Hap, Andrea & Cabin Falls at the Toronto Outdoor Adventure Show

Yes! It’s that time of the year again, when all the paddling and outdoor explorers gather for one spectacular weekend of presentations, demonstrations, as well as Canada’s largest showcase of outdoor gear and adventure travel experiences, all at the Toronto – OAS 2016.

Hap and Andrea wait out a storm while out mapping the route for the TCT

Hap and Andrea wait out a storm while out mapping the route for the TCT

This year, look for Hap and Andrea at their NEW Cabin Falls Ecolodge booth, where there will also be books and other Hap Wilson works available. Plus, be sure to catch Hap at the Paddler’s Pavilion, where he will be presenting this year’s topic: TEMAGAMI.

Temagami poster 2016

Plus, receive a discount off the cost of your admission ticket to the Toronto Outdoor Adventure Show when you print out the coupon image (see coupon image below) or purchase your tickets online using the promo code: HAPWILSON

OAS-Toronto-Speaker-coupon-HAPWILSON

OAS 2016 Show Info
Show Hours
Friday, February 19, 2016, 11am – 8pm
Saturday, February 20, 2016, 10am – 6pm
Sunday, February 21, 2016, 10am – 5pm


Admission: (Don’t forget the coupon or online promo code above!)
Adult: $14
Youths 12 – 17: $12
Seniors 60+: $12
Weekend Pass: $18
Children 11 & under are free

For more information, or to purchase your tickets online, see: http://outdooradventureshow.ca/toronto/show-info/

You definitely don’t want to miss this!

Heart of the Continent Book – A CALL TO ADVERTISERS

Heart of the Continent by Hap Wilson

 

CALL TO ADVERTISERS:

Resource & Service pages have been dedicated for advertising space in Hap Wilson’s new book. One-quarter, half & full-page ad space is now available at a first-come, first-serve basis. These pages have been an important user-resource in Hap Wilson’s guidebooks over the years. For ad pricing and information please contact Eskakwa EcoAdventure Co. at:

Email: info@eskakwa.ca or call: 705-732-8254

HEART OF THE CONTINENT
Mapping Canada’s Canoe Route
Explorations from Lake Superior to Manitoba
By Hap Wilson Published by Firefly Books
Release Date: spring 2017 (Canada’s 150th.)

THE BOOK: A Brief Synopsis

Five years ago the Trans Canada Trail executives approached Hap Wilson about designing and mapping a canoe route from Lake Superior to Manitoba. Unable to build a land-based trail, the TCT had decided to earmark this National canoe route as an integral part of the Canadian cross-country trail system. Dedicated to Canada’s First Nations and canoeing icon Bill Mason, the route is called Path of the Paddle, tracing a diverse route over 1,000 kilometers from Thunder Bay to Whiteshell Park in Manitoba. Following the historic Pigeon River and the Gunflint Route, Path of the Paddle uses a little known route through Quetico Wilderness Park, north beyond Atikokan and the Turtle River Waterway system, up to Dryden and on to Kenora, finishing up along the Winnipeg River and Whiteshell Provincial Park in Manitoba. The book also includes many adjoining routes, kayak and paddleboard touring destinations, and local hikes up some spectacular vistas. Maps are hand-drawn with an artistic, historic look approach, detailed for safe navigation, with drawings, charts and photographs, along with journal notes. As with any Hap Wilson guidebook, this project has taken several years of intense field and studio work to complete; scheduled for release of spring 2017 as a celebration for Canada’s 150th. birthday.

Monthly information will be available for viewing by checking back here for updates at hapwilson.com.

New Book by Hap Wilson with Firefly Books: Coming Spring 2017

Firefly Books Logo

There is a new book by Hap Wilson in the works along with renowned publisher, Firefly Books. With the release date set for spring 2017, and in celebration of Canada’s 150th Birthday, the book has been given the title:

 

HEART of the Continent”
Mapping Canada’s Canoe Route
Explorations from Lake Superior to Manitoba

photo by Hap Wilson, new book to come

 

The book will include Hap’s photography, illustrations, maps, and journal notes. Be sure to watch Hap Wilson’s Facebook page, Twitter, and this blog for more details as they become available to the public. Also be sure to follow Firefly Books on Facebook and Twitter for all their great publications!

