Laurel Archer

Outdoor Adventure Guide
Canoe, Kayak and Outdoor Leadership Instructor


Book cover

Book cover

Laurel Archer was born in the suburban wilds of Regina, Saskatchewan, a mythical place, with mythical beasts, and very little water.  Her first canoeing expeditions took in the wind and waves of Crooked Lake in the Qu'Appelle Valley at the tender age of seven.  The mighty Wascana kept her paddling during high school, but it was during her university years that she finally committed to the path of adventure, heading north to the big water of the Churchill River. 

Since then, she has paddled waterways from the Arctic to Honduras, Costa Rica, Mexico, Belize, Thailand, Malaysia, India, Myanmar, Chile, Argentina, Australia, Rarotonga, Hawaii and Tahiti.  She has paddled every kind of watercraft known to woman, including marathon racing shells, 400 lb. outrigger hulls, whitewater kayaks, canoes and rafts of all shapes and sizes, sea kayaks, dugout canoes and bamboo rafts. In June 2007 she was inducted into the International Explorers Club , the 162nd member of the Canadian Chapter and in November 2013 she became a Fellow of The Royal Canadian Geographic Society. Both honours were a result of her work documenting and conserving historic and little known rivers in northern Saskatchewan and British Columbia. Laurel currently lives in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island and teaches paddling for the Canadian Outdoor Leadership Training (COLT) program at Strathcona Park Lodge, the Adventure Studies program at Thompson Rivers University, and SKILS among other such programs. In the summer she guides for various outdoor adventure companies, including Wild Women Expeditions and Kingfisher Wilderness Adventures, and continues to canoe race competively.

Always reading, even as a child and while paddling, Laurel wrote her first book at the age of 34, her 267 page Masters thesis.  Lately she's been writing everything from fiction to guidebooks, and has a special talent for writing about her adventures (and misadventures) in the wild. 

Collage of Laurel speaking, white water and canoes

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