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Slipping and falling while carrying a canoe.

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Carrying my canoe down a muddy hill to the stream the other day gave me a case of the Willies. I’m not supposed to fall, per my surgeon, and if I do, I cannot put my left hand out to catch myself. So I was keenly aware of the grip my water shoes had on the clay mud and exposed roots as I traversed down the trail. They are much better than the sandals I wore last week. I fell with a canoe once while solo tripping in Quetico. It was a very remote trail and had I been incapacitated I would have laid there for some time. Pays to invest in good gripping footwear. They don’t stay in production long, so if you find a shoe/boot that grips well, better buy two pair.
 
This is the exact reason I bought a PLB (Personal Locator Beacon), not so much for me, but in case some one in my party got hurt.

Bad weather, bad portage, maybe a bit of exhaustion .... long story short ... slipped and did a real number on my ankle. Lucky I had the beacon, not exactly the way I figured on getting out of the park.

Sometimes planning for the worse is a good idea.
 
“Well, Gabby fallen off yer horse, an incapacitaten yourn own self is plumb sad, I ain’t a fixen to pack you back to camp, much less civilization. Ravens most likely pick your eyes out, so don’t worry about seeing all the critters that are going to turn your no good carcass into fertilizer right quick. It’s all part of what is known as the great circle of life. Only thing is, you won’t be in it any longer in any way, meaningful to you. Spect I will go comfort your widow, doubt she will be grieving long.”
Quote from one of the silver screen singing cowboys of yesteryears.
Happy Trails To You,
BB
 
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I think I've fallen down while carrying a canoe (at least once) on every long trip I've done. For me, it's become an exercise in damage control where I must instantly decide what can best sustain the damage; me or the canoe? I typically spare the canoe and try to have it land on me rather than the other way around but I do carry an inReach just in case my decision-making or execution is fatally flawed.
 
More than once I've looked at a rocky slope, sometimes damp, and I can visualize my feet slipping and the ensuing results. I'll often set the canoe down and slide it up/down the slope. I'm happy to give the canoe a few superficial scratches if it might save me from much worse. I'm more worried about losing my footing going downhill rather than up.

Alan
 
Yep, they put those trails in the damnest places. I’m going to do more canoe sliding. Around here, mud is the enemy more than slick rocks. My balance has gone downhill too the last few years. dang sawbones pumping me full of pills making me dizzy. Well, I’ve got a PLB and it will be with me cause I wear it on my pfd for the first trip across the portage with the canoe. I’m wondering if attaching it to my clothes might be a better idea so I have it with me on all trips. Hmmm…
 
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I’m wondering if attaching it to my clothes might be a better idea so I have it with me on all trips.
Definitely. I have mine on a belt loop so it is on my person from the moment I leave the tent until I retire for the evening. My pack is typically heavier than my canoe so chances of falling on the gear carry are at least equal to the boat portage.

PS: wet roots are my usual nemesis but trees leaning over a narrow trail have done me in when my head was inside a canoe.
 
You fellas with yur 20 pound canoes, lol.
Back in the day when I routinely carried an 87 pound 17 foot grumman white water canoe, falling on a port was routine. Part of the routine was attempting to throw the beast clear before you hit the ground. The old grummans never had fancy carrying yokes, so we lashed the cheap aluminium plastic paddles in, using the blades as shoulder supports. In order to get the fit right, the paddles had to be very close, so you ended up sliding your neck between them. Very comfy, until the dreaded slip ejection mechanism was put into play. After one such ejection, my ears were swollen up like Dumbo the elephant, as the paddle blades tried to remove them while throwing it clear.

Perhaps more threatening than slipping was the dreaded "sinking". In this era of featherweight canoes, it is mostly a thing of the past. The heck port between Abamasagi Lake and Meta Lake was a floating bog, the bog floating on loon crap. One mis-step could result in a sinking. I was coming down the trail one time, and a grumman was resting peacefully upside down on the trail. As I attempted to move around it, I heard a muffled voice, and upon inspection, I lifted the canoe up, and there was a poor kid, sunk up to his neck in loon poop. He had held on to the canoe till the bitter end, and it was both the cause of his sinking, and the saviour, as by hanging on, it prevented him from disappearing.

I know we are moving into the time of life when we are afraid of breaking a hip, so it is perhaps more important to practice falling than trying to avoid it. I've had a lifetime of practice. Eject the canoe, aim for a soft spot.
 
The heck port
Holy, come on Glenn, that naughty word editing software is getting carried away. The H@ll port is a proper name, describing 1500 meters of seventh level torture, and is certainly diminished by calling it the "Heck Port". Makes me feel like a 1st grader. Loon Sh@t is also a proper name up here, and is certainly diminished with the school marm translation of Loon crap. Who are we trying to not offend?
 
The Xenforo profanity filter cannot distinguish between proper and improper names—an occasionally awkward but minor spelling inconvenience. I'd also like to remind everyone that, as is common on many internet discussion sites, it has been an express rule of this site for almost three years that all complaints are to be privately directed to the admin. Thank you all for your compliance.

As for the topic, I agree with Alan that I would slide or drag my canoe on portages, taking the penalty of scratches, before I would risk injury to myself, especially if I were older and/or already medically compromised. That was easy in the days of Royalex canoes, but I would do the same with a lightweight composite canoe with the gear removed. I've lowered canoes over steep banks and ledges with ropes, dragged along railroad tracks, and pushed and pulled canoes over massive boulder garden shores in the American west even when I was young, strong and naively invincible.
 
This is a very pertinent topic, my thanks to Black Fly for starting it. I am well into my Medicare years and I have pondered this topic often especially at my frequent medical appointments where I am asked if I have fallen lately. Like others have mentioned I fall on most canoe trips both with and without the canoe. I am in the throw-or-drag/slide-the-canoe group if I know I am going down. One of the most useful things I learned decades ago when I studied judo was how to fall - thank you sensei.

Lastly, the solo trips I take now are almost always basecamp trips. On them I like to hike in the woods but I am careful to minimize any risk taking. On group trips I guess I am relying on my trip mates for help if needed.
 
Holy, come on Glenn, that naughty word editing software is getting carried away. The H@ll port is a proper name, describing 1500 meters of seventh level torture, and is certainly diminished by calling it the "Heck Port". Makes me feel like a 1st grader. Loon Sh@t is also a proper name up here, and is certainly diminished with the school marm translation of Loon crap. Who are we trying to not offend?
I experienced the same censorship thing, in another thread, editing and re-editing the name of one of the epic movie trailer and soundtrack composer groups I listen to, "Two Steps From heck".
 
The XF profanity filter is whatever it is, but what it is NOT is the topic of this thread . . . or any thread. Posters here routinely misspell exponentially more words than any filter does, and I spend a fair amount of time editing significant or misleading misspellings. I really resent having to spend even more time reminding members of simple and commonplace rules that have been publicly posted and in force since August 27, 2021.

I'm sure reasonable minds understand the need for an administrator, who is operating on a volunteer basis, to use industry standard, automated tools and other assistance to ease the burdens of administering and growing this site. Thank you.

Anyone who wants to restart this topic in another thread is welcome to do so.
 
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