 

 

Hap to present “Canoeing’s 10 Best Travel & Survival Tips” at Toronto Adventure Show

Catch Hap and Andrea at the Toronto Adventure Show this February 20 -22, 2015 where Hap will be presenting: “Canoeing’s 10 Best Travel & Survival Tips” at the Adventures in Paddling Stage!

OAS COUPON - Hap WilsonPrint the above coupon image to receive a discount at the door or get a discount when you buy your admission tickets to the show online with the promo code: hapwilson

SCROLL DOWN FOR A PREVIEW of Hap’s presentation below:

OAS Speaker Schedule 2015

OAS Speaker Schedule 2015 (page 2)

 

“Canoeing’s 10 Best Travel & Survival Tips” – A PREVIEW

Venturing Outside the Box? – Turn wilderness survival into Comfortable Living.

Intro: quick basics…looking after the essentials.

Other “TIPS” will include:

  1. Choosing the right destination: from the Great Lakes to the Arctic
  2. Equipment: pros and cons (some innovations you can do without).
  3. Getting there: the infamous shuttle experience
  4. Guided or self-guided: reputation & experience.
  5. Food: inciting appetites and not riots.
  6. Kids & Pets: making the best decisions for those who can’t speak.
  7. Navigation aids: pros and cons
  8. Bears and Bugs: understanding that we are not on the top of the food chain.
  9. Technique: beyond videos, books and weekend clinics.
  10. Respect: No Trace Camping & the infamous inuksuk scandal.

View the above schedule in PDF format: OAS Theatre Speaker – HapWilson

Don’t forget to look for Hap and Andrea in the Swift Canoe & Kayak booth where you will catch them talking paddling and canoe tripping for most of the weekend! See you there…

Talk canoes with Hap Wilson at the Spring Cottage Life Show

Summer is (supposedly!) just around the corner and there is no better way to gear up for the upcoming warm season than to partake of the annual Spring Cottage Life Show in Toronto.

 

Photo by Hap Wilson

 

With Hap’s guidebooks having been sponsored by Swift Canoe for about 25 years now, Hap is a longtime friend to owner and paddler, Bill Swift Jr. So it is only natural that you will find Hap and his “beautiful Canadian Sherpa wife” Andrea at the Swift Canoe & Kayak booth (Booth #2022) this March 28th and 29th*, where Hap will be available for book signings as well as questions. This will be your chance to “talk canoes with Hap Wilson” before the season starts and he and Andrea disappear into the wilds again for the summer!

*Note: Hap and Andrea will be there for the Friday and Saturday only but the Swift crew will be there for all days of the show, including Sunday. See you there!

Spring CLS FloorplanFor more information about the Cottage Life Show, visit their website or “Like” their page on Facebook.

 

Hap To Speak At WCHA Convention

Another date to mark your calendars for! Hap has been invited to speak at the 35th anniversary of the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association Convention, Saturday July 19th. at St. Paul Smith’s College in the St. Regis Wilderness Paddling Area in New York, USA.

2014-Assembly-artwork-for-web-262x300

Hap’s talk will feature the latest news about the Path of the Paddle project and the Canadian adoption of canoe/water trails into the National Trails Heritage. Book signing and tall tales told! For more information, visit the WCHA website: www.wcha.org.

Don’t forget, Hap will be presenting this winter at the Toronto Outdoor Adventure Show as well!

Hap & The Paddle In The Park Contest

Not long before the season started this year, Hap and Andrea were approached by their friends at Badger Paddles and Portageur.ca to help with an intriguing contest idea.

 

There has never been a greater need for society to unplug and reconnect all at the same time. The Paddle In The Park Contest was created to remind people of the many rewards of getting outside, from our health and well being, to supporting our parks and wild places. What better way to do this than with a chance to find a handcrafted Badger® paddle, hidden somewhere in parks across Ontario?

