forest People, Colin Turnbull | Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes, Daniel Everett | Blood River, Tim Butcher | In The Footsteps of Mr Kurtz, Michela Wrong


Happy reading – and if you have any suggestions, please let us know!

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