Campfire Stories: Chapter Books for Kids Who Enjoy the Outdoors


Gathering around a crackling campfire under the starry sky, and sharing stories of adventure and mystery, is a cherished tradition for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages. For children who revel in the wonders of nature, chapter books set in the great outdoors offer an immersive escape into thrilling adventures and captivating tales. From wilderness survival to magical encounters with forest creatures, these books ignite imaginations and inspire a love for outdoor exploration. 

Why Chapter Books for Kids Who Enjoy the Outdoors Matter

Bakken Books provides a unique opportunity for children to immerse themselves in longer narratives and explore complex themes. When set in the outdoors, these books offer additional benefits:

  • Encouraging Outdoor Exploration: By transporting young readers to the wilderness through vivid descriptions and adventurous plots, outdoor-themed chapter books inspire them to explore nature and embark on their outdoor adventures.
  • Fostering Independence: Many outdoor adventures in chapter books feature characters who must rely on their skills and resourcefulness to overcome challenges, encouraging independence and self-reliance in young readers.
  • Promoting Environmental Awareness: Through encounters with wildlife, descriptions of natural landscapes, and themes of conservation, outdoor-themed chapter books cultivate an appreciation for the environment and inspire readers to become stewards of the Earth.
  • Stimulating Imagination: From magical creatures to thrilling quests, outdoor-themed chapter books spark children’s imaginations and transport them to fantastical worlds where anything is possible.
  • Building Resilience: Characters in outdoor-themed chapter books often face adversity and must persevere in the face of challenges, teaching readers valuable lessons about resilience, courage, and determination.

Top Picks for Chapter Books for Kids Who Enjoy the Outdoors

1. “My Side of the Mountain” by Jean Craighead George

Embark on a wilderness adventure with Sam Gribley in “My Side of the Mountain” by Jean Craighead George. When Sam runs away from home to live in the Catskill Mountains, he must rely on his survival skills to fend for himself in the wild. This classic novel captivates readers with its vivid descriptions of nature and themes of self-discovery.

  • Wilderness Survival: Through Sam’s experiences living off the land, readers learn valuable wilderness survival skills such as foraging for food, building shelter, and making fire.
  • Connection to Nature: George’s lyrical prose and detailed descriptions of the natural world immerse readers in the beauty and majesty of the wilderness, fostering a deep appreciation for nature.
  • Themes of Independence and Self-Reliance: As Sam navigates the challenges of living alone in the wilderness, he learns important lessons about self-reliance, independence, and the power of the human spirit.
  • Inspiring Adventure: “My Side of the Mountain” inspires young readers to embrace adventure, explore the unknown, and forge their paths in life.

2. “The Enchanted Forest Chronicles” by Patricia C. Wrede

Enter a magical realm of dragons, wizards, and enchanted forests in “The Enchanted Forest Chronicles” by Patricia C. Wrede. This beloved series follows the adventures of Princess Cimorene as she defies convention and embarks on a quest to live with dragons in the Enchanted Forest.

  • Fantastical Setting: Wrede’s imaginative world-building creates a rich tapestry of magical creatures and fantastical landscapes that capture the imagination of young readers.
  • Themes of Friendship and Courage: As Princess Cimorene befriends dragons, outwits wizards, and confronts evil sorcerers, she learns important lessons about friendship, courage, and standing up for what is right.
  • Humor and Adventure: With its witty dialogue, humorous situations, and thrilling escapades, “The Enchanted Forest Chronicles” keeps readers entertained from start to finish.
  • Empowering Heroine: Princess Cimorene serves as a strong, independent role model for young readers, challenging stereotypes and defying expectations with her intelligence, bravery, and resourcefulness.


Chapter books set in the great outdoors offer young readers a thrilling escape into the wonders of nature, inspiring adventure, fostering imagination, and instilling important values such as independence, resilience, and environmental stewardship. Whether embarking on a wilderness survival journey or exploring a magical forest, these books ignite a sense of wonder and curiosity that will stay with children long after the final page is turned. So gather around the campfire, grab a book, and let the adventures begin!

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