Adirondack Forum  
Rules Membership Donations and Online Store Adkhighpeaks Foundation ADKhighpeaks Forums ADKhighpeaks Wiki Disclaimer

Go Back   Adirondack Forum > The Adirondack Forum > Paddling in the Adirondacks
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-26-2009, 10:37 PM   #1
Vermont Scott
Member
 
Vermont Scott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Colchester, VT
Posts: 424
Portage strap

I noticed on the recent thread about portaging a pack canoe http://adkforum.com/showthread.php?p=134013#post134013 that some people use a 'portage strap' made by the 'bag lady'. I have one of the 10.5' Lost Pond boats made by Pete Hornbeck and crew. I love the boat and for short portages I just throw it up on my shoulder, grab the thwart and go like they suggest. I'd like to be able to get my boat into more remote places and need a better system. If the portage strap works the way I envision my head will end up hitting the seat before the strap engages my shoulders. Does anyone have experience with the 'portage strap' and a Lost Pond Boat?

If that doesn't work out I can envision using a strap or rope around the canoe at the center of gravity. I could outfit an external frame pack with a pair of extensions shaped tipped with a U on either side of the pack that would engage the rope/strap. I would be able to adjust the height of the extensions to allow for head clearance. What do you think?

Scott
Vermont Scott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2009, 09:18 AM   #2
billc
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 3
Scott,

This might sound kind of nuts, but have you tried turning the boat upside down and wearing like a hat? I bought a Hornbeck Lost Pond boat several months ago. First trip I did was a 5 day mosey up the '90 miler' route and along the way as I negotiated the carries, I couldn't quite get into the comfort zone using my shoulder. Then I tried carrying on my head with paddle in left hand. Works great as long as you don't have backpack dry-bag packed/hitched up too high. I've stuck with that system and have gotten to the point where I can portage hands free with canoe balanced on my head, with only an occasional correction with free right hand or shake of the head. Give it a try... bill
billc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2009, 09:49 AM   #3
Graybeard
Member
 
Graybeard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Rutland County, Vermont
Posts: 171
Any pack frame with gear tied higher than your head will allow you to carry a canoe with no additional straps or fitments. (see http://www.adkforum.com/showthread.php?t=11523&page=2 post #35 with drawing) The frame doesn't need the extra conveniences provided by the Wentzel frame.
b
__________________
Respect everyone, trust with caution, paddle your own canoe.
Graybeard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2009, 10:43 AM   #4
Vermont Scott
Member
 
Vermont Scott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Colchester, VT
Posts: 424
Thanks for the thoughts so far... I have considered just wearing the Lost Pond boat as a hat but due to the aging process I seem to be losing hair on the top of my head and I don't want the canoe to speed that process along

Way back when I had an Old Town Camper in Royalex and a long portage was torture so I got a Camp Trails Freighter Frame and tried setting the canoe on the top the that pack frame. I'm 6' 5" and the pack as configured didn't fit comfortably to begin with, add 65 lbs and it was quite painful It's hanging up in my garage and I'll pull it down and see what I can do with it. There is a big difference between 65 lbs and 17 lbs, so it might work. I also have an old Jansport External frame pack with a worn out bag that I can work with. But the Lost Pond boats are so elegant I don't want to carry around an ugly pack frame if a lighter, simpler strap would do the job unless of course I'm doing and overnighter and need a pack anyway.

Scott
Vermont Scott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2009, 11:32 AM   #5
Graybeard
Member
 
Graybeard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Rutland County, Vermont
Posts: 171
Scott,

Yeah; experiment, experiment, experiment. You don't want to discover that an arrangement doesn't work well when you're well into a portage and a long way from home. Another arrangement I've thought of but never tried is a specialized frame just for portaging. It would consist of a waist belt to carry the weight, a light weight "A" frame to link the waist belt to a socket on the canoe bottom, and light shoulder straps for the sole purpose of keeping the "A" frame upright and close to my back. I've got arthritis in my upper neck so I have to avoid weight on my head. Your upper spinal column may be in fine shape but I strongly suggest that you keep it that way by not imposing loads that it's not accustomed to.

What part of Vermont are you from? Maybe we could compare notes and fabrication methods.

b
__________________
Respect everyone, trust with caution, paddle your own canoe.
Graybeard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2009, 12:27 PM   #6
Vermont Scott
Member
 
Vermont Scott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Colchester, VT
Posts: 424
Well, I just tried adjusting the Freighter Frame by setting it for the longest torso length and raising the crossbar. I may be on to something here. The pack feels better but the balance point for the canoe is on the front edge of the foam seat and the canoe tend to shift around while walking. If I rest the canoe on the pack cross bar just in front of the seat it's rear heavy (not necessarily a bad thing) but there isn't enough friction between the metal bar and the kevlar on the bottom of the canoe and the canoe wants to slide off backwards. I can add some weight to the front of the canoe and put some kind of tape on the pack cross bar like tennis racket tape or bicycle handle bar tape so the cross bar will be more sticky...

