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Bushcraft Canoe Trip on the Athabasca River

Trip Overview

Bushcraft Skills, River Paddling, Hunting, Fishing, Traditional Camping Inspired by the Fur Traders and Voyageurs of Canada’s wild rivers, and paired with wilderness living skills passed down by legendary survival instructor - Mors Kochanski Description: Join our certified instructors for a week-long bushcraft and paddling skills course on the Athabasca River. Combine essential river canoeing skills with traditional bushcraft skills to elevate your outdoor knowledge and experience to an exciting new level. Experience Canada’s wilderness the way it was meant to be experienced – in a loaded canoe, hunting, fishing, and camping as we travel downriver learning and practising timeless woodsman skills. Learning Outcomes: • Paddle a traditional fur trade river while learning numerous paddling strokes and maneuvers that increase your river paddling competency and skill. Become knowledgeable on loading and outfitting a canoe for river tripping and increase your awareness of river hazards and potential problems you may experience on paddling trips. • Utilize bushcraft skills and equipment such as Roycraft pack frames, wool blankets, canvas and modern tarp shelters, knifes, axes, saws, and ropework. Experiment with various ways to pitch camp along the riverbank and at our backwoods camp on Cartwright Sny. • Being that its hunting season, students will be able to be part of the harvesting of waterfowl, gamebirds, and some small animals. Fishing for pike, walleye, and whitefish will also be part of our activities and students with appropriate hunting and fishing licenses will be able to help provide food for the group. Non-residents will be able to assist in field dressing and preparing harvested animals and cooking meals over the fire. Skills Learned: • Canoe Strokes: forward, reverse, check, sweeps, pry, high brace, low brace, stern pry, lake J, cross bow draw and blended strokes. • Canoe Maneuvers: front and back ferry’s, running pry, eddy turns, peel outs, attainments, MITH, carving, and more. • Outfitting a canoe for wilderness travel. Reading river currents. River Signals and rescue. • Bushcraft Skills: fire lighting, axe, knife, and saw safety and use, ropework, roycraft pack frame, setting up shelters, super shelter, campfire cooking, and more. • Hunting and Fishing: harvesting, field dressing, and cooking waterfowl, gamebirds, fish and snowshoe hare. • Forest Study: boreal forest ecology, plant uses, wood, stone, feather, and bone. Go to to register
  • Duration: Extended Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Canoeing, Fishing, Hiking, Photography
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Number of Portages: 0
Certified Paddle Canada Instructors, Search and Rescue Members, First Aid Trained, Inreach rescue beacon
What is provided: • Tarp shelters, tents, lean-to (at camp), super shelters (at camp), plastic, and ground sheets. • Canoes, PFD’s, paddles, safety gear. • We have an assortment of dry bags, barrels, and dry packs that can be shared with the group. • A large group first aid kit and an In reach Satellite GPS and Rescue Beacon. • Large cooking pots and dippers. • Saws, axes and class material. • Toilet paper • Food. We try to accommodate special diets but if you do have problems eating regular fair, you will need to bring your own food. There is no fridge/freezer at camp so please keep that in mind. • Guides will also be carrying a few shotguns and rifles for hunting. Also fishing equipment. Only participants with provincial fishing licenses and hunting licenses will be permitted to hunt and fish. Other participants can assist in the field preparations of game and fish. Gear that is the Responsibility of the Participant: • Clothing suitable for the current conditions. Avoid bringing new clothes. • Sleeping bag. • Sleeping mat or a wool blanket. • Personal toiletries-towel, washcloth • A few dry bags for your gear on the river, or a dry pack would be a great idea. We do have some extra dry storage bags and barrels to share and we can also waterproof your backpack and gear with multiple garbage bags. The river is fairly mellow and flipping canoes is unlikely but it still may occur. More of an issue is rain and splashing into the boat. People have used garbage bags successfully for many years on canoe trips. You can choose to utilize small dry bags and separate your gear into categories, or you can buy a large 70 to 100l pack that does it all in one. I like to have a large pack with hip and shoulder straps for land travel, and a couple smaller dry bags for itemized gear. • Head lamp or flashlight • Head Net (summer/fall) • Mess Kit (we also have dishes) • Personal First Aid kit and medications • Notebook, pen, camera • Sharp knife. We do have a few mora knifes to loan out if needed. • If not participating in group cooking, bring your own cooking gear. Gear that Participants may want to Include as a suitable Trip Survival Kit: • Fire: Striker (modern flint and striker), Matches (in a waterproof container), and a lighter. Carried in your pack (1), in your clothes (2), and on your life jacket (3). • Knife: full tang, carbon steel, skandy grind is recommended. Tied to paracord and hung around neck. • Whistle: Our life jackets have whistles but you may wish to carry one at all times for signaling. • Personal First Aid Kit: For when you have minor cuts, bug bites, burns etc. • Signal Mirror: Preferably glass, small, and protected from scratches. • Compass: liquid filled compass. Burton or Silva. • Cord: Preferably para cord. 7-10m long • Container/pot: This item is hard to obtain from the woods. All other items can be stored in the pot. • Other items you may choose: Mylar blanket, plastic, bow saw, granola bars, sewing kit, camera, rain gear, fishing kit, garbage bags, and more depending on your activity. Please feel free to email or call with any further questions you may have. Dale Kiselyk 780-305-6921

Locations on this Trip