Library

Journals

  • Reflections on a River , by Elizabeth Noël ... Reflections on a River is a journal of a family's seven week kayaking trip from Yellowknife on the the shores of Great Slave Lake, NWT to Tuktoyaktuk on the Arctic Ocean. Their daily triumph as well as the daily drudgery, not to mention strife in the ranks, is revealed. Reflections on a River also includes extensive instructions for planning such an adventure yourself. The book includes everything from equipment needed, checklist to make your life easier, to recipes. Their experiences, the research they did to prepare for their trip, their mistakes, the things they wish they'd done differently, and numerous lessons learned along the way are all combined in this informative and often hilarious read. ***

    Reflections on a River is like reading someone's mail or personal journal. You will quickly become a member of the Noel party as they paddle to the Arctic Ocean. The book tells the daily adventures,group dynamics,history of the region and an in-depth planning guide to help you plan your own paddling adventure. The Noels witnessed ragging forest fires, biting mosquitoes, storm bound days, isolation and solitude, historic villages, beautiful landscapes, and Inuit Burial grounds. All there experiences are told to you by the person who experienced them herself. The book is a quick enjoyable read often filled with laughter and awe. Its a must to just have the extensive planning guide in the back which included recipes, map information, contact numbers, and equipment. You will want to embark on your own trip after reading this. I had the pleasure of meeting them while en-route on my own adventure and spent several days in this remote wilderness. Great photos too! -- Norm Miller


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  • The Mackenzie: Yesterday and Beyond, by Alfred P Aquilina. 1981. Hancock House Publishing Vancouver BC. ... A great historic and present day account of the Mackenzie River region.

    This is a must read for anyone who is traveling in this region as it is full of history. There are many photos from the turn of the century to the present. Provides details From the Hudson's Bay Days to the Recent Oil Exploration. Gives fairly detailed information on historic sites that are hard to find while paddling down the Mackenzie such as old forts and villages. A great book to take with you while on your trip. The struggles of the past and what lies in the future are detailed in this book about the Canadian North. -- Norm Miller

  • New York to Nome, by Rick Steber. 1987. North River Press. ... A 1936 account of two guys who quit there city jobs and paddle across the continent. The winter over in Ft. Smith on the Slave and Paddle out the Mac. River over to Alaska.

    It was unheard of back in the great depression and thought of as a foolish undertaking for two young men to quit there New York City jobs and paddle to Nome Alaska. That's just what they did. This book gives you a sense of what it was like back in the early part of the century. The two men experienced numerous personality clashes and conflicts. They separated during the winter months in Ft. Smith on the Slave River where they trapped and sled dogged till the spring opened the river. This is the first known account of anyone paddling across the North American Continent and to do it in such difficult times was a great achievement. Includes some great actually photos from there trip. -- Norm Miller

  • Where Rivers Run, by Gary and Joanie McGuffin. 1988. Stonewall Press Boulder Co. ... A husband and wife's account of a 6000 mile cross-Canada trip. The paddle the entire Mackenzie River to Tuktoyaktuk.

    A true life account of the McGuffins extended honeymoon as they cross Canada from Ottawa to Tuktoyaktuk. Well written accounts of there experiences with the land, people and its history. They don't go into extensive detail about certain areas, but what they do write about is well worth it. Not to be used as a planning guide, but more for the sense of what "you" will feel and experience when taken by the water. Great photos. Talks about the Mackenzie River Drainage and what you may see when en-route on your own trip. -- Norm Miller

  • One Incredible Journey, by Claton Klein and Verlen Kruger. 1987. Wilderness Adventure Books, Fowlerville Michigan.

    The true account of Verlen Kruger and Clint Wadells historic paddle trip in the early 1970's in which they paddle from Ottawa to the Bering Sea in ONE six month season. These two were out to prove and set a record making it barely as there canoe became covered in ice as they paddled into the Bering Sea. The book is comprised of Verlens journal account records of there challenges and victories as they retrace the historic voyageur canoe route for 7000 miles. Contains many photos. The book does not have detailed descriptions but will give the reader a sense on the country that they paddled through and the hardships of such an undertaking of human strength and spirit. -- Norm Miller

    Review

  • The Mighty Mackenzie:Highway to the Arctic Ocean, by Lyn Hancock. 1974. Hancock House Publishing.

