Hudson Bay Bound: Final Chapter Reaching York Factory


The female duo of Hudson Bay Bound, Natalie Warren and Ann Raiho, completed their 2250 mile journey from Minneapolis, MN to Hudson Bay, Canada. Curious to know how the final leg went? MORE >

“Play Again” Documentary Takes Teens Offline… and Into the Woods

What happens when you unplug six tech-savvy teens, and take them on their first wilderness trip? You know the answer already… so telling you wouldn’t quite be a spoiler, would it?

“Play Again” promises to carry a redemptive, much-needed message. Sadly, the documentary doesn’t appear to have any scheduled screenings in the lecture halls or art-house theaters of Minnesota – for now. But of all people, it’s the kids who need to see this the most. So do the next generation a solid and pass along the “Hold a Screening” link to any teacher friend you know.

Via Trailspace.

Winterer’s Gathering IX and Arctic Film Festival

Winter adventurers, mark your calendars to attend North House Folk School’s Winterer’s Gathering IX and Arctic Film Festival, November 18-21.

Held in Grand Marais, MN, this event will cover the history, handiwork, bushcraft, lore and traditional ways of life and winter travel in the north.

These are some of not-to-miss offerings we think you’ll enjoy.

The Raven’s Gift:  Living Magically and Acting Practically in a Modern World
From a man who has traveled the Arctic and the Gobi, featured speaker, Jon Turk will lead workshops on nature and spirituality.  He has followed the history and culture of stone-age people who traveled by dugout long ago.  You are sure to hear some thoughtful storytelling of his inspiring journeys.

Bushcraft:  Wilderness Living Skills
Presented by the Mors Kochanski, outdoor educator and author of Bushcraft.  He will demonstrate skills that will allow you to survive comfortably in the bush.  After you make a wilderness kit, you’ll head out into the forest to put your knowledge to the test.

Featured Film Screening:  The White Dawn
What happens when three whalers become stranded in the Arctic in 1896 and are rescued by Eskimos?  Discover how they are affected by new customs and a unfamiliar culture.  Inuit dialect is included in the film, adding to the over-all richness of the story.

There will be tours of winter tents, gear to swap and s’mores to eat.  After you’ve pieced together your own mukluks and stoked your wood stove, fill your belly at the Deep Freeze Chili Feed or head on over to the Snowshoe Shuffle Dance.

For the complete experience, bring your own winter tent and stay at the group camp harbor side. Come with a friend or bring the family.

More info here.

Alex Horner’s “The Boundary Waters”

The faster the leaves change colors, the more we must slow ourselves down to fully enjoy them before they’re gone.

There’s a lot of that truth in this short video by Alex Horner, one of our fave filmmakers. His study of shapes, shadows, and stillness makes us all the more appreciative of a gorgeous time of year in the Boundary Waters. Plus, Alex’s choices in music are always fresh; nice to see an artistic piece like this that’s not set to tired-out, folksy 12-string guitar pickin’.

More of Alex’s commercial and personal work, here.

UpNorthica Reviews: “This is Canoeing” DVD

Like a first time paddler launching into a vast island-dotted lake, the world became a lot bigger for me as I viewed “This is Canoeing,” the latest project from paddler/filmmaker Justine Curgenven. Gathered into this 2-disc set are 12 film featurettes, each bringing a fresh and memorable viewpoint of what it is to canoe today.

A veritable film fest in and of itself, “This is Canoeing” sees Curgenven globetrotting across the UK, Canada and the US for unique stories of paddling — no, I mean *really* unique. Like the 4-year old kid who runs rapids. The modern-day voyageur. The pair who teach canoes how to dance. There are solo-trippers, slalom champs and trusty canine sidekicks. There’s paddling, poling, sailing, lining and a few good spills. Canoes are harmed in the making of this film.

Read on for descriptions of each featurette, and more…


Two Must-See Movie Showings Tonight

altaiDude, drop what you’re doing. Cancel all your evening plans (as if you have anything important on a Thursday night.)

There are two great outdoorsy films showing tonight in Minneapolis. Both are at cool venues. Both offer Super Extra Bonus incentives to attend. Your challenge will be picking which one to see. That’s right, they overlap (life’s just full of tough decisions.)

Skiing in the Shadow of Ghenghis Khan will introduce you to an ancient culture that literally skis, to live. Lakes: A Love Affair will bring you back to Minnesota to explore our own culture that lives to be ‘on the lake.’

Here, you click on through for trailers and synopses; I’ll get in the line for some Junior Mints…


Upcoming Canoeing DVD Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Film Fests

masonBy the beard of Bill Mason, why’s it that so many outdoorsy film fests lately, seem to have largely forgotten Paddling? Unless it involves kayaking down the world’s tallest frozen-over waterfalls in a wingsuit? I mean, is the level of mere ‘extreme-ness’ their sole criterion for including a film?

Good thing we just found out about Justine Curvengen’s upcoming DVD on canoeing. The globetrotting documentarian first caught our attention this summer, while filming our friend Erik Simula’s Arrowhead Journey.

That Erik will be featured on the DVD is plenty good for us, but there are enough segments to make this sound like a standalone film fest all by itself. There’s the dude who runs rapids with his 4-year old. There’s the fluid choreography of a Canoe Ballet Champion. A 42-foot voyageur canoe’s adventures in Scotland. There’s Becky Mason, solo-tripping daughter of The Bearded One himself. And one 15-year old Wisconsin girl whose skills already got her a spot on the US senior team for canoe slalom.

That’s just a drop in the bucket. Reprinted below is the lengthy (and happily so) synopsis of what to expect:


“If You’re Not Fast, You’re Food” Commercial

I like to tell my non-outdoorsy friends that the BWCA is *always* like this commercial for Timberland’s Mountain Athletics shoes. Little do they know, you only get chased like this when you don’t seal up your beef jerky well enough. Suckas. Via The Adventure Blog.

Survival Is Serious (see Ed Wardle)

So what to do when, after seven weeks alone in the wild, you’re out of food, out of energy and out of clarity? You put your distress call signal to use, be glad for a quick rescue — and you realize it’s okay to call that a happy ending.

Adventurer/documentarian Ed Wardle has done just that.

As the subject of his own survival experiment Alone in the Wild, Wardle had himself placed in western Canada’s wilderness with his film equipment and little else. His goal: Three months. His tools: Sharp wits and his skills as an outdoorsman (though his bio is clear that he is not a survival expert.) His only lifeline: Weekly videotape deliveries to a drop-off site, and daily ‘I’m still alive’ tweets.


Watching New Ken Burns is This Fall’s Best Idea

2009 has been a notable year for our national parks: They’ve drawn big numbers with their ‘free’ weekends, gotten loads of PR from a vacationing President Obama, and now a documentary series produced by Ken Burns.

The National Parks: America’s Best Idea airs September 27th on PBS. Sounds like we can expect the same depth and richness that Burns is so well-known for. The stories of the people who made the parks a reality will be the focus, but of course there’s the eye candy, which Burns believes “is the most stunning cinematography in Florentine Films’ history…”

While our own Voyageurs National Park won’t be specifically featured, a park official told me earlier this year that local PBS producers were working on a show of their own. More on that when we hear it…