Riverman | Canoe Expedition Skills Course

More information coming soon.

There are vast differences in approach to the effective use of canoes. Some of these are regional, while others stem from the homogenization of techniques by national organizations. Our approach looks nothing like what you’ll see from the big organizations. We maintain and teach the traditional methods of Maine Guide canoeing because they work as well now as they have for centuries.

Traditional Maine Guide Skills

Most books and “experts” will advise that you never stand up in a canoe and that you shouldn’t try to solo in a boat larger than 15 feet long. That advice is rubbish.

We spend most of our time in solo 18 and 20 foot boats, in everything from huge lakes to class 3 whitewater. Much of this time is spent standing and poling and snubbing (poling downstream). While rarely seen these days, poling allows us the freedom to maneuver up and downstream through all types of water. Our paddling style emphasizes the short stroke that was common amongst natives and voyageurs, allowing them to cover vast distances while expending little effort. We also practice lining, where we use ropes to safely maneuver the canoe up or down stream through a section of water unsafe to run.

We run various classes of whitewater, depending on the skill and comfort level of participants. Unlike whitewater schools, our goal is in the safe passage of people and gear, not play boating in different sections of rapids. We emphasize the skills of reading the river, helping participants to learn to see where the channels and rocks lie. We reserve the right to decide which sections of whitewater will be run, and where we will instead portage or line.

Our Teaching And Expedition Experience

Since beginning full-time operation in 1999, we’ve taught hundreds of people how to handle loaded freight canoes and how to paddle, pole and line. We’ve run day-long, week-long and month-long expeditions, as well as numerous skills clinics. We also make our own paddles, poles, and ropes used for lining.

Our Sites
· JMB Field School – Long-Term Immersion: Semester & Expedition Programs
· JMB Trips – Classic Wilderness Guiding By Canoe & Snowshoe
· JMB Folk School – Short Courses, Crafts & Lodge-Based Programs
· School Of The Forest – Teen & Youth Programs
· BushcraftSchool.com – Distance Learning
· RustPond.com – Lakeside Lodging
· JM Outfitters – Gear From The World’s Smallest Outfitter

Our Blog
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· JMB Blog


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