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Voyageur portage loads - still almost unbelievable...

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Eric Morse, in Fur Trade Canoe Routes of Canada: Then and Now, relates that the voyageurs divided their cargo into packs or bundles of furs weighing about 90 pounds. The usual load for a man on a portage was two packs, 180 pounds, "or more if he was showing off." Morse's book is well-researched, so his figure seems more reliable than Bill Riviere's hearsay.

https://archive.org/details/furtrad...e/120/mode/2up?q=fur+trade+canoe&view=theater

Another source says that one of the many uses for a voyageur's sash was as a binding to prevent a hernia. It's plausible to believe that a sash could be used to compress a hernia that had already breached the abdominal wall.

https://www.boundarywatersblog.com/voyageur-sash/

180 pounds would be more than enough to give me a hernia. In the wilderness, many miles from medical care, a strangulated hernia would mean a certain and very painful death.
 
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