Stephan Kesting

Bark, Skin and Dugout – The Three Types of Traditional Canoes

Canoes are universal. After all, anywhere that there is open water it’s probably useful to have an open-topped craft that can be easily loaded and unloaded, pointed at both ends so it can go forwards and backwards, and light enough to be propelled by paddles. Prior to the advent of Kevlar and fancy plastics, canoes […]

wilderness canoe repair kit

The Perfect Repair Kit for Wilderness Canoe Trips

On a longer canoe trip it’s not a question of whether your equipment is going to break but rather when it’s going to break. That’s why it’s not unusual to spend about an hour a day fixing packs, tents, clothing and gear after you’ve been travelling in the wilderness for a week or two.A lot of canoeists bring only […]

Open Canoe Roll

The Open Canoe Roll

Rolling practice… It’s been 20 years since I last rolled a small whitewater canoe equipped with a saddle, thigh straps, and airbags, so I headed to the pool to practice. I can see some room for improvement, but overall it’s a skill that’s coming back quickly. I’m motivated to make my roll bombproof because I […]

Adam Shoalts on Wet Weather Gear for Canoeing

Raingear for Canoe Expeditions

In this video I chatted with Canadian explorer Adam about rain and cold weather gear for expedition canoeing… Adam normally goes super minimalist, but hypothermia is certainly something to worry about. He had hypothermia a lot while doing shoestring expeditions on a budget in his 20’s and he’s not had hypothermia since then because he […]

Intuitive Navigation, Or Why You Shouldn’t Rely On Your GPS in the Wilderness

I recently spoke with explorer and author Adam Shoalts about the role intuitive navigation plays in the wilderness. Here’s the video of that conversation, and the summary of the main points are below the video. Enjoy! Summary of Intuitive vs GPS Based Navigation It’s obviously a huge asset if you can learn to navigate intuitively, […]

An explorer's number one tip for wilderness safety

Your Number One Tip to Stay Safe in the Outdoors

Adam Shoalts is an accomplished Canadian explorer with many big expeditions under his belt. He’s been a guest on my podcast (The Strenuous Life Podcast) multiple times, always with new, amazing stories. In our most recent conversation he explained how mindset and mentality are MUCH much more important than gear for staying safe in the […]

Power Oatmeal for Camping

Power Oatmeal for Camping

After years of refining the recipe I think it’s time to publicly share ‘Power Oatmeal’… On a recent trip to the Nahanni we ate this on 10 out 12 mornings and never got bored of it. And as soon as we got back we made some more for home use. I prefer eating it with […]

Always do this when you're canoeing

Why You Should ALWAYS Tie Up Your Canoe

Lessons repeat themselves until learned… The first time I had a boat float away on me was on the Missinaibi River in Ontario. I had just portaged the boat down a muddy trail through the forest and arrived at the bottom of a rapid. I dropped the 16 foot Prospector into the water with just […]

Two Simplest Ways to Tie a Clove Hitch

Wilderness Knots: The Two Simplest Ways to Tie a Clove Hitch

The clove hitch is an important knot commonly used way to fasten a rope to an object. It’s quick knot to tie and is easily undone. It’s used in two different scenarios; it’s the same knot although you tie it in different ways…. Where you can tie the knot first and then slip it over […]

How to Tie a Bowline Knot

Wilderness Knots: How to Tie the Basic Bowline

The bowline is one of the most essential knots for camping, canoeing, kayaking, and living in the wilderness. I think the ‘rabbit and tree’ method is the simplest way to learn this knot, and this method consists of 4 steps… Make a loop a foot or two near the end of the rope to form […]