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The Wilderness Paddler's Handbook: Hard-won Advice for the Best Canoe Trip You'll Ever Make Paperback – 1 Mar 2001

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 284 pages
  • Publisher: Ragged Mountain Press (1 Mar. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071354182
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071354189
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,442,254 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Book Description

The Wilderness Paddler's Handbook is a how-to book on canoe camping by an acclaimed writer who has paddled thousands of miles in every condition imaginable. It will teach the essentials of canoe camping and wilderness travel through short, often lyrical narratives will be complemented by detailed sidebars that provide step-by-step instructions for such things as planning, packing, equipping, and modifying a canoe for day or extended trips. It is an engaging approach to how-to writing that will attract attention, reviews, and readers. Alan Kesselheim is one of the country's preeminent paddling writes. He has written five books, including Trail Food (Ragged Mountain Press 1994), and hundreds of magazine articles. He has paddled thousands of wilderness miles, including a 420-day journey taken with his wife across the Northwestern Canadian Wilderness--a trip that called for spending an isolated winter in a small cabin. He has paddled alone, with his wife, and with his young children strapped to the canoe like babies in car seats. He has paddled fast-moving rivers, windswept lakes, and quiet ponds. His opinions are highly respected, and his hard-won advice--and descriptions of the mistakes to avoid--will lend instant credibility to the text.

From the Back Cover

"Alan Kesselheim is a master of the paddle and the pen . . . This [is] the best of Kesselheim: wit, wilderness savvy, and a boat-full of sound advice."--Larry Rice, editor, Canoe & Kayak

Welcome to simplicity. You are holding the only wilderness paddling guide that tells you not just what gear you need, but what to leave behind and how to judge the difference.

Welcome to discovery. This guide equips you to design and plan your own expedition instead of slavishly following a trip mapped by an "expert."

Welcome to experience. Any good book can outline the requisite skills for backcountry paddling. This one also shows by example when and why to use them.

Here are the keys to canoe tripping, whether for expeditions of one to one hundred days. Alan Kesselheim is both a master paddler--with 25 years and more than 10,000 miles of wilderness paddling behind him--and a writer of uncommon grace and skill. He has created here a book of concentrated wisdom that is so pleasurable to read you may scarcely realize how much you're learning. The Wilderness Paddler's Handbook packages rich nuggets of experience in stories that entertain while they instruct.

Most how-to books are written either to grow into or to outgrow. Not this one. You can start with The Wilderness Paddler's Handbook, and you can keep going. You can paddle right off the map.

"Alan Kesselheim's mix of paddling experiences and superb writing skills make him ideally suited to dispense this highly personal and entertaining look at the how-tos of canoe tripping."--Michael Peake, editor, Che-Mun: The Journal of Canadian Wilderness Canoeing

"Alan Kesselheim is a first-rate writer who flat out knows what he's talking about. This is a book that will enrich your days on the water."--Jerry Dennis, author of From a Wooden Canoe

"As an explorer whose heart is ever lost to the next river bend, Kesselheim inspires canoeists to seek the wilds. In The Wilderness Paddler's Handbook, he is merciless to paddlers who've maintained that their ignorance has kept them home. It's all here!--Jan Nesset, former editor-in-chief, Canoe & Kayak

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book, the author writes well, is very entertaining, and not in the least bit patronising for all his obvious experience.

Kesselheim honestly gives his practical thoughts on wilderness paddling, and does so in such a personal way that it gives great enjoyment.

As a reference book it is both engaging and humours. His thoughts on fancy equipment, and techno gear hype, are worth the purchase alone.

I thoroughly recommend this book to all paddlers
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x90f7e2dc) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9115a9c0) out of 5 stars A book to get you into the wilderness 3 Sept. 2001
By a paddler who wishes he was out there, rather than in here - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
While not as extensive as Cliff Jacobson's book on expedition canoeing, its main advantage is that it makes wilderness canoeing seem less a daunting and complicated task, but more an exciting possibility (with some careful planning, of course). In addition it gives clear advice on aspects from planning the trip, who to take in the group, and family trips. The text is interesting to read with both funny and not-so-funny anecdotes. More often than not I turn to this book in my hours of despair when my the planning just gets too much. Life can be too complicated (and gimicky) sometimes. Not so with this book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x90f65354) out of 5 stars Spectacular book! 24 Aug. 2008
By Marko - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is the best canoeing book I own. Here's why:

1) The book is full of great advice for both the beginner and advanced paddler, including DIY projects that are really innovative (canoe spray deck, solo saddle, etc). There are tons of ideas on how to make the trips more efficient and easier (this book convinced me to start dehydrating my own meals - haven't looked back since)!

2) The book's writing style is straightforward and non-intimidating.

3) There are anecdotes throughout the book that really immerse you in Alan's wilderness experiences, and serve as an inspiration for future trips.

Awesome book. I bought it four years ago, and read it about 4-5 times since. I've learned something new each time.
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