- Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 December 2010 15:51
- Written by Guidebook
Dated but readable account of a long kayak trip.
Collection of stories from US white water guru. Some are very good, some are not about paddling, some are self-indulgent.
Account of trips across Ireland by kayak in the 1940s.
Fantastic account of a trip down Russia's obscure Amur River. Hilarious.
The book credited with launching the modern sport of kayaking! 'Rob Roy' Macgregor's adventures across Europe in the C19.
A gripping but balanced account of the ill-fated 1998 expedition to the Tsangpo Gorges in Tibet. The author has really done his research and offers some insights in river-running and the pressures on sponsored expeditions. Don't miss this book if whitewater is your thing.
Wick was a member of the '98 Tsangpo Expedition (above) and offers his own perspective on the events.
Aaronovitch paddled around the UK's rivers and canals in order to lose weight (or something) and does he ever whine about everything he sees and does. He delivers a vicious character assassination of a member of the UK Paddlesport industry, and then whines a bit more. Certainly interesting, with some good commentary on England as he sees it. But...you don't have to admire the author for it.
Describes a raft descent of an Ethiopian river by aging US raft guides. Interesting but occasionally self-indulgent and rambling.
A large coffee table book of photography from US rivers, along with accompanying articles.
Entertaining and varied, this is a collection of expedition stories by experienced paddlers from around the world. Recommended.
An inspirational book about Walt Blackadar, a US paddling pioneer who pushed back the frontiers of whitewater paddling (before dying on the river) during the '70s despite being somewhat on the old side...a great read.
Probably the best whitewater expedition book written (after 'Canoeing Down Everest', unfortunately out of print). This account of a source to sea expedition isn't really about the river; it's about how the 'team' fall out and end up doing everything short of murdering each other.
Probably only for completists, this is the expedition leader's slant on the above expedition...it contrasts sharply with Kane's version...
A very readable account of the first descent of the Amazon's canyons, with useful insights on expedition planning and logistics. This group all fell out too...
About rafting; an account of a woman's solo trip down the Grand Canyon. Thoughtful introspective stuff.
What the title says, a detailed account of a canoe trip across the breadth of Canada. Essential reading for Canadian Canoe paddlers. Some very good environmental insights.
Remember the scary film? Well this is the canoe-trip-from-hell novel it was based on. I doesn't actually contain the words 'Squeal like a hog!' but is a good read all the same.
Well illustrated basic summary of an expedition to the Aleutian islands. Looks pretty cold and windy.
A coffee table book relating the story of a Kiwi expedition to paddle the Antarctic Peninsula. It seems to have been quite cold. You must own this just for the photos.
Excellent account of a trip around northern Canada; focuses on the situation of the modern Inuit peoples, avoiding sentimentality.
Readable account of Peter Bray's epic plod across the Atlantic. Doesn't sound as if it was much fun.
Excellent account of a trip around new Zealand's South Island. Less of the introspective spiritual stuff than Celtic Tides' (below), which is fine by me.
Gorgeous book on paddling around the island, from the perspectives of both authors; they don't always have the same perspective! Accompanied by stunning photography.
Coffee table book on paddling the west Canada coast. Recommended if you are heading there.
A very well written account of paddling around Ireland, comparable with 'Dances with Waves' (below). Recommended for beardies.
Truly amazing, an outrageous and gripping account of several haphazard attempts to paddle Canada's arctic NW passage...usually ending in disaster. One of the few kayak expedition books which MUST be read.
An excellent read, Ms Jason (a grandmother!) eventually succeeded where Mr Starkell (above) failed. Her account gives an interesting view of Starkell's own efforts and hat it was like to paddle with him, and describes her subsequent voyages. Recommended.
Fantastic, a must-read. An account of a solo paddle around Scotland, Wilson brings Scotland and it's people alive, particularly via numerous pub visits...it's a wonder he had time to paddle.
Wilson's followup which does the same for Ireland as 'Blazing Paddles' does for Scotland. The quality of writing is probably even better.
A readable and interesting description of an extended trip along North America's NW coasts. Essential for anyone intending on paddling there.
Describing a sea trip made along the Scottish coast before WWII, this is an interesting memoir of both the sport in it's infancy and a Scotland which may have since vanished.
A companion to the above book by Dunnett's co-paddler. Plenty of thoughts on Scottish culture and nationalism.
The famous misanthropist and travel writer takes a folding kayak and uses it to observe and explore the Pacific islands. Great writing, but little about kayaking in itself.
This unusual book attempts to link the origins of sea kayaking with pixies and fairies...or something. Frankly, I didn't understand it. Should appeal to conspiracy theorists, new agers and 'dungeons and dragons' fans
Useful guide to travelling in out of the way mountainous areas. Written by the BMC, but ideal for paddlers going to the less economically developed world.
Sumptious coffee table book describing the history of all kinds of North American native craft (including kayaks) and their cultural legacy. Great value.
Of peripheral interest, but includes quite a lot about the use of kayaks in military operations.
A well illustrated introduction to the Arctic origins of our sport.
Basically just an excuse to showcase Munsey's awesome photos - recommended.
Fictional story about a trip to the Alps.
Extremely useful for planning big trips.
A random selection of oddball travellers...the first chapter is about John 'Rob Roy' MacGregor, the father of our modern sport.
An unusual book describing an almost unknown US boater who made pioneering first descents.
Plenty of interesting articles and trip reports, lots of good reading here and not all completely US-biased.
A compilation of excellent writing on all sorts of paddling, from home waters to expeditions. Lots of inspirational stuff in here.
A collection of first-rate writing about, funnily enough, rivers. Lots on paddling, and tons of right-on ecological ranting written by Americans. Recommended.
The story of the nineteenth century exploration of the Mississippi, Missouri and Columbia river systems in the USA, not involving canoes but fascinating for historian and naturalist types. Not exactly lightweight.
Brilliant, flippant stories of river trips around the globe. A good antidote to 1001 macho outdoor adventure books. Unmissable! Don't read it looking for reliable info...
A well written and enjoyable account of a year spent touring rivers (and some sea paddling) around the world with a folding kayak. Good info about getting sponsorship, almost worth reading for that alone.
Not about paddling but river exploration. A classic rivetting account of the Victorian search for the source of the Nile.
A companion volume to the above which you'll want to read after finishing the White Nile. Describes the exploration of the Blue Nile's source in Ethiopia, again not about paddling.
The superb travel writer describes a gruelling journey down the Holy river of India, for inexplicable reasons done in a rowing boat.
A classic account of the first descent and exploration of the Grand Canyon, carried out by half-starved scientists and cowboys in rowing boats. The section half of the book is a dry description of the region, the second is an interesting account of the trip.