Two hundred and ninety three river sections, nine regions, four years of work and one big continent. The numeric facts behind the whitewater tome, The River Gypsies Guide to North America says it all. Andria and Leland Davis, aka the River Gypsies, have attempted an incredible feet with one guidebook for one enormous continent. “We realized early that it’s a pretty ambitious project to bring all the different regions and rivers in one book together but the work was pretty fun,” Leland says. “During the first two years we tried to paddle most of the described rivers in the book. The rest of the time was office work: finding information, motivating authors, getting appropriate photos and drawing maps.”

The duo chose regions and river sections that could fit into a single road trip. The goal was to highlight rivers with flows that could be generally relied on, for example Colorado in spring and B.C. in August.

The described sections offer a wide spectrum of difficulties from Class III-V, satisfying both the adrenaline junky and chilled out nature-lover. The book is stuffed with info, including put-ins and take outs, the length of the sections, and the difficulties. You can also find general info about the region, tips for the best camping as well as warnings of trigger-happy residents – like the one at the take-out of Rogers Creek in BC, Canada. Here, a nasty landowner has threatened paddlers with a gun several times and finally set fire to a shuttle car. The River Gypsies Guide isn’t enough to make regional guidebooks unnecessary but gives an overview and stimulates your appetite for the next paddling adventure.

Leland and Andria Davis did an awesome job putting together the new Bible for paddlers travelling North America. All the photos and information makes you wanna go out, explore the world and kayak. This book is a must-have in the library of every river runner. And if not in the library, than at least on the coffee table for your river-minded guests to browse through when the conversation runs dry.

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Jakob Kaefer is from Trier, Germany. He’s interning at Canoe and Kayak magazine. His English is better than your German.