The Happy Camper himself, Kevin Callan has written 17 books on camping and canoeing, and “Once Around Algonquin” marks the first that he has self-published. This 149 page book is broken down into 29 easy to read, bite-sized chapters that break down Kevin and Andy’s epic canoe trip around Algonquin Provincial Park.
If you’ve watched his two-part YouTube series of the entire 420KM journey you’ll already have a good sense of the adventure (and mis-adventures), but don’t let that stop you from getting your hands on this book. While each chapter breaks down each leg of the journey and all the highlights from the videos, it adds far more backstory that the videos would never be able to convey.
While some do this route for the physical challenge or adrenaline rush, Kevin went with Andy for the pure love of the outdoors and it shows. Each chapter is chock full of interesting history about Algonquin (from the moose and deer to the formation of the park, the lumber industry and the prominent staff who shaped the park to what it is today), the people and things that influenced Kevin, and some of the life lessons that Kevin reflects on during the long paddles through the park.
The book is wrapped up nicely with a little epilogue that gives a little ‘look back’ on the journey a few years later and includes a few pages on the gear selection for the trip which should give you a few pointers for your next epic journey.
I highly recommend this book as you’ll finish it with a smile of your face from the comedic adventures of Kevin and Andy as well as a few thoughtful stories to reminisce over with your fellow canoeist.
Order your copy on Amazon.ca or Chapters/Indigo. You can also nab a copy (and have it signed in person!) at the Toronto Outdoor Adventure Show, Ontario Backcountry Canoe Symposium, Ottawa Outdoor & Adventure Travel Show and Canoecopia.