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      Carrying Pack with 45# Kevlar Canoe     
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IndyElden
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04/20/2021 01:02AM  
I am renting a 17' kevlar Souris River Quetico (45#) canoe and a couple of 18.5 aluminum canoes for a trip in June. This is the first time we have had to rent a kevlar canoe but we had to made accommodations for the age and strength of the participants. I am curious what kind and weight of a pack you typically carry in addition to the canoe on portages. The canoeists using it would be around 70 years old and reasonably fit.
 
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LarryS48
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04/20/2021 03:05AM  
I own a Souris River Q17. I am in my 70s and reasonable fit. I carry the canoe without carrying a pack. I probably could carry a pack but am not really interested in finding out. My wife and I double portage. To single portage it would not only mean me carrying a pack and the canoe but also loading her down with extra weight too.
 
04/20/2021 07:00AM  
In your situation I would keep the pack under 20 lbs or no pack at all. I'm a very fit 62 year old. I carry a 33 lb canoe and a pack around 20lbs or less. I'll admit it gets a little rough on the longer portages
 
alpinebrule
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04/20/2021 07:22AM  
I'd skip the additional pack. I have found that pretty quickly if you don't you have defeated the advantage of a lighter Kevlar canoe and are actually carrying more total weight. Not quite 70 yet but think even if fit would be pushing it.
Gives me hope for at least another decade of tripping for me still.
 
04/20/2021 07:33AM  
It is so variable...I’d plan on not carrying the pack, then as the trip goes on and people get used to portaging maybe that decision changes.

If your plan is to single portage or bust? Then I’d make the pack as light as possible 30# or under. 20# would be better...

T
 
Mocha
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04/20/2021 07:49AM  
I'd just carry the canoe. on our trips we have a limit of 45# per pack since that is what the canoe weighs. we double portage. over the years the pack weight has become too much for me, perhaps I need to subtract the additional body weight each year from the allowed pack weight? :)
also, on our last trip, I discovered I can no longer lift a canoe by myself as my wrists are shot and just done bend like they should. a pack is also difficult unless there is a rock handy.
sucks to get old and start falling apart.
 
04/20/2021 08:19AM  
Both seventy, and we still single-portage. I carry the canoe (Northstar Northwind 17) and a drybag pack containing sleeping bags, pads, clothes, etc. Total portage weight roughly 70 pounds. My wife carries the gear/food pack, which at the start of a ten-day trip is in the 65 pound range. It's been our portage method for over 40 years, but we'll probably start double-walking in a few years. Yeah, it's a lot of weight, but it works for us. YMMV.
TZ
 
Argo
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04/20/2021 09:16AM  
Started double portaging last summer and really enjoyed it. It's far less strenuous. The return walk lets you decompress a bit and enjoy the sites - particularly if you are the one who portages the canoe. There's also less risk of an injury.

The only real cost is that it takes a little more time. Even there, I don't believe it's a linear calculation. Depending on your level of fitness and the length of a portage, single carrying can require significantly more break time.
 
04/20/2021 09:42AM  
I'm not them, so what I carry is immaterial to them. I'd ask them what they would be comfortable with. For reference, I'm 70, had a heart attack 4 years ago, and am a massively powerful 140 lbs. I try to limit portage loads to 45 lbs. or less, but each year is getting harder. I carry a very small pack of 10-15 lbs. with my solo canoe and a larger one on the second trip.
 
04/20/2021 10:07AM  
I carry a blue barrel about 20lbs in weight with the canoe. The second portage is a 40# plus portage pack and a 5# mountainsmith waist pack with emergency gear and snacks. I'm thinking about how I can cut these loads down though.
 
EddyTurn
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04/20/2021 10:55AM  
boonie: "I'm not them, so what I carry is immaterial to them. I'd ask them what they would be comfortable with"
Ditto that - too many unknown variables. FWIW I'm slightly younger and trying to stay in shape, my load on group trips is 45lbs 18.6 canoe and 50-60lbs pack - as long as the portage isn't too technical or steep. My solo canoe is 3 feet shorter and the pack is 10lbs heavier.
 