    This is a simple 90 pages book filled with hundreds of old photos many of people who live and work along the Mackenzie river. Trappers, fisherman, paddlers, researched biologist,Inuit elders and children along with scenic photos. The book is an account of a zodiac(motor boat) trip down the entire river. Discusses the sites, towns, and people along the way. Its a must just to see the old photos! Out of print but I searched a warehouse for it on the net and found it for about $8.00. -- Norm Miller

  • Down the Wild River North

    Review

  • Alexander Mackenzie's Journal, by Sir Alexander Mackenzie. ***

    Review


History 

  • Fur Trade Canoe Routes of Canada / Then and Now, by Eric Morse. 1989. University of Toronto Press. ... A great source of information/history of the famous canoe routes through Canada.

    Review

  • Dangerous River, by R.M. Patterson

    Your will drift back into the early part of the 20th century to one of the blank spots on the map. This detailed account of the Nahanni Region is a must for anyone who enjoys the adventures of the men who braved the rugged lands long before our time. I really enjoyed the stories of life threatening river running, murder mystery/hidden gold mine tales, complete isolation and winter turmoils Patterson encountered. I felt he does get carried away with his hunting exploits, but then again it was practically his only source of food. Has some great old photos of the Nahanni Region. -- Norm Miller

  • Nahanni, by Dick Turner

    Review

  • Wings of the North, by Dick Turner

    Review

  • The Mad Trapper of Rat River

    Review


Guidebooks

  • The Mackenzie River Guide: Written by Michelle Swallow and Illustrated by Farah Denkovski, the Mackenzie River Guide documents the route, history and stories of the Mackenzie River. Full colour with more than 60 maps of the river (1:250).  The Mackenzie River Guide is a must have for all Northern enthusiasts, paddlers and powerboaters.
    ISBN 978-0-9868494-0-4
    Mackenzie River Paddling Guide.
    published in July 2011
    mackenzieriverguide@gmail.com
    www.mackenzieriverguide.ca
    Review

     
  • The Canadian Canoeing Companion: An Illustrated Resource Guide to Paddling Canada's Wilderness, by Alex Narvey. 1988. Thunder Enlightening Press Winnipeg Manitoba. ... Contains planning tips, gear, canoe techniques. The good thing about this is the Resources and Bibliography which has hundreds of information sources about paddling in canada. This book may be out of print and difficult to find.

    Review

  • Canoeing Canada's Northwest Territories: A Paddlers guide, Edited by Mary McCreadie, Published by the Canadian Recreational Canoeing Association Book contains trip reports of the Mackenzie, Slave, Mountain, Coppermine, Kazan and 15 other major rivers. List water flows and maps needed for the trip + much much more.

    Review


Travel Technique and Food

  • Beyond Backpacking: Ray Jardine's Guide to Lightweight Hiking, by Ray Jardine. 2000. Published by AdvertureLore Press. ISBN# 0-9632359-3-1

    Lightweight and low-impact travel techniques. This book will change the way you think and act, in regards to wilderness travel and perhaps in how you conduct your daily life. The author has a great deal of experience kayaking and canoeing in the Arctic. Visit Ray's website for more information. Practical methods for all who love the out-of-doors, from walkers and backpackers, to long-distance hikers. Click here for a review and to order directly from Ray. Highly, highly recommended for any wilderness traveler. -- Harlow Pinson

  • Wilderness Cuisine: How to Prepare and Enjoy Fine Food on the Trail and in Camp, by Carole Latimer. 1991. Wilderness Press. ISBN: 0899971148
  • NOLS Cookery. Claudia Pearson, Ed. 1997. Stackpole Books; ISBN: 0811728609
  • The Hungry Hikers Cookbook. Gretchen McHugh. 1982. Knoph Publishing. May be out of print.