My Pages

Kayaking Checklists – 2016-04
I love checklists and I use them all the time. These are things to consider taking on day trips and camping trips, including details like first aid and repair gear.

Trip Log
This trip log template (Word format) will help you plan your trips in advance and then log useful details after. The discipline of maintaining a trip log will help you learn faster and plan more effectively in the future.

Kayak Symposia in Nova Scotia
This is a list of kayaking festivals and training events throughout the Province of Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotia Resources

Nova Scotia Parks and Protected Areas
Nova Scotia offers a wealth of wilderness camping areas, much of which is situated along the Atlantic coast. This online interactive map will help you identify eligible camping spots.


This is a fairly complete list of books on my own bookshelf and the ones that I would recommend friends to consider.

Full disclosure: if you happen to buy books from Amazon, and you follow my links on this page to get them, then I’ll get a tiny kickback from the Amazon Affiliates program.


Low, S. (2016). Overcoming Gravity: A Systematic Approach to Gymnastics and Bodyweight Strength (2nd ed.). Houston: Battle Ground Creative.
Kayaking may be a full-body sport but there’s a distinct emphasis on the torso and arms, especially when it comes to dynamic conditions that demand upper body strength and resilience to injury. Gymnastic training not only makes you strong and well-coordinated but it also conditions the vital connective tissue that can be a weak link. This book by Steven Low is tomb for understanding gymnastic strength, programming routines, and advancing through progressions.

Ferriss, T. (2010). The 4-hour body: An uncommon guide to rapid fat-loss, incredible sex, and becoming superhuman. New York: Crown Archetype.
Tim Ferriss is a business guru, fitness geek, and human guinea pig who seeks out world experts, learns from them, and presents material in an utterly digestible form. He’s a huge inspiration to me and my writing project on kayaking is due in part to his influence. This second book in Ferriss’ “4 Hour” series, focused on the human body, is packed with valuable “how to” material. The Slow Carb diet helped me lean out and the simplicity of the “minimal effective dose” to exercise has influenced my own workouts.

Starrett, K., & Cordoza, G. (2015). Becoming a supple leopard: The ultimate guide to resolving pain, preventing injury, and optimizing athletic performance (2nd ed.). Las Vegas: Victory Belt Pub.
Kelly Starrett’s book is a definitive guide to human movement archetypes and mobilization techniques. It breaks down every way that the human body moves and every part that’s involved. If you’ve got a limited range of motion or experience muscles that are sore and tight, this book describes in intimate detail how to “floss and smash” your way to greater mobility and performance.

MacKenzie, B., & Cordoza, G. (2012). Power, speed, endurance: A skill-based approach to endurance training. Las Vegas, NV: Victory Belt Pub.
Brian MacKenzies’s book is all about the skills of athletics. From running to cycling to mobility and strength conditioning, this book is packed with practical “how to” details of athletic movement. The final section on “Crossfit Endurance Programming” wraps up the entire work in a programming reference for what is arguably the ultimate expression of human fitness.

Rippetoe, M. (2011). Starting strength: Basic barbell training (3rd ed.). Wichita Falls, TX: Aasgaard.
I came to working out comparatively later in my life and, like so many people, I started in a gym with machines. Since I started training with the Olympic barbell in the past year, I wouldn’t even consider going back to machines that isolate and limit the functional expression of human movement. This is the essential book for anyone learning or coaching basic lifting techniques. 

Rippetoe, M., & Baker, A. (2013). Practical programming for strength training (3rd ed.). Wichita Falls, TX: Asgaard.
From the same author of “Starting strength”, this book is about programming for strength training. It covers the fundamentals of muscle function, foundations of performance, adaptation to stress, and outlines training approaches for novice to advanced lifters.  

Kayak Coaching

Ferrero, F. (2006). The British Canoe Union coaching handbook. Caernarfon, Wales: Pesda Press.
This is a comprehensive reference for coaching sea, inland, and open canoe boating. Part One covers coaching theory and fundamentals. Part Two addresses general coaching skills. Part Three delves into skills specific to each craft and discipline. The forward paddling section is wonderfully technical.

Kayak Skills

Brown, G. (2006). Sea kayak: A manual for intermediate & advanced sea kayakers. Caernarfon, Wales: Pesda Press.
A refreshing alternative to the myriad “learn to kayak” books on the market, Gordon’s book is targeted at more experienced sea kayakers. The book is a useful reference that I find myself consulting regularly, particularly at the start of the season as a refresher on finer details of kit management and trip planning.

Cooper, D. (2009). Sea kayak handling. Caernarfon, Wales: Pesda Press.
I appreciate this book by Doug Cooper because of it’s clear focus on boat handling skills. All of the strokes and manoeuvres are broken down with pictures and detailed text. I find it particularly useful to consult when I’m preparing to coach for a day.

