Portage Pack vs. Backpack and Standard Portage Yoke vs. Contour Portage Yoke

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So here in the Pacific Northwest we have two types of lakes ones you can drive up to and ones you hack into. Most of the lacks I’m planning trips to are all ones I’ve hiked into before or in the same area (2.5-3mil). So do I look for a good portage pack or just go with one of the many backpacking packs I already have. A lot of the portage packs seem to be heaver then my backpacks but the portage packs are built different and I’m thinking it’s for a resin.
Yokes
With a 3mil pack in with canoe and pack at the same time is a contour portage yoke (Ed’ Canoe) worth installing in my canoe or will the standard portage yoke do just has go with the pack straps padding it.

And yes the trout fishing is that fun on lakes no one can get out on.:cool:

 
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Mr Porter,
How light (or not) is your boat? And how fit are you? I know I can't carry any where near the way I could when I was in my 20's, but that was a looooong time ago, so I've reduced my personal expectations.
My solo is 31 lbs, some would consider it light, but it's too heavy for long carries. Anything over a mile, I try to use wheels. that may not be practical where you are going, I don't know. If I'm carrying, I just rest my thwart on the top of my pack, works well enough for me.
If I carry half of a tandem, I can go for about 5 miles before I just get worn out. Again, I just rest a seat frame on the top of my pack. For some short carries, without a full pack, resting the seat on my head (solo or tandem) works OK.

Some of my buddies have made custom adapters to hold their boats on their regular packs, this might be an option for you too. Even if you have an internal frame pack, it still has a frame that you could attach something to.
Years ago, I had (actually still have it, but not the boats that it was attached to) a custom carved portage yoke that fit me like a glove, or maybe a thick scarf. In the years since I made that yoke, my body has changed just a bit, I no longer have the same shoulder contour, so that yoke is just a pretty decoration now.
I generally avoid a yoke resting directly on my shoulders, a yoke on a pack is ideal for me...


BTW, over here in the Adirondacks, we have 3 kinds of lakes...The kind you can drive to, the kind you have to carry to, and my favorite, the ones you have to bushwhack to!!
 
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autocorrect killed your spelling and punctuation... but I think I know what you're trying to ask.

The Adirondack pack canoe was designed for trips like that, Hornbecks being a prime example... I dislike portaging, but prefer to do it in one trip is possible. "How much padding is needed" is a matter of personal comfort (driven, I think, by age, musculature/shaping, and physical fitness). I like my 'normal' backpacking pack, either a ULA Conduit or GoLite Gust, not a special portage/canoe pack. And I've used both straight and curved thwarts for portaging... curved was better. YMMV, but I'd go with your own pack and a curved yoke until you decide it won't work for you.
 
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There are so many variables here.. Solo I have to use a barrel or portage pack. And my portage pack is pricey. Early on I knew I wanted an internal frame portage pack and spent a good buck for an Ostrom Wabakimi. I only have backpacks that are rather tall and would hit the seat. Now some people are fine with external frame backpacks and have a boat that allows the use of u shaped thwart brackets that fit around the center thwart of a tandem ( I have not seen any that fit a wooden yoke). The Knu Pac system used to exist and was essentially a backpack external frame with the yoke u inserts It had a pack of course, much like an external frame backpack.

I don't like any yoke that sits on my neck and shoulders. I have always used pads that raise the thwart or yoke off my neck Either Bourquin pads or the Harmony cups or the CVCA elevated pads.

If you are walking that far you might think Adirondack pack canoe that is typically in the 15-25 lb range. However I don't know if you are going solo or tandem. For years we used a standard Lowe's Countour 4 backpack for tandem as there was no seat to get in the way when carrying. The solo thing kind of phased out that pack in favor of one lower and wider. But the Ostrom still has compression straps and an internal frame..not just a bag with straps.
 
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Portage packs are suited for hauling gear on canoe trips, where you'll be sliding them into your boat and sliding them out again...Your bushwhack in and out doesn't sound needful of one. I'd think about your yoke instead. A carved yoke, yoke pad, or those double padded yoke systems (whatever ya call it) would suit. I wouldn't rely on pack strap padding to make a yoke comfortable, not when there are options. Enjoy those fishing trips.
 
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For a portage as long as you describe and to make it in one trip across I would stick with a comfortable back pack and stay away from the large capacity portage packs. The previous reference to a yoke that fits like a glove is the way to go IMO. This will mean building it up to custom fit it to your shoulder shape. Ideally if it is a solo I would try to have a large soft contact area on the shoulders and the top of my head against the seat. This triangular set of contact points can allow walking with hands at your side. Raising an arm to hold the canoe changes all of the pressure points. If a fourth contact was the backpack so much the better for that long of a carry.
 
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I use an old boyscout frame pack with homemade U brackets on top. Depending on the canoe I put the rear seat crosspiece or thwart in and run a rope from the rear to the bottom to hold the unballanced canoe level. Cheap,real simple,fairly sucure,and the weight is on my hipbelt-not shoulders. I single trip that way,sometimes 4 mi. My solos vary from 14-35#. never tried it on a heaver boat,but it should work if your stronger than me.
Turtle
 
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Hmmm,

This may be slightly OT, but here goes anyway.
I have been toying with the idea of a quickly deployed and removed carry yoke, strictly for day trip tandem carries. Some sort of self locking yoke that can slip in place on a seat frame and allow the pair of paddlers to bear the load on their shoulders. Maybe some carbon fiber with some closed cell foam... A tandem carry with just day packs is pretty easy, as long as you don't wear out your arms or neck. This seat-yoke would need to fit many seats and boat types.

