Book Bibliography: Timeless Classics by
One of the most common questions that I get
as Editor of BoundaryWatersMagazine.com
is about my favorite Canoe Country book or good
books to read about the area. Since many of you
are contemplating a trip right now I thought I'd
share my list of favorites with you this month
so you can enjoy them between actual trips or
have one to take along in your pack.
Please note that many of these books are
"classics" and may be a bit of a
challenge to find. By using the internet,
large book stores and our local book stores you
should be able to find a copy of them.
Olson wrote an entire series of great
"philosophical" books on our
wonderful region; Of Time and Place,
Reflections from the North Country, The
Singing Wilderness and The Lonely
Land are some of them. There is also a
collected works edition which is a good one
to take in your pack. Published by Alfred
- A Wonderful Country, The
Quetico-Superior Stories of Bill Magee,
published by the Sig Olson Environmental
Institute. Amazing stories of a real
- Woman of the Boundary
Waters, by Justine Kerfoot (of the
Gunflint Lodge), Women's Times Publishing.
Written by my neighbor who was a true
- Boundary Waters, The
Grace of the Wild, Paul Gruchow. Called
a "modern day Walden Pond".
- Loon Magic, by Tom
Klein, Northwoods Press. The real scoop on
these magical birds of the Canoe Country.
- Minimum Impact Camping, A
Basic Guide, Schatz and Seemon,
Adventure Publications. Everyone should read
and observe these techniques.
- North Writers, A Strong
Woods Collection, and North Writers
II, by John Hendrickson (editor), University
of Minnesota Press. The best of the areas
- Boundary Waters Canoe
Area, Volumes 1 and 2 (Eastern and
Western Regions). A little dated but still
the preferred trip planning guides to new
- Bogtrotter, Notes From a
Wilderness Cabin, by Richard Coffey,
Dorn Books. A real tale of living on the
edge of the wilderness.
- Quetico Provincial Park,
An Illustrated History,by Shirley
Peruniak, by Friend of the Quetico Park.
Shirley has been called the heart and soul
of the park and she tells the tale of all
our local characters.
- Once Upon a
by Calvin Rutstrum, Macmillan Books. Cal was
a pioneer and prolific writer ... and one of
- Soft Paths, How to enjoy
the wilderness without harming it,
National Outdoor Leadership School, Hampton
and Cole. NOLS is the leader in minimal
impact camping. No one does it better.
- Gunflint, Reflections on
the Trail, by Justine Kerfoot.
Pfeiffer-Hamilton Publishers. Justine's
- Cache Lake Country, Life
in the Northwoods, by John Rowlands,
Lyons and Burford Press. A classic tale of
woodcraft and the ways of the wilderness.
- Mittens in the Boundary
Waters, Larry Ahlman, Kodiak Publishing.
A great new book about "Mittens"
Perkins who came to the Canoe Country in
1931 to find his way.
- Curious Visitor's Guide
to the Wildlife of the North Woods, Don
Grossnickle and Mark Crawford, Backwoods
Books. THE best book on the flora and fauna
of the Canoe Country. In simple,
understandable English! A must for parents,
educators and curious folks.
- Canoe Trails Through the
Quetico, by K. Denis, The Quetico
Foundation. A good guide to some great
- A Paddler's Guide to
Quetico Provincial Park, Robert Beymer,
W.A.Fisher Printing. Another useful guide to
- Canoe Country and Snowshoe
Country, by Florence Jaques, University
of Minnesota Press. Florence wrote a number
of classic tales, including these.
- Portage Into the
Canoe along the Minnesota-Ontario Boundary
Waters, J. Arnold Bolz, University of
Minnesota Press. This one started it all for
- Lob Trees in the
Wilderness, Clifford and Isabel Ahlgren,
University of Minnesota Press. Great history
of our controversial area.
- Canoe Country
A Guide's Canoe Trails Through the BWCA andn
Quetico, William Rom, Voyageur Press.
- The Spirit of Canoe
Camping, A Handbook for Wilderness
Canoeists, Harry Drabik, Nodin Press. Like a
beginner's guide. Simple and easy even if a
- The Basic Essentials of
Canoeing and The NEW Wilderness
Canoeing and Camping and Canoeing
Wild Rivers, by Cliff Jacobson, ICS
Books. Just a couple of Cliff's great books.
- The Back-Country Kitchen,
Camp Cooking for Canoeists, Hikers, and
Anglers, and The Seasonal Cabin
Cookbook, by Teresa Marrone. My
webmaster and the author of many great
outdoor and cooking books.
- Be Expert with Map and
Compass, by Bjorn Kjellstrom, Scribners
Books. This is it. THE book to teach you how
to read a map and compass.
- The Wolf, The Ecology and
Behavior of an Endangered Species, L.
David Mech, University of Minnesota Press.
- Canoeing with the
by Eric Sevareid, Minnesota Historical
Society. Not about the BWCA but simply one
you must read if you are into canoeing ...
or adventure. The quintessential classic.
- Gunflint Territory,
by Jay Steinke, Tea Table books. THE book I
have on my coffee table.
- A Boundary Waters Fishing
Guide, by Michael Furtman, Northword
Press. This is the one book you must have.
Take it along and catch more fish.
- Magic on the
by Michael Furtman, Birch Portage Press. The
answer to you burning pictograph questions.
- The Boundary Waters
Wilderness Ecosystem, by Miron
Heinselman, University of Minnesota Press.
Beautiful coffee table book which tells it
- Northwoods Fish
by Ron Berg, University of Minnesota Press.
My neighbor Ron and some great recipes and
- Canoe Country Camping,
by Michael Furtman, Pfeiffer-Hamilton
Publishing. Up to date and useful advice.
- Canoe Country Wildlife,
by Mark Stensass,Pfieffer-Hamilton
Publishing. Greqt book for idenitfying
plants and animals.
How to Shit in the Woods,
by Kathleen Meyer, Ten Speed Press. Sounds
awful but a great book on proper wilderness
toilet habits. Something we can all do
better to aid water quality in our
This list should keep you busy for sometime.
Be sure to pack your books in a tight zip-lock
bag and care for them properly. You can pass
them on to the next generation of paddlers.