Cover image for The wilderness paddler's handbook
The wilderness paddler's handbook
Kesselheim, Alan S., 1952-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Camden, Me. : Ragged Mountain Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
284 pages : illustrations, maps ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV783 .K46 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



A paddling guide that tells you not just what gear you need, but what to leave behind and how to judge the difference. This guide equips you to design and plan your own expedition instead of slavishly following a trip mapped by an expert. It outlines the requisite skills for backcountry paddling and shows by example when and why to use them.

Table of Contents

Part 1 From Idea to Put-In
1 How Trips Get Born
2 Square Peg, Round Hole: Making a Trip Fit
3 Getting There and Back
4 Mining for Information
Part 2 On The Water
5 The Partnership Tango: Two Vignettes
6 Negotiating Current
7 Rating Whitewater and Rivers
8 Why Wood and Water Don't Mix
9 Open Water Hazards
10 Against the Flow
11 To Run, to Line, to Portage
12 Going Solo
Part 3 Nomad Skills
13 Finding a Way: Navigating
14 No Grit: Life in Sandy Camps
15 Rigging for the Day
16 Finding a Home
17 The Fiery Debate: Stoves versus Campfires
18 Bears, Bugs, and Boonies: The Bad Bs of Wilderness Paddling
19 Kitchens on the Go
20 Luxuries of No-Portage Trips
21 Water Safety: Getting a Safe Head
22 First Aid
23 In Honor of Place: Trip Sanitation
24 Keeping Group Morale Afloat
Part 4 Outfitting
25 Gear That Changed My Life
26 The Gear List
27 Trip Canoes
28 Overhyped Equipment
29 The Sentimental List
30 The Human Fuel
31 Menu Planner
32 Favorite Recipes
33 Disciplining the Pile
Part 5 Families and Canoes
34 Why It Works
35 Parental Judgment
36 Infants
37 Toddlers
38 Subadults
39 Kids' Gear
40 Trip Activities
Part 6 Expedition Destinations
41 An Expedition Medley
Appendix 1 Off-Season Boat Puttering
Appendix 2 Wilderness Paddler's Resource Center