 

So, with the hope to encourage more people to get “Out There”, Hap and Andrea decided to join the Paddle In The Park Contest crew to help promote spending time in the wilderness (parks and conservation areas as well as remote locations) by way of hiding a paddle in the Temagami area and also by providing prizes for the contest winners.

 

Hap Wilson & Andrea Turner-Wilson

 

You see, Hap and his beautiful Andrea have not only contributed their time to finding a good place to hide a paddle, but have also provided prints of The Skier and signed copies of Hap’s book “Grey Owl and Me” to the Paddle In The Park Contest prize packages (which also include gear and SWAG from Swift Canoe, Algonquin Outfitters, Portageur.ca, and more).

 

The Skier :: Temagami

So to explain it all in more detail, Hap Wilson is joining two other paddle hiders by individually hiding 6 canoe paddles at different dates in undisclosed locations (along the portage trails) around 3 different canoeing areas in Ontario (Algonquin, Temagami, and Killarney) and who ever finds them while on trip – gets to keep them!

As an incentive for recording the found paddles with the Paddle In The Park Contest organizers,  they have also compiled a number of backend prizes that the paddle finders will receive once they have contacted contest officials to let them know they have, indeed, found a paddle. Hopefully with pictures and a good story to share with the rest of us too.

 

Grey Owl and Me

Plus, to help make more people aware of the rewards of getting “Out There”, they have also gathered a bunch of prizes to give away to those who are following along back at home or who are too far away to find a paddle themselves. You can enter the home version of the Paddle In The Park Contest here: Enter Draw.

The contest runs until September 15th or until all the paddles are found – which ever comes first.

PaddleintheparkcontestPaddle In The Park Contest:

There are 6 (six) Badger® Canoe Paddles hidden along the portage trails in Algonquin, Temagami and Killarney areas
• Clues to their specific location will be offered throughout the summer, becoming increasingly specific
• The contest will also include draws to take place each time a paddle is found
• Once you find a paddle, contact us and we’ll send you the rest of the prize package
• Prizes, besides the hidden paddles, include signed books by authors Hap Wilson, and others along with prizes provided by Portageur.ca, Jeff’s Map, North Water, Swift Canoe, Algonquin Outfitters, Keyak, Hooligan Gear and more!

Visit the Paddle In The Park Contest website for prizes and other information:

www.paddleintheparkcontest.ca

But this is not just about finding paddles. In fact, the folks at the Paddle In The Park Contest put together 9+1 Rewards and Reasons to spend time in nature every day this summer by composing a list that includes benefits for your heath, relationships, sleep and brain function.

Badger PaddlesNow start thinking about where you think Hap and Andrea may have hidden that paddle. Enter your best guess here: Enter Paddle In The Park Contest Home Version for your chance to win at home.

Plus don’t forget to visit the Paddle In The Park Contest website for clues (even a map!) if you have a trip planned in Temagami, Algonquin or Killarney this summer.

Two paddles have already been found but the rewards are still “Out There”.

Farley Mowat on “Grey Owl And Me”

At one time, there were very few Canadians who had not heard the name Grey Owl. Today, there are very few Canadians who have not heard the name Farley Mowat. As a Canadian author and environmentalist whose works have been translated into 52 languages with more than 17 million books sold, Farley has also been a long time patron of EARTHROOTS. Thus, as co-founder of the important environmental group EARTHROOTS, Hap became associated with Farley, who then became a bit of a mentor for Hap. So it was with great honour that Hap received this short scribbled note (see below) from Mr. Mowat upon reading Hap’s book, Grey Owl and Me: Stories From the Trail and Beyond .

 

Scribbled note from Farley Mowat

‘Hap! “Grey Owl” is great — really enjoyed it. Many Thanks. F.’

