Field Notes — paddler RSS

T is for Tumpline

What's a tumpline you ask? To put it simply, tumplines are straps used to carry heavy loads using the strength of the spine, and have been around for a long, long time. Do they work? The fact they've been around for so long and spread out across multiple cultures and geographic regions point to yes. They definitely have a place in paddling history, as evidenced by their use among the voyageurs as they carried heavy loads over portages. Chouinard likes 'em, and actually sells them online. Might be worthwhile to experiment a bit with one and see if it can’t straighten out my posture a bit.  

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Path of the Paddle

A great little piece from Canadian filmmaker Bill Mason, who was also known as "the patron saint of canoeing." Noted primarily for his canoeing books, films and art, his contributions to the sport also included techniques and approaches to canoeing on rivers, specifically in whitewater situations. His films are available to watch online at the Canadian National Film Board website.

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The Paddler's Process

With the launch of the latest addition to the My Outdoor Alphabet world, I wanted to share a little behind-the-scenes peek into how one of these things comes to life. Sound good? Let's go. It all begins with getting outdoors. For the Paddler's Alphabet, it started with a free canoe someone gave my young family nearly 15 years ago. Where it really came to life however, was during a 50 mile canoe trip my boys and I took down Montana's Missouri River with their grandfather. As we prepared for the trip and spent time together on the water, we were setting the foundation for this poster without even trying. The seed was planted, the trip was amazing (check the photos here), and it made it very easy to...

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