Products for Sale
North Woods Paddles
For time out of mind, these paddles have been plying the waterways of Northeastern North America. As a daughter and granddaughter of canoeists, my interest in fashioning my own paddle came at an early age. By the time I met “Mickey” Fahey, who had learned paddle making from Penobscot Nation and other Maine guides he worked with, he was ready to pass along the knowledge that he had accrued over years of using paddles extensively and in making custom paddles for the Abercrombie & Fitch Co.
The “Northwoods Paddle” or “Guide” paddle comes from the nature of our local Maine and New Brunswick rivers; high water in the spring and low water in the fall. One needs both a long and a short paddle to navigate these waters. Hence the unique “staged” grip area.
These paddles are made from locally sawn white ash – the very best canoe paddle wood due to lightness, strength and flexibility. Occasionally I have some cherry and maple available. Lengths are generally 5’–6’.
The “Algonquin” or “Omer” Paddle are short and narrow bladed – ideal for lake use or deep water paddling. Omer Stringer, a famous guide and canoeing instructor from the Algonquin Park region of Canada, used this paddle shape exclusively as he was on swift deep rivers and lakes in portage country. As an elderly man, upon asking him if he would mind if I began making “his” style paddle, he chuckled, replying, “Thank you for asking – but you do not need to have my permission to make a paddle that has been made and used here for hundreds of years. I may look it but I’m not that old!” Lengths are generally around 4’10”. Cherry is lightweight and stand up well to these shorter lengths.
2015 paddle prices:
All paddles are 100% guaranteed. Each is signed and numbered (since 1979) and is coated with 4-5 layers of high grade spar varnish. (I deduct $35 if you want to put the finish on yourself). Shipping and handling fees vary but are around $40.
Alexandra & Kermit’s wintertime workshop activities revolve around making a variety of objects for ceremonies. We harvest the majority of our supplies – wood from our woodlots for drums and beaters, bark boxes; hides and fur for drum heads, rattles, bags, and decorations; dried herbs for smudge bundles. Much of what we make is custom created, so discuss with us anything special you would like added or created. Click here for a complete product pricelist.
Wood and Hide Drums
|14”||birch or cedar/rawhide 2.5”||$220|
Drum beaters, finely shaped handles with hide beater head…$35.
Rawhide rattles, simple or decorated…$40–55.
Gatherings pouch, deerskin…$50–55.
Tree Boxes, lidded, 3”–10” high…$30-65.
Walking staffs, with vine leaf carving, custom woods and lengths…$50.
Totem staffs, hand–carved staffs from
locally collected woods. Each features an animal and other symbolic totem(s)
of your choice. Available plain, with leather tie for your own sacred objects
or custom–created with fur, stone, shell, feather, bead or cloth ornaments.
Basic staff, with one hand–carved totem, custom decorations and leather tie…$125.
Additional totem carvings…$35 each
Additional custom ornaments: varies, usually…$15/ornamental motif i.e. cluster of feathers w/fur wrap or seed-bead on hide/ colorful felt band etc.
About Kermit Bennett
Kermit has spent a good part of his life traveling and seeking out the spiritual truths of life. From Maine to Alaska, Mexico to Florida, England to Scotland and many points in between, he has developed and honed a way of life that nurtures a connection to our natural world. Returning to his roots on Big Wilson Stream, Elliotsville, Maine, he shares his strong vision and desire to connect others to the sacred space of nature.
Kermit has many years of experience as a boat carpenter. An accomplished woodsman and explorer, he now uses his skills to create drums, shaman tools and wood crafts. Both Kermit and his wife Alexandra are accomplished musicians performing original compositions, folk, Celtic, contra, and Finnish music. Known simply as “Kermit and Alexandra” you can find them at the Monson General Store jam on Friday nights as well as other regional venues.
Kermit’s search has taken him through Scientology, Breath work with Lenard Orr and Judy Kravitz, journeying, shamanism, Monroe Institute studies, countless volumes of metaphysical books, science journals and ancient Toltec knowledge. He has studied healing techniques and is a Reiki II practitioner. His life long practice of journaling has allowed him to explore and manifest his studies and experiences in his own life, on a deeper level.
Books by Us
Kristin’s Wilderness, A Braided Trail
Written by Garrett Conover
Watercolors by Tanya Thompson and Rod MacIver
128 pages. Color throughout.
Winner of Several Awards:
|Lupine Award of the Maine Library Association
Read more about the Lupine award
|Independent Publisher’s Assoication: National, Bronze Medal||Midwest Independent Publisher’s Association: Regional, Top Honor||Bronze Medal in the Young Adult category of The Moonbeam Awards|
This artistically created book tells the story of a young girl growing up among wildlife researchers in the northwoods. She finds her way into womanhood through the important relationships in her life, including the old Finnish ladies who share the sauna, two wolverines escaped from their observation pen, and the northern native people with whom she spends a winter. Generously illustrated with delicate watercolors, the story is beautiful and gentle, yet it will move you to tears and make you grin. Suggested for ages 10 and up.
Kristin’s Wilderness is a wonderous chapter book for readers aged eight to eighty… The paintings especially capture the mood and majesty of the natural world… in this gently and heartwarming tribute to coming of age.”
— Midwest Book Review
Buy this book directly from the author. Please send for $17.95 + $4.05 for priority shipping to North Woods Ways, 2293 Elliottsville Rd., Willimantic, ME 04443
Snow Walker’s Companion :
Winter Camping Skills for the North
Written by Garrett & Alexandra Conover
Paperback – 288 pages, 32 full-color pages
Stone Ridge Press, (4th edition)
Dimensions (in inches) 6 x 9
US: $25 + $10 (s&h)
Canada: $25 + $14 (s&h)
Europe: $25 + $20 (s&h)
If you would like it inscribed to someone, send the name(s) along. You can pay via PayPal to our email@example.com account. Remember to include your shipping address. Checks may be made out to:
North Woods Ways
2293 Elliottsville Road
Snow Walker’s Companion is a guide to comfortable winter camping using tried and true traditional equipment and native skills. The Conovers show us how to sleep warm, travel safe and enjoy the white season. Guides in Maine and Labrador for over 30 years, Garrett and Alexandra have learned not only how to survive in the North in winter, but to thrive. They share their little known secrets in an easy–to–read conversational manner.
- Learn how to stay warm in extreme temperatures
- Tips on reading lake and river-ice conditions
- Practical advice on setting up tents & stoves
- Choosing the right footwear and clothing
- How to pick the best snowshoes for you
- Common sense psychology for the trail
BONUS! A 32–page color insert on Garrett & Alexandra’s epic 350 mile snowshoe trip across Ungava, Quebec. Excerpts from their journals are highlighted with photos from the expedition.
The following books are currently out of print, however copies may often be obtained as used books from Amazon.com
Buy Now from Amazon.com
Beyond the Paddle:
A Canoeists Guide to Expedition Skills:
Poling, Lining, Portaging and Maneuvering through Ice
Written by Garrett Conover $17.95
Paperback - 105 pages (April 1991)
Tilbury House Publishers; ISBN: 0884480666
Dimensions (in inches): 0.38 x 10.98 x 8.53
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The Winter Wilderness Companion: Traditional and Native American Skills for the Undiscovered Season
A reissue of A Snow Walker’s Companion:
Winter Trail Skills from the Far North
by Alexandra and Garrett Conover $19.95
Paperback — 384 pages 2nd edition (August 29, 2000)
McGraw-Hill; ISBN: 007136417X
Dimensions (in inches): 0.86 x 8.13 x 4.39
Buy Now from Amazon.com