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Synopsis

A recreational canoeman in his native Texas, Rick Sparkman thought he knew all about the sport when he moved to Nova Scotia in 1981. The swift, cold rivers and streams of his new home adjusted his thinking in the most personal way: he got dumped. That’s when he started learning to paddle in earnest. Woodlands Canoeing explains the fundamentals of recreational canoeing in the woods of the Maritimes, New England, and anywhere else where the waterways are small, the water is swift and at times shallow, and canoeing varies with the seasons. It’s a guide to safe, comfortable recreation for those who already canoe a little and want to know more, as well as for people experienced in canoeing on lakes or on the more predictable rivers described in other canoeing books. Woodlands Canoeing outlines the advantages of various kinds of equipment and describes canoeing and camping techniques in words, photos, and drawings, mixing practical information with anecdotes drawn from Sparkman’s years of family canoeing. Throughout, Sparkman concentrates on having fun, even when the expected summer shower becomes the tail of a hurricane or the canoe has to be inched over rocky shallows where only a few days earlier there was plenty of water. Keeping warm, dry, and well fed are crucial to Sparkman’s pleasure, and Woodlands Canoeing contains hints for packing, instructions for making camp, and recipes for delicious and satisfying meals. Because of the region’s volatile climate and variable water conditions, Sparkman has learned how to canoe delightfully in all weathers, and in Woodlands Canoeing he passes his hard-won knowledge along. An enthusiastic winter canoeist, he even explains how to achieve this feat safely and — believe it or not — in comfort.

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