Graybeard,
I'm up in Essex Junction and I was busy doing chores yesterday so I didn't get out for a paddle and as you know it's kinda rainy today. When I get something worked out we could meet somewhere midway. I paddled Kettle Pond two years ago and even though it is small I had a great time trying to get pics of the loons, I haven't tried anything else in Groten State Forest do you have any recommendations there or elsewhere?

Scott
Vermont Scott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2009, 12:43 PM   #7
love2paddlemore
Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: W. Mass.
Posts: 42
I second the "boat as hat" suggestion. As a complement to this arrangement, one might consider a Tilley hat. Tilley hat owners are often teased or worse in paddler forums, but here is one advantage to Tilleys, in that they have closed cell foam within the top of the crown. The foam is intended for buoyancy, should the hat take a dunking, but it also would provide extra cushioning if one were to wear an inverted boat as a hat. For me, Hornbeck boat over Tilley hat, with Granite Gear traditional portage pack on the back. I've tried loosely resting the boat on taller packs and have found it unbalanced and confining. I tend to have poor balance, and I prefer quick and simple arrangements, and I avoid bushwhacking when I can help it. Given these factors, it works for me.
love2paddlemore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2009, 02:58 PM   #8
charlie wilson
Member
 
charlie wilson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Lower Saranac Lake
Posts: 572
Don't do that

Unless you assiduously do neck bridges with weight to strengthen your neck, adding an extra 12 lbs to your necks load will seriously challenge neck muscles and the underlying bone and nerve systems. This is not good over the course of a lifetime.

While I've never liked toting a hard, rectangular, pack frame in a canoe, there are various cross fastening portage yokes if minimal freeboard amidships won't allow use of the Bag Lady's portage strap.
charlie wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2009, 04:24 PM   #9
Vermont Scott
Member
 
Vermont Scott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Colchester, VT
Posts: 424
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlie wilson View Post
While I've never liked toting a hard, rectangular, pack frame in a canoe, there are various cross fastening portage yokes if minimal freeboard amidships won't allow use of the Bag Lady's portage strap.
A hard frame pack ruins the whole elegance of the Lost Pond boat (LPB) but it will get the weight off my shoulders and down onto my hips. But hey it's only 17 lbs. my shoulders should be able to take that, not so sure about my head though. What little hair I have left needs to breath and I don't want to squish my brain

Any recommendations on a clamp on portage yoke? I have a yoke that is wide enough but I haven't come up with a nice way to attach it to the LPB other than try to put some foam between the gunwales and yoke and use a strap to hold it in place. I really don't want to drill holes in the gunwales.

Scott
Vermont Scott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2009, 06:15 PM   #10
Pat T
aka "Mother Nature"
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 161
Pete Hornbeck sells a yoke and it is screwed into holes in the gunwales. I have not used one but it looks pretty much like a standard yoke, except that you do have to attach it for each carry. We bought Pete's portage gear which is attached to an external frame pack. I cringed when they drilled three holes in the gunwales of my canoe but he said it was ok and would not hurt the canoe. Now I have a pack that is dedicated to travel with the Hornbeck. I have a somewhat "love/hate" relationship with it. I love the fact that I can carry the canoe and pack with my hands free for my hiking poles. The "hate" part involves working with wing nuts and screws to attach and unattach the canoe to the pack. We carry extra screws and nuts because we always manage to lose one. I also have a hard time getting the paddle into the canoe in a way that it does not hit my head during carries. But, the bottom line for me is that I could not have carried the Hornbeck on the trail to Upper Preston Pond and eventually to Duck Hole without the pack and assorted hardware that held the canoe to it.

Pat T
Pat T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2009, 06:29 PM   #11
bluequill
Member
 
bluequill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Keene
Posts: 847
Scott

Have you tried the portage yoke that Pete Horbeck supplies with his boats? It does require two small holes in gunwales but it is not offensive at all.

The "boat as a hat" carry would work in a pinch ad for very short carries but I would be cautious about putting almost 20# of weight in my neck. I'm sure a chiropractor would not reccomend this either.
bluequill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2009, 10:29 PM   #12
Vermont Scott
Member
 
Vermont Scott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Colchester, VT
Posts: 424
Pat,

I think I would have the same love/hate relationship with the Kelty Tioga and the Lost Pond Boat. I need another pack anyway and may end up going that route for long, greater than a mile, hikes. But there are internal frame packs that would sit lower in the canoe and as long as they stuck up higher than my head I wouldn't have to drill holes in the gunwales and worry about losing nuts and bolts. There are also the clamp on portage yokes that could be used alone or along with a pack. It's close to the end of the season here but this gives me something to think about and save up for

I went back to Olmsteadville several weeks ago and talked with Pete while Daren put some foot pegs in the canoe and they made a huge difference in comfort level for me-no more thoughts of selling the canoe (sorry folks) cause my legs always went to sleep after 15 minutes. I didn't think to ask about the portage yokes or talk in very much detail about the Tioga and canoe option.

