The Wilderness Paddler's Handbook

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9780071354189: The Wilderness Paddler's Handbook

This book by America's preeminent canoeing author combines evocative wilderness writing with nuts-and-bolts coverage of all practical aspects of canoe tripping. Alan Kesselheim uses the lessons he's learned first-hand over thousands of miles of wilderness paddling to create a context for conveying everything a new or experienced paddler can expect to encounter, on any type of water.

Kesselheim's unsurpassed expertise­­gained by paddling under every condition imaginable­­speaks clearly to readers looking to acquaint themselves with the essentials of traveling by canoe. Helpful sidebars, interspersed throughout the book, provide step-by-step instructions on all critical considerations, such as how to plan, pack, equip, and modify a canoe for weekend or extended trips. The Wilderness Paddler's Handbook is surely a classic-in-the-making and must-reading for serious canoeists and outdoor book enthusiasts alike.

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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

From the Inside Flap:

The Wilderness Paddler's Handbook offers paddlers of any stripe Alan Kesselheim's personal, engaging writing and his unsurpassed experience. Helpful sidebars, interspersed throughout the book, provide step-by-step instructions on all critical technical considerations. Everything a new or experienced paddler can expect to encounter is included, from trip planning, choosing the right gear, and packing, to camping, cooking, modifying your boat, and dealing with conditions on every kind of water. Whether it's how to pick the right partner, negotiate a tricky rapid, go solo, or bring the entire family, it's all here in this entertaining, inspiring, and informative guide.

Alan Kesselheim has paddled thousands of wilderness miles – alone, with his wife, Marypat, and with his young children strapped into the canoe like babies in car seats. He's paddled fast-moving rivers, windswept lakes, and quiet ponds. (One trip took him on a 13-month, 2000-mile journey from Grande Cache, Alberta, to Baker Lake in the Northwest Territories.) He's also one of North America's preeminent canoeing writers, and his hard-won opinions are highly respected.

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Alan S. Kesselheim
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