National Outdoor Book Award

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National Outdoor Book Award
Awarded for The best in outdoor writing and publishing.
Date Annual
Country United States
First awarded 1997
Official website

The National Outdoor Book Award (NOBA) was formed in 1997 as an American-based non-profit program which each year presents awards in ten categories honoring the best in outdoor writing and publishing. It is housed at Idaho State University and chaired by Ron Watters.[1] It is sponsored by the National Outdoor Book Awards Foundation, Idaho State University and the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education.

The award is announced in early November of each year.[2] Winning books are promoted nationally and are entitled to display the National Outdoor Book Award gold medallion.[3]

Winners and honorable mentions

  • Small date (2010 vs 2010 ) = Honorable Mention

Outdoor Literature (Non-Fiction)

  • 1997: W. Scott Olsen and Scott Cairns, The Sacred Place: Witnessing the Holy in the Physical World
  • 1997: Don Gayton, Landscapes of the Interior
  • 1998: Greg Child, Postcards from the Ledge: Collected Mountaineering Writings of Greg Child
  • 1999: Richard Bangs, The Lost River: A Memoir of Life, Death, and Transformation on Wild Water
  • 2000: Chris Duff, On Celtic Tides: One Man's Journey Around Ireland by Sea Kayak
  • 2001: Erika Warmbrunn, Where the Pavement Ends: One Woman's Bicycle Trip Through Mongolia, China and Vietnam
  • 2002: Jill Fredston, Rowing to Latitude
  • 2003: Joe Simpson, The Beckoning Silence
  • 2004: Angela & Duffy Ballard, A Blistered Kind of Love
  • 2004: Maria Coffey, Where the Mountain Casts Its Shadow: The Dark Side of Extreme Adventure
  • 2004: Ted Kerasote, Out There: In the Wild in a Wired Age
  • 2005: Peter Stark, At the Mercy of the River: An Exploration of the Last African Wilderness
  • 2005: Jennifer Jordan, Savage Summit: The True Stories of the First Five Women Who Climbed K2, the World's Most Feared Mountain
  • 2006: Karsten Heuer, Being Caribou
  • 2007: Lou Ureneck, Backcast: Fatherhood, Fly-fishing, and a River Journey Through the Heart of Alaska [4]
  • 2007: Beth A. Leonard, Blue Horizons: Dispatches from Distant Seas
  • 2008: Jennifer Lowe-Anker, Forget Me Not: A Memoir
  • 2009: Julie Angus, Rowboat in a Hurricane: My Amazing Journey Across a Changing Ocean
  • 2009: Mark Obmascik, Halfway to Heaven
  • 2010: Winton Porter, Just Passin' Thru
  • 2010: Peter Heller, Kook: What Surfing Taught Me About Love, Life and Catching the Perfect Wave
  • 2011: Philip Connors, Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout [5]
  • 2012: Suzanne Roberts, Almost Somewhere: Twenty-Eight Days on the John Muir Trail
  • 2012: Jim Davidson and Kevin Vaughan, The Ledge: An Adventure Story of Friendship and Survival on Mount Rainier
  • 2012: Michael Lanza, Before They're Gone: A Family's Year-Long Quest to Explore America's Most Endangered National Parks
  • 2013: Gail D. Storey, I Promise Not to Suffer: A Fool for Love Hikes the Pacific Crest Trail
  • 2013: Dylan Tomine, Closer to the Ground: An Outdoor Family’s Year on the Water, in the Woods and at the Table
  • 2014: Erin McKittrick, Small Feet, Big Land: Adventure, Home and Family on the Edge of Alaska
  • 2015: Jennifer Kingsley, Paddlenorth: Adventure, Resilience and Renewal in the Arctic Wild
  • 2015: Kelly Cordes, The Tower: A Chronicle of Climbing and Controversy on Cerro Torre

Outdoor Literature (Fiction)


