The Journal of Canadian

Wilderness Canoeing

  SPRING 2003











In this issue

Front Page


Spring Packet


From the Editor

Canoelit I

Canoelit II

National Archives

Back page




Canoelit I


More of Canada’s Best Canoe Routes

Edited by Alister Thomas

Boston Mills Press, Toronto

$19.95 304 pp.

ISBN: 1-55046-390-X

There are a lot of great canoe trip stories in Canada and editor Alister Thomas is working his way through  them one book at a time.

It began with Paddlequest a few years back, it was changed into Canada’s Best Canoe Routes and now  the sequel has arrived.  A number of interesting rivers are covered over a many years. The stories are short and told in  a variety of styles. Glenn Hodgins reveals his early days on the Nahanni a quarter of a century ago.

And young Eric Pelly, with the help of famed paddler and father David, gives a child’s eye view of northern paddling - in your own backyard.

There are trips down the Rupert, Winisk, Coppermine, Notokwanon and Kazan by tales by notable paddlers including Joanie McGuffin, Bert Horwood, Max Finkelstein, Bruce Hodgins (one of three Hodgins tales!) and C.E.S. Franks. Oh, yes, and Kevin Callan too — as if he’s not everywhere else!

The book has a liberal number of photos, well reproduced in black and white but no colour plates. It’s a great book to pick though and jump around. The stories are seldom more than eight pages long and usually quite entertaining.  

What makes the good ones sing are the reflective tone many of the tales offer. Often they are looking back at a great trip that changed the writer in a special and memorable way.

— Michael Peake

The Forgotten Skills

Expert Techniques and Tips to Make Your Camping Experience More Rewarding

By Cliff Jacobson

90 min. video

Mike Leitner Productions 2002

Cliff Jacobson is a star. You won’t find him on a red carpet — well, perhaps a carpet of red leaves in the North Woods. Cliff is a huge draw at the many canoe shows he speaks at in the U.S. Midwest.

 His many books offer myriad tricks to help your life along the trail. And now there’s Cliff – The Video. Forgotten Skills could as easily be titled, Tents, Tarps & Tinder. Those are the three main topics covered in detail in this 90 minute video. Now, slick, it ain’t. There are not a lot of fancy video effects and the lighting and sound is well . . . very real.

But more importantly, it’s really the closest thing to being at one of Cliff’s talks.  

The whole thing is photographed in the woods and Cliff takes you step by experienced step over the important tips on buying, using and customizing a tent and tarps. He also gives a fine run though of building a proper fire. You can learn new things every time to talk – or listen – to Cliff. We have not taken axes on trips for years since they are the primary cause of accidents. But Cliff shows us some very smart – and safe – ways to handle and use an axe.

He certainly knows his stuff – and not by simply giving talks. He has been tripping for decades in the U.S. and in Canada’s north. We always have time for Cliff, now we can simply pop him in the VCR. Now, Cliff, have you heard about those new fangled DVDs? They also double up as a great drink coaster!

                                         — Michael Peake


 Spring 2003         Outfit 112 

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