Chat Rooms (0 Chatting)  |  Search  |   Login/Join
* For the benefit of the community, commercial posting is not allowed.
Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Group Forum: Solo Tripping
      Solo, singling and loving but not loving it     

Author

Text

06/12/2020 07:20PM  
So this is more of a gear question for those who solo and single portage. Any other inferences are pure speculation.

I have a UL backpacking background, so when I solo I am going very light and travel a portage in one go. (When the family comes, we ring for the luggage porter to assist with the luggage cart.)

So I am pretty dialed in with my gear. I use an almost ultralight backpack (Gossamer Gear Mariposa).

Over my head it's a NS Trillium with E6 gunwales at 24 lbs or a NS Magic dressed in aluminum at 27 lbs. (Deciding which I like best and plan to sell the other soon.)

Anyway, I get more pain than I should on my shoulders. I believe it is likely a poor mix of the shoulder straps, which while well-padded are only 2 and 3/8ths wide, and the yoke pads.

Wondering what others who single-portage are experiencing - especially if you like your single-portage setup, what's your pack and yoke situation?

Thanks!
 
      Print Top Bottom Previous Next
TipsyPaddler
distinguished member (267)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/12/2020 08:20PM  
I use a single CCS Pioneer Pack for my gear and food. On a 5-7 day solo its 35-40 lbs. I rent a Wenonah Prism kevlar canoe which is 32-35 lbs iirc. My “all in” portage weight is about 80 lbs. Carrying this load over 100 to 150 rod portages is usually no big deal. Longer portages or goat climb portages I might break it up and double portage but its more exception than rule.

When my shoulders get sore on longer portages I find its usually related more to the Prism yoke pads than the Pioneer pack. If I adjust were the pads are resting on my shoulders the irritation goes away. In extreme cases I drop the canoe and come back for it after I carry the pack across the rest of the portage.

Occaisonally I don’t have the Pioneer pack’s hip belt tightly cinched so the weight is resting more on my shoulders than my hips but its an easy fix.
 
Tomcat
distinguished member (463)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/13/2020 08:30AM  
 
06/13/2020 01:14PM  
Tomcat: "




"


Nice photos of my preferred method of portaging. No gear on the portage landing, maybe the paddle which you grab as you walk past. No portage traffic jams, nice.
 
06/13/2020 06:44PM  
Try using a length of rope tied to you bow grab handle to hold onto while portaging. Once you get good at it, you can travel without holding onto the gunnel much of the time. You can easily switch hands while on the move. I find that keeping my hands low helps my shoulder pain. Longer portages are just going to hurt regardless. My CCS Explorer weighs around 25 lbs with 5 days of food. My Advantage with a spare paddle . life jacket, and small fanny pack strapped to the seat pedestal, all together is around 40lbs. I use sling type portage pads.
 
Portage99
distinguished member(549)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/13/2020 07:33PM  
I didn’t single portage. But, like Blatz said, I move my arms around when I’m portaging the canoe. I take turns putting them down by my side. Sometimes just balancing it.

My shoulder will scream at me if I’m not careful how I swing the pack on or swing the canoe over. I’m really careful about body mechanics and using my legs. Otherwise, I might suffer a painful shoulder/back night.

I lift weights to try and keep my arm and back strength up. Stretches are an amazing intervention. The older I get, the more I appreciate the benefits of stretching.

What area of your shoulder hurts the most?
 
06/14/2020 07:45AM  
Thanks for all the replies!

Some add'l info - my pack is about 28# and I strap paddles and such into the boat, adding another 3-4#. All-in carry weight under 60#.

I paddle ~6 miles and portage a mile locally for workout a few times a week. Will do some more strengthening exercises (the top of my trapezoids are what sing out).

And using the painter to help guide and keep your arms low is smart - I do that with the tandem, just have not with the solo.
 
sedges
distinguished member(672)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/14/2020 08:54AM  
Really should not be causing that much discomfort. A couple of points to consider.

The Mariposa has load stabilizer straps that attach on the shoulder straps. These, or their buckles, can end up messing with how your portage pads ride. They are great for backpacking, but in the way for portaging.

You need to be sure your portage pads line up with your shoulder straps, especially if they are thickly padded. If your portage pad is only half on the shoulder strap it is really concentrating the weight of the boat on half the area. It can really dig in.

I double portage, but carry a heavily packed Duluth Pack day pack with the canoe. The leather straps are not padded, so alignment with portage pads is not so critical.
 
Tomcat
distinguished member (463)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/14/2020 10:22AM  
 
EddyTurn
senior member (56)senior membersenior member
 
06/14/2020 09:51PM  
I usually carry 60+# canoe pack and 45# canoe in single carry. Rope helps tremendously, though I attach both ends to the the ends of the thwart in front of me, not to the bow. This way I have a loop hanging before me - pushing down on a loop is easier than pulling on the bow rope. I can do about a mile with this setup with Hidden River contoured pads. I am going to try block pads and see if they are any better.
 
06/15/2020 08:39AM  
sedges: "Really should not be causing that much discomfort. A couple of points to consider.


The Mariposa has load stabilizer straps that attach on the shoulder straps. These, or their buckles, can end up messing with how your portage pads ride. They are great for backpacking, but in the way for portaging.


You need to be sure your portage pads line up with your shoulder straps, especially if they are thickly padded. If your portage pad is only half on the shoulder strap it is really concentrating the weight of the boat on half the area. It can really dig in.


I double portage, but carry a heavily packed Duluth Pack day pack with the canoe. The leather straps are not padded, so alignment with portage pads is not so critical."


Suspect you are ID'ing my issues here. I had the same thought about the load-lifters.
And the idea that each portage pad (mine are pretty firm) is pushing down on one edge of an already narrow and tall/firm shoulder strap, thus causing a ridge of pressure, matches with what I am experiencing.

Think I need a different UL pack with wider, uniform shoulder straps & no load lifters.
Padding is less important - I try to put most of the pack weight on my hips with the hip belt...so that shoulder pain is really mostly the canoe weight.

Thanks for the insights.
 
06/15/2020 06:00PM  
sns:


And using the painter to help guide and keep your arms low is smart - I do that with the tandem, just have not with the solo."
I keep that bow line on all the time. It's long enough so I can hold it while I shoulder the canoe, but not too long so I can keep it loose in the bottom of the canoe without getting in the way or becoming a tangling issue. It's main purpose is keeping the canoe with me during difficult landings. It's a solo paddlers friend
 
jfinn
distinguished member (244)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/16/2020 11:38AM  


Nice photos of my preferred method of portaging. No gear on the portage landing, maybe the paddle which you grab as you walk past. No portage traffic jams, nice."

jwartman-is that a bear barrel hanging from your front? How do you have that rigged?

I'm all in on this topic, current doing 2-3 hour portage/paddle sessions 2x per week locally and that has helped the shoulder discomfort. I have been thinking of a light front pack with my food bad to balance out some weight like you have it.

I have been also contemplating the line to hold v. having the gunnell and it makes sense how this would relieve some discomfort.

Love this forum!

John



 
06/18/2020 09:07PM  
Small update; I dug out an old pack that may work for my solo trips. It's a little smaller and might be too tight.

But, it has simple, flat shoulder straps, and the top does not come up so high that it hits the yoke or canoe.

So I paddled and portaged today, and it made a substantial difference. Less pain. portaged a mile and it was OK.

I still have some work to do. Portage pads slid around too much on the shoulder straps, and that was not awesome. But some progress for sure.
 
      Print Top Bottom Previous Next