  • 1997: [no award]
  • 1998: Vince Welch, Cort Conley and Brad Dimock, The Doing of the Thing: The Brief, Brilliant Whitewater Career of Buzz Holmstrom
  • 1999: Sam Keith from the journals and photographs of Richard Proenneke, One Man's Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey
  • 2000: Peter & Leni Gillman, The Wildest Dream: The Biography of George Mallory
  • 2001: Donald Worster, A River Running West: The Life of John Wesley Powell
  • 2001: Brad Dimock, Sunk Without a Sound: The Tragic Colorado Honeymoon of Glen and Bessie Hyde
  • 2002: Char Miller, Gifford Pinchot and the Making of Modern Environmentalism
  • 2002: Jonathan Waterman, Arctic Crossing: One Man's 2,200 Mile Odyssey Among the Inuit
  • 2003: Chris Duff, Southern Exposure: A Solo Sea Kayaking Journey Around New Zealand's South Island
  • 2003: Rebecca A. Brown, Women on High: Pioneers of Mountaineering
  • 2004: Andy Selters, Ways to the Sky: A Historical Guide to North American Mountaineering
  • 2005: Neal Petersen with William P. Baldwin and Patty Fulcher, Journey of a Hope Merchant: From Apartheid to the Elite World of Solo Yacht Racing
  • 2005: Arlene Blum, Breaking Trail: A Climbing Life
  • 2006: Eric Blehm, The Last Season
  • 2007: Brad Dimock, The Very Hard Way: Bert Loper and the Colorado River
  • 2007: James M. Tabor, Forever on the Mountain: The Truth Behind One of Mountaineering's Most Controversial and Mysterious Disasters*2008: Maurice Isserman and Stewart Weaver, Fallen Giants: A History of Himalayan Mountaineering from the Age of Empire to the Age of Extremes
  • 2008: Elias Butler and Tom Myers, Grand Obsession: Harvey Butchart and the Exploration of the Grand Canyon
  • 2009: Douglas Brinkley, Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America
  • 2010: Joseph E. Taylor III, Pilgrims of the Vertical: Yosemite Rock Climbers & Nature at Risk
  • 2010: Jennifer Jordan, The Last Man on the Mountain: The Death of an American Adventurer on K2
  • 2010: Glyn Williams, Arctic Labyrinth: The Quest for the Northwest Passage
  • 2011: Dominic Gill, Take a Seat: One Man, One Tandem and Twenty Thousand Miles of Possibilities
  • 2011: Edward J. Larson, An Empire of Ice: Scott, Shackleton, and the Heroic Age of Antarctic Science
  • 2012: Peter Zuckerman and Amanda Padoan, Buried in the Sky: The Extraordinary Story of the Sherpa Climbers on K2's Deadliest Day
  • 2012: Jo Deurbrouck, Anything Worth Doing: A True Story of Adventure, Friendship and Tragedy on the Last of the West's Great Rivers
  • 2013: Kevin Fedarko, The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon
  • 2014: Ben Montgomery, Grandma Gatewood's Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail
  • 2015: Sean Prentiss, Finding Abbey: The Search for Edward Abbey and His Hidden Desert Grave

Outdoor classic

Nature and the environment

Natural history literature

  • 1997-2004: [no award]
  • 2005: Alan Burdick, Out of Eden: An Odyssey of Ecological Invasion
  • 2006: John Nielsen, Condor: To the Brink and Back
  • 2007: Robert Michael Pyle, Sky Time in Gray's River: Living for Keeps in a Forgotten Place
  • 2007: Michael Punke, Last Stand: George Bird Grinnell, the Battle to Save the Buffalo, and the Birth of the New West
  • 2008: Susan Freinkel, The American Chestnut: The Life, Death, and Rebirth of a Perfect Tree
  • 2009: Rob Dunn, Every Living Thing: Man's Obsessive Quest to Catalog Life, from Nanobacteria to New Monkeys
  • 2010: Anders Halverson, An Entirely Synthetic Fish: How Rainbow Trout Beguiled America and Overran the World
  • 2010: Elisabeth Tova Bailey, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating
  • 2011: Bill Belleville, Salvaging the Real Florida: Lost and Found in the State of Dreams
  • 2012: David George Haskell, The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature
  • 2013: Aarin Hirsh, Telling Our Way to the Sea: A Voyage of Discovery in the Sea of Cortez
  • 2013: Akiko Busch, The Incidental Steward: Reflections on Citizen Science
  • 2014: Julian Hoffman, The Small Heart of Things: Being at Home in a Beckoning World
  • 2015: Diane Ackerman, The Human Age: The World Shaped By Us
  • 2015: Helen Macdonald, H is for Hawk


Design and artistic merit


Nature guidebook

Outdoor Adventure guidebook

Works of significance

  • 1997–1998: [no award]
  • 1999: Karl Rohnke, Cowstails and Cobras II: A Guide to Games, Initiatives, Ropes Courses, & Adventure Curriculum
  • 1999: John Hart, Walking Softy in the Wilderness: The Sierra Club Guide to Backpacking
  • 1999: William Nealy, Kayaking: An Animated Guide of Intermediate and Advanced Whitewater Technique
  • 1999: John Long, How to Rock Climb
  • 1999: Derek Hutchinson, Expedition Kayaking
  • 2000–2002: [no award]
  • 2003: Gene Daniell, Steven D. Smith, AMC White Mountain Guide: Hiking Trails of the White Mountain National Forest
  • 2004–2006: [no award]
  • 2007: Ann T. Colson (ed.), Connecticut Walk Book: The Guide to the Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails of Western Connecticut
  • 2008–2013: [no award]
  • 2014: Robert Birkby, Fieldbook: Scouting’s Manual of Basic and Advanced Skills for Outdoor Adventure (4th edition)


  1. National Outdoor Book Awards, official website.
  2. NOBA Press Coverage, list of press coverage.
  3. Robert Lee Brewer. 2012 Writer's Market, Writer's Digest Books, 2011. Page 980.
  4. Leddy, Chuck. (2011, Sep 21). "Longing for connection with family and with nature." Boston Globe. Retrieved 12 October 2012
  5. Laurie Hertzel (November 17, 2011). ""Fire Season" wins National Outdoor Book Award". StarTribune. Retrieved October 12, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Mackie, Dan (2011, Nov 25). "Hartland nature writer wins National Outdoor Book Award." Valley News [White River Junction, Vt] 25 Nov 2011: C.1. Retrieved October 12, 2012

General sources

External links