REI podcast host Shelby Stanger releases her first book, WILL TO WILD: ADVENTURES GREAT AND SMALL TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE, published by Simon and Schuster, on sale starting June 6th everywhere books are sold. The book has already received acclaim, including being selected by the Next Big Idea Book Club (curated by Malcolm Gladwell, Adam Grant, Daniel Pink and Susan Cain) as a must-read for June.
Stanger has been writing about the power of adventure since age 19, when she started an adventure and surfing column for five San Diego Newspapers in 1999. She went on to work as the first female journalist for the Vans Warped Tour, before working in marketing at Vans fulltime, and then returning to journalism again in 2009. That’s when she wrote for Shop Eat Surf, Outside Magazine and more. In 2016, Shelby started a podcast called Wild Ideas Worth Living, which was acquired by REI Co-op Production Studios in 2020, with Shelby still hosting the top ranked adventure show every week.
In her new book, WILL TO WILD, Stanger shares all she’s witnessed and learned in her years covering adventures, taking readers step-by-step from the first inkling of inspiration, through phases of fear and self-doubt, and onto your own inspiring adventure, through to the finish line. The book is part memoir with lessons Shelby has learned on her own adventures and wisdom from the hundreds of athletes and entrepreneurs she’s interviewed over the years.
“When you set out on an adventure—big or small—you learn so much more about yourself and develop courage that you can bring with you to the rest of your everyday life.” Stanger says. The pages are full of practical tips and tactics from famous people you’ve likely heard of like rock climber Alex Honnold, to surfers, ultrarunners, a body positive runner, the world’s first outdoor drag queen, a suburban mom who started teaching women to scale frozen waterfalls in her 50s, and more.
Shelby’s own story is vulnerable. She shares truths not found in many in traditional adventure books, including why you need to give yourself grace at the end of a long adventure, which can come with some fatigue or even depression, and why humor is such an important tool to pack in every gear kit.
“WILL TO WILD is not simply a nature-based guidebook,” wrote journalist Seth Combs this week on the cover of the Books section for the San Diego Union Tribune. “It weaves effortlessly between self-help and memoir, as well as through journalistic essays about people who, by getting outside, found the courage to pursue what Stanger calls their “wild ideas.””
The book is available on Amazon, at all major booksellers, at independent bookstores, and at REI Co-op stores across the country. Shelby will be making appearances in La Jolla at Warwick’s Bookstore June 6th (reserved seats are sold out), on the TEDxSanDiego stage later this week on June 11th, at Diesel Books in Los Angeles on June 13th, at REI Co-op in Salt Lake City on June 19th, at the Outdoor Retailer show in Utah on June 20th, and more locations and select REI Co-op stores later this summer. The book is for anyone looking to get outside, whether they’re already an adventure junkie or someone who’s never pitched a tent. You can find more at www.willtowild.com.
Advanced Praise for WILL TO WILD:
**One of Next Big Ideas Club’s June 2023 Must-Read Books**
“Stanger weaves a buoyant mix of inspiration, personal experience, and nuts and bolts tips…Those looking to break in their hiking boots will want to pick this up.” —Publishers Weekly
“Whether your “call to the wild” is a solo hike, a new hobby, a career change, or a radical overhaul of your whole damn life, Will to Wild will help you spot the signs, show you what is possible, and give you the confidence to take the first step.” —Melissa Urban, New York Times best-selling author, The Book of Boundaries and Co-Founder/CEO Whole30
“Will to Wild is just as captivating as informative for anyone who has ever dreamed of taking that leap outside their comfort zone. An intimate memoir written in a candid, playful, and illuminating style, you will feel compelled to search your will to wild. Had I known of this book, it would have saved me years of doubt and research. So grateful it is available for you all to read!” —Silvia Vasquez-Lavado, Explorer and Author of In The Shadow of The Mountain
“A rollicking operating manual for navigating modern malaise.” — James Nestor, author of Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art
“True story: I’ve written more books (5) than blurbs (4). I almost always refuse because c’mon, when’s the last time you read a blurb you actually believed? You can tell it’s mostly friends blowing smoke for friends. That’s why I only blurb if I read the entire book and believe the writer has something special to say and the chops to say it — and it’s why WILL TO WILD just evened the score at five all. Shelby Stanger isn’t a motivational speaker; she’s a motivational listener. She’s interviewed scores of people over the years who’ve cracked the code for turning their dreams into their day jobs, and she lays out her discoveries in a book that’s beyond inspirational: it’s instructional. Stanger digs into the tough how-tos, first by sharing stories of all kinds of everyday folks who’ve broken free and “gone wild,” and then detailing how you can follow in their footsteps. She tells you how to finance your wild dream; why it may radically change your personal life and even romances; and what to do “When it all goes haywire,” as she puts it, and you hit that “Oh F— moment.” This is the first book that ever made me stop reading, walk out the door, and try one of Stanger’s tips (singing in the face of anxiety). And guess what? It works. Shelby Stanger knows her stuff.” — Christopher McDougall, bestselling author of Born to Run and reluctant blurber.
“A priestess of adventure for our times, Shelby Stanger inspires us by curation, example, and her generous good sense. This book may very well change your life.” — Florence Williams, author, The Nature Fix and Heartbreak: A Personal and Scientific Journey
“Beautiful, profoundly inspiring, and laugh-out-loud funny, Will to Wild feels like being on an awesome outdoor adventure with your best friends. After every chapter, you find yourself planning a new adventure.” — Jaimal Yogis, author of The Fear Project and Saltwater Buddha
“Will to Wild is the ultimate guide for anyone looking to try something new and have more nature in their lives. Shelby makes it fun and relatable—skillfully weaving practical tips, effective advice, hilarious stories, inspiring examples, and heartfelt encouragement into a clear step by step format that will make you feel supported as you take the leap into whatever endeavor is calling you.” — Captain Liz Clark, Author of Swell: A Sailing Surfer’s Journey of Awakening
WILL TO WILD: Adventures Great and Small to Change Your Life
By Shelby Stanger
Simon Element/Simon & Schuster | On sale: June 6, 2023 | Linked here