George W. Sears Photo

George W. Sears

Born: Dec 2, 1821

Death: May 1, 1890

Birthplace: Massachusetts

Nationality: United States

George W. Sears

Date of Birth : Dec 2, 1821
Date of Death : May 1, 1890
Birth Place : Massachusetts

George Washington Sears was a sportswriter for Forest and Stream magazine in the 1880s and an early conservationist. His stories, appearing under the pen name, "Nessmuk" popularized self-guided canoe camping tours of the Adirondack lakes in open, lightweight solo canoes and what is today called ultralight camping. Canoeing had been popularized by Scottish lawyer John MacGregor in the 1860s, but the typical canoe trip of the day employed expert guides and heavy canoes. Sears, who was 5 feet 3 inches tall and 103 pounds had a 9-foot-long, 10 ?/2-pound solo canoe built by J. Henry Rushton of Canton, New York. He named it the Sairy Gamp and in it he completed a 266-mile journey through the central Adirondacks. He was 62 years old and in frail health at the time. William Henry Harrison Murray's Adventures in the Wilderness, published in 1869, had praised the Adirondacks as having a healthy atmosphere for consumptives and Verplanck Colvin's enthusiastic writing about the Adirondack wilderness had further inspired the trip. The Sairy Gamp was acquired by the Smithsonian Institution and is now on loan to the Adirondack Museum.

Also known as


  • George Sears
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