Ferrero, F. (2002). British Canoe Union canoe and kayak handbook (3rd ed.). Caernarfon, Wales: Pesda Press.
This is a comprehensive theory, practice, and skills book for sea, inland, and open canoe boating. It’s written by a broad host of contributing authors.

Alderson, D., & Pardy, M. (2003). Sea kayaker magazine’s handbook of safety and rescue. Camden, ME.: Ragged Mountain Press/McGraw-Hill.
Much of the content in this comparatively thin book is covered by other texts on my bookshelf. I particularly like the Tripping chapter, which expands some concepts related to budget, communication protocol, and trip contracts. The Rescues chapters have useful diagrams to illustrate various towing scenarios.


Burch, D. (2008). Fundamentals of kayak navigation: Master the traditional skills and the latest technologies (4th ed.). Guilford, CT: The Globe Pequot Press.
This definitive work on sea kayak navigation is written by David Burch, Director of the Startpath School of Navigation in Seattle, Washington.

Ferrero, F. (2007). Sea kayak navigation: A practical manual (2nd ed.). Caernarfon, Wales: Pesda Press.
Another wonderfully focused work, this is my “go to” book for sea kayak navigation. Written by Franco Ferrero, this is the book recommended by the British Canoe Union to support official navigation courses.


Hanson, J. (2006). Complete sea kayak touring (2nd ed.). Camden, ME.: Ragged Mountain Press/McGraw-Hill.
The first half of this book covers material already well addressed by other books on my shelf but the second half dives more deeply into touring. Part Three covers camping equipment and techniques, including sample packing diagrams, how to rig an emergency solar still for collecting water, and dealing with venomous animals. Part Four dives into transportation, maintenance, and repair of boats.

Cunningham, S. (2013). Sea kayaking in Nova Scotia: A guide to paddling routes along the coast of Nova Scotia (3rd ed.). Halifax, NS: Nimbus Publishing.
Scotting Cunningham of Coastal Adventures wrote the book on coastal kayaking in Nova Scotia. I consult this book every season and it’s a must-have for anyone kayaking in this province.

Redmond, K., & Murphy, D. (2003). A guide to sea kayaking in Newfoundland and Labrador. Halifax, NS: Nimbus.
I’m pleased to be getting practical use of this guide for my second season in a row. I’m planning a second expedition in 2016 to continue along the North Peninsula of Newfoundland.

Rainsley, M. (2011). South west sea kayaking: Isle of Wight to the Severn Estuary (2nd ed.). Caernarfon, Wales: Pesda Press.

Krawiecki, J., & Biggs, A. (2006). Welsh sea kayaking: Fifty great sea kayak voyages. Caernarfon, Wales: Pesda Press.

Cooper, D., & Reid, G. (2005). Scottish sea kayaking: Fifty great sea kayak voyages. Caernarfon, Wales: Pesda Press.


Bowyer, P. J. (1995). Where the wind blows: A guide to marine weather in Atlantic Canada. St. John, Nfld.: Breakwater.
The first half of this book thoroughly covers concepts of marine meteorology and climatology. The rest of the book breaks down Atlantic Canada into distinct regions and describes the local weather of various bays, peninsulas, inlets, islands, etc. I consult this book every time I’m paddling somewhere new.

Watts, A. (2004). The weather handbook (3rd ed.). London: Adlard Coles Nautical.
Written for the amateur meteorologist, this is an essential guide for understanding weather. It’s the best weather book I’ve managed to find.

Tibbs, C. (2010). RYA Weather Handbook: Northern Hemisphere (2nd ed.) Southampton: Royal Yachting Association.
This comprehensive book covers all of the basics. It’s similar to my favourite amateur book on meteorology, “The weather handbook”, but with some good graphics that help reinforce key concepts.


Cunliffe, N. Kayak Essentials (DVD). Digital download.
This video series by Nick Cunliffe is available on both DVD and by digital download. Truly an essential resource, this series offers hours of skill demonstration, analysis, and coaching tips. Previews: Volume 1; Volume 2.

Brown, G. Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown (DVD)Digital download.
I really like the way that Gordon Brown combines the story of a journey around the Island of Skye with the demonstration of the skills you require to undertake such a journey. The price for a used NTSC DVD on is shocking. You can buy PAL formatted DVDs via Gordon’s site but that’s not likely to work in North American players. I see there’s now a digital download option, which is worth considering.

Brown, G. Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown (Volume 2). Digital download.
Another great trip with Gordon Brown, this time around the Islands of St. Kilda. The skills portion of this video work focuses on rescues, towing scenarios, and challenging landings.

Brown, G. Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown  (Volume 3). Digital download.
This is another excellent video by Gordon Brown with a distinctively different personality and format than Volumes 1 and 2. Rather than a journey, this video focuses in greater depth on four different subjects: emergency situations involving Coastguard rescue; sea kayak navigation; first aid kits; and a rolling clinic.