OK, time for me to look at a few designs...sorry for the thread drift.
 
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During the Adirondack Canoe Classic (the 90-miler), it is common for tandem paddlers to attach (duct tape) foam "noodles" to the gunwales in bow and stern. They stay in place and there is no need to rig anything else. At the carry, simply flip the canoe overhead and place the foam on shoulders. Works well for the 5 carry miles during the race (longest carry is over a mile). Good with small daypacks, but especially the stern paddler might have trouble with a high rise backpack. Otherwise when tripping with a heavy load, I am grateful for my KnuPac backpack system.


IMG_1780.jpgIMG_1775.jpg
 
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What I'm taking away from this is get a good yoke and keep the pack weight as low as I can.
PS I'm packing a Kevlar Lincoln Explorer at 50lbs
 
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Different strokes

Different strokes

My issues with carrying are sore shoulders and arms due to physical limitations determine my system. Being able to carry mostly hands free with most of the weight on my hipbelt are my reasons for using my method for long carrys. Also buying the lightest boat possible at great expense and going lite. I want to keep doing this as long as possible. When I was younger as a scout leader,I carryed a 17" grumman on long portages using 2 paddles lashed it and a keyhole PFD.
Turtle
 
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There have been threads on various canoe forums lately about the ramifications of portaging too much weight. Keep that weight low and preserve your body so you can paddle for many more years. Using a smaller pack will force you to limit yourself and stay away from the swaying pack that will harm you. Starting out the weight list with a 50 pound canoe means you have a challenge on your hands.
 
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knupac

knupac

The photo below shows me beginning a 185 mile trek leading diagonally across the Adirondacks, which included 62 miles of carries, with several of those miles off trail through blowdown. I used a Knupac, with its cradles actually tied onto a removable center yoke. The black aluminum conduit bar that attaches the stern to the bottom of the pack frame keeps the whole unit rigid and hands free. I had everything I needed with me for the week long trip. This system has served me well through many other remote bushwhack trips.

knupacHornbeck.jpg
 
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Martin's point about how if you raise your arm to steady the canoe, the alignment of the shoulders to the yoke changes; that sure makes sense to me. Somewhere I read how a person used the bow rope tied off at the stern and looped down just enough to reach the hands (arms extended down to the sides) to stabilize the canoe as you walk. I've been going to try it that way the next time I have a carry. I'd guess that the canoe most times would just about balance and would only need a slight pull on the line.

Best Wishes,
Rob
 
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That would be me




The two raw ends of the rope get bowlined to the stern and bow carry thwart and the middle clips together. Then you can easily trim the boat level, stern down or stern up just with moving your hand, that is by your side slightly forward or aft. Gone is the pressure of the weight of the boat on tensed trapezius muscles. The clip is to be unsnapped prior to off loading the boat. It saves you from possibly hanging yourself around the neck.

I got my idea from the KnuPac, which is no longer commercially made. Note yknpaddlers boat is under 20 lbs. I hated my solo KnuPack with a forty lb boat and a 30 lb pack. I could barely move and fell in Woodland Caribou under the load. I had to help myself as there wasn't anyone else in the area remotely. I had hurt myself and next time vowed never to get locked into a carry system . I much prefer a system where I can roll out and toss the boat to the side. Which I have done many times without injury.

Just a word of warning.. System may work for you or it may not.
 
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yknpdlr,
Sounds like an impressive adventure. Where did you start and finish?
Dave
Started out carrying from a few miles west of Boonville, finished paddling across the bay to Cumberland Head west of Plattsburgh (at my daughter's home).

I have fallen with the rigid Hornbeck rig attached to me, but the canoe and pack actually protected me from injury and i was always very comfortable with the system. I would only unbuckle the hip belt and sternum strap for a quick getaway when fording streams.

When I use the Knupac with larger canoes, I also use the bow/stern line with a quick release buckle in my hand, but do not fasten the cradles to the yoke like I do with the Hornbeck. The hand line works very well for controlling fore/aft control of tip, enabling a much more comfortable positioning of hands and arms during the carry.

I once hefted a 32 foot voyageur canoe on my Knupac as a promo photo op for Eric Knudsen when he was still selling the Knupac. But it was too heavy to travel very far. ;) I was sorry to see the company fold. The new buyers never did get it into production.

longknu.jpg
 
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Thanks Yellow Canoe for the clarification. That's a much better system than I was going to rig; that press-to-release buckle in the center, if I was quick would allow a dumped canoe to go on ahead without me. As opposed to being strangled by my own canoe!

I ought to have guessed who came up with that idea!

Best Wishes,

Rob
 
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Thanks Yellow Canoe for the clarification. That's a much better system than I was going to rig; that press-to-release buckle in the center, if I was quick would allow a dumped canoe to go on ahead without me. As opposed to being strangled by my own canoe!

I ought to have guessed who came up with that idea!

Best Wishes,

Rob
That line and buckle release system with webbing actually came along when you purchased the Knupac. It was Eric Knudsen's idea.
 
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