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About Adam Shoalts


Adam Shoalts holds an honours B.A. in history from Brock University and a Master's degree in history from McMaster University. In 2006, his first book, Sense of Adventure: An Account of a Journey in the Canadian Wilderness, was published. Since 2007 he has written his "Reflections of a Naturalist" column for the Voice of Pelham. Visit his website to find photos and videos of his explorations of the Canadian wilderness.


Posts by Adam Shoalts (14)



Gear Review: Globalstar’s SPOT Gen3 and SPOT Global Phone


Posted by Adam Shoalts in Product reviews on Thursday, September 18, 2014



The SPOT Gen3 from Globestar. (Photo: Courtesy of Globestar)

On my expedition this past August to explore a remote river in Canada’s Arctic, I carried two handy devices manufactured by Globalstar: the SPOT Gen3 and the SPOT Global Phone. Both these gadgets rely on satellite technology to provide adventurers, hikers, and others who stray far from the beaten path a communications lifeline for emergencies or to stay in touch with friends and family.




Into Canada's wilderness with Globalstar's SPOT Global Phone


Posted by Adam Shoalts in Product reviews on Sunday, October 6, 2013



Adam Shoalts tested the SPOT Global Phone while on an expedition funded by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. (Photo: Adam Shoalts)

On my solo expedition this summer to explore the Again River my only means of contact with the outside world was a the new SPOT Global Phone, a satellite phone manufactured by Globalstar. While I never found myself in any emergency situation where I required the phone, I tested it out daily in order to write this review.




How to survive a waterfall


Posted by Adam Shoalts in The RCGS on Monday, September 17, 2012


In the latest instalment of the Indiana Jones franchise, the titular hero gets swept over a massive waterfall along with his companions. Amazingly, they survive the plunge unscathed. Dr. Jones doesn’t even lose his trademark hat in the river.

This summer while exploring an all but unknown river in the Hudson Bay watershed, I found out first-hand what it is like to be swept over a waterfall. Unlike in the Hollywood versions, it didn’t go quite as smoothly for me: I was a bit banged up, my canoe ...





The truth about trailblazing


Posted by Adam Shoalts in The RCGS on Thursday, July 19, 2012



All of Canada is mapped, but not all of it is explored. How can this be?

As recently as 1916, the Geological Survey of Canada estimated that Canada still contained over 900,000 square miles (almost one and a half million square kilometres) of unexplored territory that appeared as blank spots on the map. Despite nearly 75 years of field work that involved sending explorers to canoe down rivers and map as much territory as possible, an aggregate area nearly the size of India remained virtually ...




Building a Birch-Bark Canoe (Part 2)


Posted by Adam Shoalts on Friday, May 6, 2011



Historically, when birch-bark canoes were built for the fur trade at the North West Company's outpost at Fort William in Thunder Bay, Ont., it took only a week to build a 24-footer. These were much larger vessels than the 12-foot craft that I intend to make. But because I don't have the experience of these master craftsmen, I’m hoping to make mine in about 18 days if everything goes according to plan.

Read Part 1 of the canoe making process

CG: How is construction going this week?

A: It's ...




Building a Birch-Bark Canoe (Part 1)


Posted by Adam Shoalts on Friday, April 29, 2011



Photo: Shoalts preparing to make the first cut.

Historically, when birch-bark canoes were built for the fur trade at the North West Company's outpost at Fort William in Thunder Bay, Ont., it took only a week to build a 24-footer. These were much larger vessels than the 12-foot craft that I intend to make. But because I don't have the experience of these master craftsmen, I’m hoping to make mine in about 18 days if everything goes according to plan.

You can’t just go to the local hardware store and order up some huge piece of birch-bark, so ...




Global War for Wildlife Spills Over into Canada


Posted by Adam Shoalts on Friday, March 25, 2011



Photo:chadh/flickr

"The battle for the establishment of National Parks is long since over but the battle to keep them inviolate is never won," warned J.B. Harkin, one of the founders of Canada’s national park system.

Fortunately for us, that battle has only ever been a political one. But elsewhere in the world, the fight to keep national parks, wildlife, and wild places safe is increasingly violent.

In South Africa, poachers use helicopters, automatic weapons, and night vision scopes on high-powered rifles to ...




Canada's Worst Natural Disasters of All Time


Posted by Adam Shoalts on Thursday, March 17, 2011



Photo: gnuckx/flickr

Fierce storms on the Great Lakes that claimed hundreds of lives, tsunamis, earthquakes, a landslide that wiped out an entire town, devastating forest fires, huge floods and paralyzing blizzards and ice storms Canada has seen its share of deadly natural disasters.

As it turns out, however, the two deadliest natural disasters in Canadian history were also rarities here: a volcanic eruption and a massive hurricane.

Both these tragedies claimed several thousand lives, and curiously, took place ...




Reverse Colonialism - How the Inuit Conquered the Vikings


Posted by Adam Shoalts on Tuesday, March 8, 2011



Photo:Library and Archives Canada/e004665218

One of the strangest and least known chapters in North American history is surely the story of Greenland’s Norse (Vikings) and the Thule people (Inuit).

The standard narrative of North American history is turned on its head here, where centuries ago a Native American group displaced then colonized land inhabited by the Vikings.

Indeed, many of us don't know that Greenland is part of North America. Yet it's connected to Canada by a underwater ridge less than 180 metres deep, and at its nearest ...




Can Canada Help Save the Amazon?


Posted by Adam Shoalts on Wednesday, February 23, 2011



Photo: btdevil/flickr

Like the mists that hang around its towering trees, the vast Amazon rainforest remains shrouded in mystery. Scientists believe that its unexplored reaches contain literally thousands of unknown species. Just last year a new subspecies of monkey was confirmed in Columbia, and on average new species are discovered every few days. While there are no longer any blanks on the map, the rainforest’s impenetrable canopy and dense cloud cover limits satellite imagery's effectiveness as a mapping tool over ...







 

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