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In this post, we’re going to share our list of the best kayaking books. Every kayaking enthusiast should have some books about kayaking in their personal library for inspiration and enjoyment, and the books listed below are a great starting point!
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Whether you’re interested in kayaking adventure tales or instructional books for building kayaks, there’s something for everyone in this list. These books are also great gift ideas for the kayaker in your life.
So without further ado, let’s get to it…
Best Books about Kayaking
Fearless: One Woman, One Kayak, One Continent
A remarkable story of going beyond personal limits, Fearless: One Woman, One Kayak, One Continent is a motivational page-turner that you won’t want to put down. Join Freya Hoffmeister, a forty-six-year-old former sky diver, gymnast, marksman, and Miss Germany contestant, as she paddles her kayak around Australia.
Canoeing with the Cree
Canoeing with the Cree is the adventurous story of Eric Sevareid and Walter C. Port, two novice paddlers who embarked on an ambitious summer-long journey from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay in a secondhand 18-foot canvas canoe. This is a book about courage and adventure that you’re sure to enjoy.
The Strip-Built Sea Kayak
In The Strip-Built Sea Kayak: Three Rugged, Beautiful Boats You Can Build, you’ll learn how to build beautiful kayaks that are fun on the water. Packed with high-quality photos and illustrations, you’ll get plans for building solo and tandem kayaks.
Sea Kayaker’s Deep Trouble
Sea Kayaker’s Deep Trouble: True Stories and Their Lessons from Sea Kayaker Magazine is a riveting collection of more than 20 real-life accounts of sea kayaking accidents that will have you on the edge of your seat. Learn important life-saving lessons in this excellent book.
Sea Kayaker’s More Deep Trouble
The follow-up to the popular Sea Kayaker’s Deep Trouble, Sea Kayaker’s More Deep Trouble presents more incredible stories of kayaking, rescues, trials, and tragedy. This book contains 29 additional stories collected from Sea Kayaker magazine, where witnesses and survivors tell of their harrowing kayaking experiences.
On Celtic Tides
On Celtic Tides: One Man’s Journey Around Ireland by Sea Kayak is the gripping account of Chris Duff’s solo sea kayak circumnavigation of Ireland in the summer of 1996. Duff began and ended his adventure in Dublin, and he paddled 1,200 miles over the course of three months.
Building the Greenland Kayak
Building the Greenland Kayak: A Manual for Its Contruction and Use is a step-by-step guide for building a lashed-frame sea kayak. This book is a great intro to woodworking and boatbuilding, and the kayak can be built with basic tools and $150 of supplies.
Canoe Paddles: A Complete Guide to Making Your Own
First published more than a decade ago, Canoe Paddles: A Complete Guide to Making Your Own is the ultimate guide to building your own paddles. With more than 35,000 copies sold, this book is perfect for beginner and advanced woodworkers alike.
The Complete Sea Kayaker’s Handbook
The Complete Sea Kayaker’s Handbook was awarded the title of “Best Outdoor Instructional Book” by the National Outdoor Book Award group. This resource is packed with 352 pages of information on everything from buying a kayak to dressing.
Only Kayak: A Journey into the Heart of Alaska
Only Kayak: A Journey into the Heart of Alaska is the deeply moving account of writer and photographer Kim Heacox and his 25 years of life in Glacier Bay, Alaska. Heacox highlights the beauty of the Alaskan wilderness and the creeping encroachment of modern-day life.
Inside: One Woman’s Journey Through the Inside Passage
Inside: One Woman’s Journey Through the Inside Passage is the story of Susan Marie Conrad as she scaled down her world to an 18 foot sea kayak and embarked on a solo journey to Alaska. Grappling with exhaustion and fear, Conrad overcame harsh conditions and enjoys the adventure of a lifetime.
Sea Kayaking Illustrated: A Visual Guide to Better Paddling
Sea Kayaking Illustrated: A Visual Guide to Better Paddling is packed with expert advice, illustrations, and how-to kayaking instruction. Developed by an ACA-certified instructor, this is a wonderful resource for both beginners and advanced paddlers.
Paddle Pilgrim: An adventure of learning and spirit, kayaking the Mississippi River is the story of pastor and college professor Dave Ellingson’s Mississippi River kayak adventure. Paddle Pilgrim chronicles the beautiful and exciting details of his experience.