Winter’s colder weather makes it the perfect time to curl up with a book. While staying warm inside might be tempting, these six books remind us that there’s still plenty of adventures to be had in the cold.

From Victoria Whitworth’s tales of wild swimming in the freezing waters of the Orkney Islands to David Knoff’s team being trapped in Antarctica during the pandemic and Caroline Van Hemert’s 4000-mile trek across the Alaskan wilderness, these stories are guaranteed to inspire you for all kinds of winter adventures.


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1. Swimming With Seals By

Victoria Whitworth 



When Victoria Whitworth’s marriage falls apart, she takes to swimming in the cold waters of the Orkney Islands. After being introduced to wild swimming with the island’s local swimming group, Whitworth begins to take to the ocean alone. It’s on these solo dips that Whitworth encounters the sea’s tumultuous currents, wild weather, and the seals, gulls, and orcas who inhabit it. 

In Swimming with Seals, Whitworth not only chronicles her own relationship with the sea, but those with historical and mythological ties. Selkies and vikings feature alongside her writings on grief and healing, as she lets us in on the healing power of the sea. 


2. Powder Days: Ski Bums, Ski Towns and Chasing Snow

By Heather Hansman



If you’ve ever taken the Australian pilgrimage to the North American ski slopes then you’ll appreciate Heather Hansman’s flawless examination of American ski culture. As a lifelong skier and ski writer, Hansman possesses a deep understanding of ski resorts and the people who structure their lives around the snow season. 

As Hansman writes about the changing culture of ski resort towns and the larger skiing industry, she takes us into the heart of the winter sport and those who live for it. Having left her own ski bum lifestyle behind for a more sustainable career in journalism, Hansman’s skiing inquest is also a deeply personal one. 


3. 537 Days of Winter: Lessons in Resilience and Leadership From Being Stranded at an Antarctic Station During the Pandemic

By David Knoff 



David Knoff was working as an Australian Antarctic station leader at Davis Research Station when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. As borders began to shut around the world, the likelihood of getting out of Antarctica became increasingly uncertain. 

537 Days of Winter is Knoff’s unbelievable story of leading a team of 24 expeditioners through the unforgiving Antarctic environment but also the unique mental health challenges that came with being stranded in one of the most isolated places on Earth. 


4. Overnight Hikes South East Queensland

By Alice Twomey and Miranda Fittock



Winter is the perfect time to attempt an overnight hike in Queensland. The temperature has cooled down enough to tackle a few days hiking, but it’s still a little warmer than in other parts of the country. Focusing on the South East corner of the state, Overnight Hikes South East Queensland is the ultimate guide to multi-day hiking in this under-appreciated hiking region. 

Covering seven different national parks, you can choose from a range of different trails that traverse islands, rainforests, granite plains, and traditional bushland. Packed with track notes, optional excursions and plenty of tips, this little guidebook will ensure your first multi-day hike in Queensland is a success.


5. The Sun is a Compass: A 4,000-Mile Journey into the Alaskan Wilds

By Caroline Van Hemert 



When biologist Caroline Van Hemert begins feeling disenchanted with her work in the laboratory, she sets out on an incredible 4000-mile journey across North America in search of her passion for wild things. 

Travelling via rowboat, ski, raft, canoe, and foot, Van Hemert and her husband traverse some of North America’s wildest and coldest places. Along the way, Van Hermet considers some of the more difficult decisions she has to make as a female scientist and strives to rediscover her love of the wilderness. 


6. The Salt Path

By Raynor Winn 



The Salt Path tells the story of Raynor Winn who, on the same day that she and her husband Moth become homeless, learns that Moth has a terminal illness. With no money, nowhere to go, and a worsening illness to contend with, the couple decides to walk 630 miles of England’s South West Coast Path.

Battling fierce weather, a demanding track and a lack of funds, Raynor’s story isn’t just about walking the track but what it’s like to live on it. While doing so, Raynor examines our expectations of homelessness and how in rural areas, homelessness is so often hidden.  



Feature photo by @thwhoai