But Farley Mowat isn’t the only one who thinks Hap’s Stories From the Trail and Beyond is a great read. Below are some more reviews taken from various sources across the internet and other mediums:

Wilson doesn’t go so far as to admit to being Grey Owl’s modern-day equal, but in many ways he’s picked up where Belaney left off. As celebrated he was as an author and orator in England, Belaney died young, consumed by alcoholism and depression. Wilson, on the other hand, has logged almost 40,000 wilderness miles and is still going strong. In his outspoken passion for the land, lakes and rivers of northern Canada, he’s inspired a new generation of canoe trippers-and no doubt more to come. — Conor Mihell

 

 

“Now Im sitting here with 10 good quotes and double entendres from Grey Owl that I would like to drop into this review, but Im pretty sure none of them would fly with the editor (whats French for seal again?) so Im going to leave them out. Suffice it to say that even though there is a strong environmental aspect to the book and that environmental awareness is clearly the main order here, Grey Owl and Me is often just way too fun to be clean, and the really clean parts arent that quotable. But thats just how Hap [Wilson] rolls. If you want environmentalism with some edge, I cant think of a better place to jump in than right here.” — Chronicle-Journal (Thunder Bay)

 

Wilson’s stream of conscious writing style has the feel of a campfire story: It’s impossible not to be engaged by his tales, which range from idyllic summer canoe trips to winter dogsled expeditions, and standing at the frontlines of environmental debates with the likes of Paul Watson, the founder of the notoriously radical Sea Shepherd Society. The book is hard to put down. — Canoe and Kayak Magazine, 20100801

 

If you enjoyed [Hap Wilsons] other hilarious and jaw-dropping memoirs, you wont be disappointed. This one, too, is sprinkled with sparks of brilliant and insightful writing. — Ottertooth.com

 

Grey Owl and Me

As expected, Hap’s call for environmental conservation is reflected in the very materials of this book, which has been printed on paper from well-managed forests and other controlled sources as approved by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). For more information about Mixed Sources and the FSC, visit their website: www.fsc.org. Don’t forget that you may purchase books directly from the author, and Hap always includes a personalized message and/or signature for those who ask.  Contact Hap for purchasing and details.

Path of the Paddle Project – The Trans Canada Trail by Water

“Since its founding, the TCT’s vision has been a trail stretching from coast to coast to coast. A trail for the enjoyment of hikers/walkers, cyclists, horseback riders and, more recently, canoeists and kayakers in summer, and cross country skiers, snowshoers and snowmobilers in winter.” ~ from the TCT Website

 

Named “Path of the Paddle” in honour of Canadian canoeing legend Bill Mason and our Canadian Canoeing Heritage, this water trail will now be part of the world renowned Trans Canada Trail system that connects 3 oceans. With plans for over 1000 km of passage throughout Northwestern Ontario along with 6 unique trail segments connecting Thunder Bay to the Manitoba border, the Path of the Paddle (part of the Trans Canada Water Trail system) will provide an unique Canadian wilderness experience, for every season, within the Heart of this Great Continent.

 

TCT - Path of the Paddle map preview.

 

 

Not only does Hap support the project, but he is also designing the trailhead signage as well as working on a manuscript with detailed mapping of the routes through his extensive fieldwork (along with his wife and partner, Andrea Turner-Wilson). It is expected the PTP guide book will be made available for 2014.

 

All my books had and still have a huge environmental “push” in a political climate where it has become a User-based system of management…and I use the word management very loosely. Basically…it’s a ‘use it or lose it’ mentality, hopefully where adventure tourism edges out industrial motives. Path of the Paddle is straddled in complex bureaucratic red tape that I’m wading through, hopefully making some gains in changing an outdated government system that has always bolstered a consumptive use of the wilderness.”

Hap Wilson (2013)

 

Hap also recently referred to the project on his Facebook page in a comment, “Bill was a kindred spirit and devoted environmentalist; not all paddlers are of such faith and dedication. The Trans Canada Trail water route I’m working on for a new guidebook (Path of the Paddle) honours the name and work of Bill Mason.”

 

Hap Wilson & Andrea Turner-Wilson

The Path of the Paddle (PTP) project would not be possible except for the work of a small number of dedicated people.  PTP recently applied for its incorporation as a Not-For-Profit organization having also recently obtained their Directors & Officers insurance (to help protect the directors and many volunteers who are working so hard to make the Path of the Paddle project become a reality).

“Like” PTP on Facebook to learn how to become involved or visit the TCT website for more information about this historic trail system.

