Stephan Kesting

Bailing out on trips

Know When to Walk Away, Know When to Run…

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Stephan Kesting (@essentialwilderness) It’s just not worth getting hurt when you’re just training. I bailed off this trail because it was cold, it was raining, and I was underdressed. Treevalanches were coming down all around me, and getting hit in the head with a big icy […]

Poling, A Forgotten Method to Travel Upriver

If I just had a dollar for every time I’ve been told, “Never stand up in a canoe”. Everybody knows that, right? Well, everybody is wrong. If you stand in a canoe you should do so carefully, but I do it all the time. I stand up to get a better view of rapids downstream, […]

Cooking over a campfire using fire irons

Fire Irons, the Best Way to Cook Over a Fire

Fire irons are two pieces of metal, typically tubular aluminum, that can be laid across a fire to provide a stable surface for cooking. In my experience this simple setup is much lighter, portable, stable and rugged than carrying any sort of grill with you into the woods.

Things I Carry in My PFD on a Wilderness Canoeing Expedition

A personal floatation device keeps you on the surface of the water and stops you from drowning, but it’s also SO much more than that, especially on a long expedition. First, the layers of foam act as an insulator to keep you warm and as body armour if you’re getting bashed against rocks. It’s your […]

5 Ways to Screw Up Bear Spray

Bear spray is an important piece of wilderness equipment.   I’ve carried it in black bear, grizzly bear and polar bear country and it’s always added to my peace of mind; after all, 20 years of research suggests that it’s more effective than a gun at deterring aggressive bears). But any tool badly used can create more problems […]