Tonight, we’ll read another excerpt from “Woodcraft” published by George Washington “Nessmuk” Sears. Sears was a sportswriter and an early conservationist. His stories popularized self-guided canoe camping and what is today called ultralight camping or ultralight backpacking.
Canoeing had been popularized by a Scottish lawyer in the 1860s, but the typical canoe trip of the day employed expert guides and heavy canoes. Sears, who was 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighed little more than 100 pounds had a lightweight solo canoe built. He named it after a Charles Dickens character and used it to travel alone for months at a time through the Adirondack wilderness of New York.