I'd really like to be able to take a solo trip into Pharaoh Lake for an overnight trip with some camera gear and the canoe next year. I did that trip over 10 years ago with a Necky Kyook and portage cart, it was a lot of work but I'm glad I did it. I think I better start getting in shape I'm closer to 50 than 40 now...

Scott
Vermont Scott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2009, 09:27 AM   #13
John P
Member
 
John P's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 119
My solo boat is a Mohawk Solo 14, not one of those featherweight jobs, and the claimed weight is 39lb. When I ordered it I paid a few bucks extra for a carrying strap. In this boat it's permanently attached to the gunwales, with a buckle that lets you adjust it and separate it into two loose halves. I've been happy with the boat over several years now, and I've carried it for a mile or so (it has never visited the Adirondacks, however) but I've got mixed feelings about the strap. Yes, I use it when I have to carry the boat, but being as the strap isn't rigid, and the boat isn't very big, what happens is that the strap sags, and given the depth at the center of the boat, my head comes into contact with the bottom of the boat. It's not very comfortable.

For my tandem boat, I have a home-made backpack rig much like a Knu-pac. That works pretty well, but I can't use it with the solo boat, as that has no center thwart. I've considered making some kind of conversion device for it, in the form of a bar that would clamp into place instead of a thwart. I'm not sure, though, whether I could get it close enough to the center of gravity to avoid the seat getting in the way. Also I wonder if I ever do enough carrying to make it worth building a contraption, and for this year the season's pretty much over--maybe next year?
__________________
Lonely rivers flow to the sea, to the sea, to the open arms of the sea. Lonely rivers sigh, "Wait for me, wait for me, I'll be coming home, wait for me!"
John P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2009, 10:29 PM   #14
love2paddlemore
Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: W. Mass.
Posts: 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlie wilson View Post
Unless you assiduously do neck bridges with weight to strengthen your neck, adding an extra 12 lbs to your necks load will seriously challenge neck muscles and the underlying bone and nerve systems. This is not good over the course of a lifetime.

While I've never liked toting a hard, rectangular, pack frame in a canoe, there are various cross fastening portage yokes if minimal freeboard amidships won't allow use of the Bag Lady's portage strap.
I agree that wearing a heavy boat on one's head might easily hurt the neck. For example, I instantly found this to be intolerable with my 28 lb Bucktail. I am aware that there is an association between humping 80-100 lb backpacks in the military and the subsequent development of lumbar degenerative disc and vertebral syndromes. However, even though I am old and fragile, my Blackjack is just about imperceptible on my head. I agree with the general concept of caution, but I think about the well-balanced loads that are carried on the head in many cultures, without apparent difficulty. I think about more than a century of Canadian experience with the tump strap supporting enormously heavy portage packs, in which the weight was vectored less favorably than in the simple act of balancing a featherweight boat. I wonder if this might best be left up to the individual to ascertain his/her own limits?
love2paddlemore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2009, 11:38 PM   #15
Graybeard
Member
 
Graybeard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Rutland County, Vermont
Posts: 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by love2paddlemore View Post
I agree that wearing a heavy boat on one's head might easily hurt the neck. For example, I instantly found this to be intolerable with my 28 lb Bucktail. I am aware that there is an association between humping 80-100 lb backpacks in the military and the subsequent development of lumbar degenerative disc and vertebral syndromes. However, even though I am old and fragile, my Blackjack is just about imperceptible on my head. I agree with the general concept of caution, but I think about the well-balanced loads that are carried on the head in many cultures, without apparent difficulty. I think about more than a century of Canadian experience with the tump strap supporting enormously heavy portage packs, in which the weight was vectored less favorably than in the simple act of balancing a featherweight boat. I wonder if this might best be left up to the individual to ascertain his/her own limits?
Yes, "this might best be left up to the individual to ascertain his/her own limits" provided of course the individual is well aware that the only way to ascertain his/her own limits is by exceeding them, at which point serious, permanent, painful damage has been done. I don't think anybody is suggesting that carrying a load on one's head be punished by burning at the stake. I read the cautionary posts as advice, which anyone is free to ignore at their own risk. Note, too, that Charlie mentions possibly developing neck muscles to be able to take the load. I've lived for extended periods in societies where carrying loads on the head is routine. They start doing it as very little kids with very light loads. Mom might have an eighty-pound basket of just harvested rice on her back, supported to a significant extent with a tumpline. Her child, tagging along by her side, might have a small bottle of water on her head. The training starts young and never lets up. This discussion is not about what color of shirt to wear. It's about a practice that can seriously, permanently, painfully damage you for the rest of your life. The younger you are now, the longer you'll suffer if you blow it. The more athletic you are now, the more your life will change if you blow it. Take it seriously!
__________________
Respect everyone, trust with caution, paddle your own canoe.
Graybeard is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:13 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions Inc.

DISCLAIMER: Use of these forums, and information found herein, is at your own risk. Use of this site by members and non-members alike is only granted by the adkhighpeak.com administration provided the terms and conditions found in the FULL DISCLAIMER have been read. Continued use of this site implies that you have read, understood and agree to the terms and conditions of this site. Any questions can be directed to the Administrator of this site.