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Category: Summer Expeditions

Canoe Capsize Recovery – Deep Water Rescue Training

Canoe Capsize Recovery – Deep Water Rescue Training

Canoe capsize recovery skills are important for any canoeist who ventures onto open water, even as part of a group. Windermere is England’s largest natural lake and the venue of the Expedition Canoeing Skills course that Ray Goodwin and I run there every summer. Part of the course programme involves learning and practising canoe capsize drills. Under close supervision, the students take it in turns to capsize their boats and perform rescues. More experienced students have the opportunity to perform…

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A Trail Of Destruction: Canoeing The River Greta After The Floods…

A Trail Of Destruction: Canoeing The River Greta After The Floods…

The River Greta underwent significant change as a result of Storm Desmond in December 2015, which caused severe flooding in many parts of the UK, particularly in the Lake District. Ray Goodwin, Paul “Spoons” Nicholls and I were running two week-long Expedition Canoeing Skills Courses in the Lake District. On our day off in between courses, we went for a real mini-adventure on the Greta…

Wash Day On The River Spey

Wash Day On The River Spey

Every year Ray Goodwin and I lead canoe-camping trips on the River Spey in the Scottish Highlands. It’s a lovely river to paddle in an open boat and the surrounding scenery is beautiful. Travelling in such a fantastic natural environment, there are many highlights. Amongst the highlights of a watery nature are several rapids which we paddle on the Thursday of our trips, one at Blacksboat, very popularly referred to as The Washing Machine and Knockando, one of the steepest…

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Waiting For Gooders: A Minor Inconvenience In The Wilderness

Waiting For Gooders: A Minor Inconvenience In The Wilderness

There was a backlog of flights. In the previous couple of days poor weather had disrupted float plane services. Now the pilots were playing catch-up, ferrying fishermen, canoeists and gold prospectors out to the bush. As soon as a plane came in, it was being turned around again, made ready with another load. Our outfitter passed on the information that we should still be good to go first thing in the morning. All being well, the backlog would be cleared…

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Carving A Set Of Utensils For A Frost River Utensil Roll

Carving A Set Of Utensils For A Frost River Utensil Roll

Other than knocking out the occasional small spoon for eating with, I’ve not had much time for carving recently. It’s not that I don’t like carving. Quite the contrary, I really enjoy carving. But, of late I’ve been occupied with leading general bushcraft courses, making wilderness journeys, writing articles, photography and, of course, running a business. So I was really looking forward to running Frontier Bushcraft’s new Woodcrafter course, which revolves around axe skills, woodcraft and carving. One afternoon during…

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PK Podcast 002: Ray Goodwin On Wilderness Canoeing

PK Podcast 002: Ray Goodwin On Wilderness Canoeing

In this episode, I chat with my good friend and colleague British canoeing maestro, Ray Goodwin. We discuss wilderness expeditioning in canoe. Specifically we talk about the mindset and attitude you need in order to make the right decisions, particularly while you are in wild and remote settings. But we also talk about…

Switching Out Of An Expedition Mindset: Two Days Of Paddling At The English Canoe Symposium

Switching Out Of An Expedition Mindset: Two Days Of Paddling At The English Canoe Symposium

The English Canoe Symposium happens once every three years as part of a tri-annual rotation with the Scottish and Welsh canoe symposia. It is held at the YMCA Lakeside, on the shores of Lake Windermere in the English Lake District. In the past I’ve run camp craft sessions at the Welsh Canoe Symposium and the Open Canoe Association’s Canoefest. It’s somewhat ironic for canoe-based events, with my teaching land-based skills all weekend, I typically don’t get to do any paddling….

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