Canoeing

While strapping our skis to the thwarts of our adventure-worn 16-foot canoe, we notice a raft of small ice chunks floating downstream—remnants of a recent thaw. The ice catches a gentle eddy in the river and gathers into a broad swirl that fills the entire river channel. The call of chickadees, the rustle of beech…

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A selection of fun, odd, and useful jargon for canoe parts and paddling: Air Lock: What happens if you try to lift a capsized canoe straight up. Bang Plate/Stem Band: A piece of reinforcement on the bow for extra protection against impacts and abrasion. Broach: Turn broadside to an obstacle, such as waves, wind, or…

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Developed by Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht, a professor at the University of Manitoba, this simple mnemonic might just save your life. A scene from Cold Water Boot Camp Cold-water paddlers are at particular risk of capsizing and going into the freezing drink (especially in the Northeast, where frigid ocean and lake temperatures lag far behind the…

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Afoot and afloat in Maine’s most beguiling backcountry My introduction to Maine’s famed 100-Mile Wilderness region came in early July of 1974, when a junior high school friend and I concocted a plan to hike the Appalachian Trail from Monson to Katahdin. We would cover the 100 trail miles of the name, plus the final…

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Philadelphia is a glorious place to be a kid outdoors, as anyone who has explored the city’s Fairmount Park can tell you. The largest landscaped urban park in the world, Fairmount is just one of Greater Philly’s many attractions. With its moderate seasons, expansive open spaces that stretch from the city to the countryside, and…

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There’s something satisfying about the J stroke. The subtle nature of it, how just a small turn of your wrist can provide gentle course correction and keep the boat pointed in the right direction. It’s efficient too, and that can help ensure long, enjoyable days on the water. The J, and four other strokes outlined…

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Fit is paramount when selecting a PFD. Consider these other features next: Bright colors, especially orange and red, make you more visible in the water. Ventilated mesh panels on the back and sides make hot-weather boating more pleasant. Neoprene linings are more comfortable against skin, especially around the shoulders and neck. Lots of pockets are…

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Roughly hewn paddles slide silently through the water. Deer graze on the banks, unaware of approaching danger. Two slender, tanned youths with long, raven hair stay low in the handsomely crafted canoe, letting the boat glide into the reeds along the edges of Maine’s Moose River. They reach for their flint arrows and creep towards…

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