As part of expedition preparation, Will does his homework. He’s an avid reader with a personal library that contributes to his education and motivates his spirit. The titles below are his hand-picked recommendations that offer additional in-depth understanding of the Barren Lands and supplement his upcoming expedition.

Nastawgan: The Canadian North by Canoe and Snowshoe

A collection of historical essays edited by Bruce W. Hodgins and Margaret Hobbs.

“Nastawgan” is an Anishinabai word meaning “the way or the route one must take to get through the country.” This is a favorite book of mine and can be found in print on the Internet in the $20 range. It’s also available on Kindle.

Relevant chapters include:

  • “The Quest Pattern and the Canoe Trip”
  • “History Travel and Canoeing in the Barrens”
  • “Women of Determination: Northern Journeys by Woman before 1940”

Tundra by Farley Mowat

I am not a fan of Farley Mowat, but his book Tundra is well done. It’s neatly edited for a popular audience and he amplifies the text with minimal intrusion. This is one of the best accounts of the fascinating and sometimes spell-binding history of land voyages across the Canadian Barrens. It’s available in print on the Internet and on Kindle.

Relevant chapters include:

  • “Coppermine Journey: Samuel Hearne’s Expedition to the Coppermine River, 1769-72”
  • “The Brothers Terrell: Exploring the Interior of Keewatin”
  • “The Spring that Never Came: John Hornby and Edgar on the Thelon River”

Thelon: A River Sanctuary by David F. Pelly

This an excellent read about the Thelon River. It is well-rounded for the naturalist, covering history, culture, geology and the environment. Unfortunately, the book is out of print and existing copies are super expensive. However, if you search the Internet, you can find some copies in the $20 range. It can also be found on Kindle.

The Legend of John Hornby by George Whalley

This 1962 book is a well-researched historical piece about the Barren Lands and a classic must-read. But it’s very rare. You might be able to find it online. Otherwise, libraries could have copies. Googling “John Hornby” might also be worthwhile.

One Response to “Will Steger’s Reading List”

  1. John

    How many calories per day to sustain I wonder? Does a person fatten up for such a trek? That artic wind has to be very harsh. This sounds terrifying.


Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)