- Dated, but still a good place to start.
River Rescue, Bechdel & Ray; published by AMC Press.
- I consider this a standard textbook for kayakers. Full of good information, which should be practiced as far as possible by groups planning on boating together.
Everything you wanted to know about Z-drags, but were afraid to ask. 8-)
Endorsed by Charley Walbridge.
Boatbuilder's Manual, by C. Walbridge; published by Menasha Ridge Press.
- THE manual about "rolling your own" (pun intended).
Path of the Paddle by Bill Mason
Song of the Paddle by Mason
Also the film Water Walker by Mason as well.
- In short, anything by Mason. Good "spiritual" quality; the essense of paddling is captured nicely.
Kayak, William Nealy
- This is a book for intermediate and advanced kayakers; but it also contains many hints helpful to the novice, as well as some highly enlightening prose on hydrotopography. I refer to this book more than any other.
Performance Kayaking, Stephen B. U'Ren; published by Stackpole Books.
- Excellent beginner-intermediate book with tips on racing and a nice section on play paddling by the legendary Bob McDougall.
The Guide's Guide, William McGinnis
- It has extensive coverage of a guide's duties and responsibilities, but is light on actual river-running and safety details. Could be very useful for anyone planning a long trip.
Wildwater, The Sierra Club Guide to Kayaking and Whitewater Boating, by Lito Tejada-Flores.
- It's better than Evans' but somewhat preachy and not as well illustrated as Nealy. Still, it might be good for some folks.
Wild Rivers of North America, Michael Jenkinson.
- Not really a guidebook, but it does cover these rivers in detail: the Salmon, the Rogue, Rio Urique, Colorado, Suwannee, Yukon, Buffalo, and Rio Grande. Trip reports from those rivers are very helpful. Also has about 50 pages covering about a hundred wild rivers; also has extensive appendices with pointers to sources.
Medicine for Mountainering, ed. by James A. Wilkerson, published by The Mountaineers.
- The definitive work on backcountry and emergency medicine. Good reading during the winter months; excellent book to take along on in a drybag.
The Whitewater Sourcebook, by Richard Penny; published by Menasha Ridge. - This is a *great* reference. It's full of pointers to outfitters, suppliers, guides, guidebooks, and darn near everything else that you can think of. If I were going to plan a trip on an unfamiliar river, this is the first book I'd reach for. Highly recommended.
Wilderness Waterways, by Ronald Ziegler, published by Canoe America Assoc.
- Like Penny's book (see above) this is full of pointers to outfitters and suppliers, maps and guidebooks, and so on. (Now if we could just get Penny and Ziegler to combine their books and drop them on CDROM...)
Best of the River Safety Task Force Newsletter, Charlie Walbridge, ed.
- A tad gross, but worth reading.
River Safety Report, 1986-1988 by Charles C. Walbridge
- This is a follow-on to the "Best of the River Safety Task Force Newsletter". It consists mostly of incident descriptions and analysis. While it's somewhat scary in places, the overwhelming message that I got from it is "Don't get stupid. You'll die." Only a tiny minority of the victims were actually "doing everything right"; most were in over their heads, or using inadequate gear, or ignoring instructions, etc.
Charley is the chairman of the ACA River Safety Taskforce, and has done more for whitewater safety than anyone alive. He's not afraid to be honestly blunt, to point out where the victim was stupid, etc. The truth hurts, but it also saves lives.
White Water Kayaking by Ray Rowe
- This is a British text of paddling technique. While some of the language is a bit different (a paddling jacket is a "cag", a peel-out is a "break-in") the instructional material is quite good. There are extensive sections on gear, strokes, water-reading, and manuevering. I'd rate this as a beginner's book somewhat above the level of the Tejada-Flores book but below that of Nealy's.
The Complete Wilderness Paddler by Davidson & Rugge
- Told as a story of a three week trip in Northern Quebec (and the planning that went on beforehand), it's full of tips and techniques. Good section on reading contour maps.
Rivers at Risk - The Concerned Citizen's Guide to Hydropower by John D. Echeverria, Pope Barrow & Richard Roos-Colins.
- Published by Island Press (220 pg., about $30 hardcover, $18 paper, order from Pope Barrow -- see below under AWA) This book explains the issues involved in hydropower politics and is useful for anyone trying to fight dams and other waterway intrusions.
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