To follow the progress of the TCT – Path of the Paddle project, be sure to connect with PTP and Hap Wilson – Ecotrailbuilders on Facebook or Twitter.

Cabin Falls :: Rebuilding Paradise

“We stood at a long, sloping bedrock terrace; before us, riverside, was a neatly trimmed, brown log cabin, and set below the cabin, overlooking the falls, was a quaint canopied gazebo. And elderly man was waving us over. Excited to know more about this haven in the midst of rock and pine, miles from anywhere, we complied and met the man on the deck with a barrage of questions. He welcomed us by pouring freshly brewed cofe in real ceramic mugs.” ~ Hap Wilson, The Cabin, (upon viewing this wilderness cabin paradise for the very first time as a young lad)

Located on the first falls south of Katherine (Divide) Lake on the Lady Evelyn River (now the Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Wilderness Park), the Cabin Falls is Canada’s most unique wilderness eco-lodge retreat.

Original 1931 picture from the Cabin Journal.

Original 1931 picture from the Cabin Journal.

Original 1931 picture from the Cabin Journal.

Original 1931 picture from the Cabin Journal.

Built in the early ’30’s, with this cabin (as one can imagine) the building and reparations of, are no easy task as all materials and supplies have to be flown in from Temagami, paddled down river (through two rapids with canoes lashed together) and portaged twice, sometimes three times.

Lumber and all other supplies have to be flown and paddled in.

Lumber and all other supplies have to be flown and paddled in.

 

Canoes lashed together with Andrea helping to steer the load.

Canoes lashed together with Andrea helping to steer the load.

Over 100 Beaver aircraft flights have been made to bring in lumber – almost all it milled in Muskoka from local timber mills cutting on private land (not Temagami!). In fact, much of the material was salvaged from construction sites or old buildings being torn down. Almost all work is done by hand tools only – from skinning logs with a draw-knife to paddling in propane fridge. Solar powered since 2000 and soon to have its own hydro-power by way of non-intrusive pelton turbine, this eco-retreat is a paradise of mind as well.

Propane fridge being brought in by canoe with Hap in the stern.

Propane fridge being brought in by canoe with Hap in the stern.

Andrea skins the logs with a draw knife in the summer heat of 2012.

Andrea skins the logs with a draw knife in the summer heat of 2012.

The old deck (circa 1931) being torn apart and replaced (2012).

The old deck (circa 1931) being torn apart and replaced (2012).

 

“… I felt that I would, someday, become conjoined with this wonderful place at the falls; call it premonition or gut feeling, the seed was planted for a new adventure that was sure to unfold sometime in the future.” ~ Hap Wilson, The Cabin, (upon visiting Cabin Falls for the very first time as a young lad)

Originally built by two American brothers as their own personal wilderness nirvana, Hap now has been taking client trips up to Cabin Falls EcoLodge for over twenty years; welcoming mostly executive and family groups, as well as photographers, writers and artists to a memorable wilderness eco-retreat. All fly-in by floatplane from Temagami but other visitors may include canoeists who are passing through and in need of shelter on trip as Hap always leaves a little cabin (away from the main structure) open for trippers in need.

Hap at work making things comfortable around the cabin.

Hap at work making things comfortable around the cabin.

 

But the history of the cabin’s custodians have not always been peaceful perfection. Besides the fact that one of the original owners, Newcolm, chopped his wife up with an axe and slit his own throat with a razor at their home in 1934; at one time there were many who saw Cabin Falls and it’s occupants as a threat to their destructive economic ideals and single-minded industry.

 

“We woke up the next morning to a smoke-filled cabin. It was so thick outside that we couldn’t see across the river, less than fifty yards away. …”They’re trying to burn you out!” he announced. … “Elk Lakers — two of them — they were boasting about it in the local bar last night and someone overheard them,” Dawson expained, saying nothing more and returning to the post office. Shit. So, they actually did it, the bastards. They burned out the park, just like they said they would.” ~ Hap Wilson, The Cabin

 

To learn more about Cabin Falls, it’s history and it’s soul; read the book The Cabin – A Search For Personal Sanctuary, written and illustrated by Hap Wilson or visit for yourself!