Savage Voyageur
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04/20/2021 11:12AM  
I’ve done this about every one of my trips sometimes with an aluminum canoe. It’s simple to do with a Duluth pack. I’ve never weighed my packs so I have no idea how much they weigh. When in not carrying a canoe I haul two Duluth packs at the same time.
 
sedges
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04/20/2021 11:39AM  
It is not so much ability to lift and carry the weight as it is what happens in a rough situation. Going knee deep in mud, slipping and falling with the load, etc, are all things that the risk of injury will increase with age.

I am 69 and can lift and carry 75 pounds pretty well, but I limit my loads to under 50 if any bad footing is involved.

Even if these folks are experienced portagers I would do everything I could to reduce their loads. When I traveled with my 71 YO dad on his last Quetico trip I doubled portaged and he enjoyed the walk across with light load.
 
jdoutdoors
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04/20/2021 11:47AM  
I only carry my ~20lb daypack with a canoe. Having the high center of gravity with the canoe makes maneuvering and recovery (stopping yourself from tipping) difficult enough. I don't want to add a ~50lb pack to my back and make it even more difficult. On my trips we all bring daypacks so single portaging is basically impossible anyway, so there is no point in trying. It just increases potential for injury, in my opinion.
 
LarryS48
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04/20/2021 12:35PM  
If you don't want to carry a double load (2 packs or a canoe and a pack), you could consider the 1.5 portage technique. To make this work you need to pack light enough to have only two packs in a tandem canoe. This leaves three loads to carry (2 packs and the canoe). At the start of the portage each person takes a load and carries it roughly halfway over the portage. At the halfway point one person leaves their load on the ground and goes back to get the third load. The other person continues to the end of the portage, leaves their load and goes back for the load on the ground. This technique results in less walking.
Single portage = walk once
1.5 portage = walk twice
Double portage = walk three times.

Sorry if this is old stuff to many but some people don't think of this.
 
TipsyPaddler
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04/20/2021 01:34PM  
I often single portage with a 40-45 lb. kevlar canoe and a single CCS Pioneer Hybrid pack in the 35-40 lb. range. The CCS Hybrid pack as a great harness system to get the weight well distributed and balanced. Downside is I probably miss some nice scenery with my head in the canoe and being more focused on my feet placement for safety. I would try the single portage on a short, easy, hopefully early in the trip portage and then adjust as fitness and other factors require. Remember it should be fun!
 
cmanimal
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04/20/2021 05:39PM  
As a guess I'd say mine is 15-20 with out loading and weighing it. We (My wife and I) single portage, she has the bulk of the gear and food, while I have the canoe, its accessories, and a pack with anything we might need before we arrive at camp for the day.
 
OMGitsKa
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04/20/2021 07:06PM  
Argo: "Started double portaging last summer and really enjoyed it. It's far less strenuous. The return walk lets you decompress a bit and enjoy the sites - particularly if you are the one who portages the canoe. There's also less risk of an injury.


The only real cost is that it takes a little more time. Even there, I don't believe it's a linear calculation. Depending on your level of fitness and the length of a portage, single carrying can require significantly more break time.
"


Well stated, I agree all of this! It is less strenuous, and you don't have to fiddle around with getting everything just right to carry.
 
straighthairedcurly
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04/20/2021 07:28PM  
My husband is 67 and last summer he carried a 3-seat Kevlar along with a pack basket with about 20 lbs of weight. If a portage was particularly long or steep, we would come back for the pack basket. But on an average portage it worked fine to carry both. He likes the pack basket because the canoe can rest partly on it if he wants and that changes the pressure on his shoulders in a good way.
 
IndyElden
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04/20/2021 08:20PM  
Thank you all for your comments. We do single-trip portage, so that was why I was even thinking about having the person carrying the light canoe also carry a light pack on their back. We all carry an 850 cu. in. Mountainsmith Day lumbar pack containing some personal items, in addition to our canoe or portage pack, so I won't try to load down the light canoe carrier any more. That kind of defeats the purpose of having a lightweight canoe in the first place.
 
04/21/2021 11:46AM  
At 63 I carry the 3 man canoe. (55 lbs.) and a 10 to 15 lb. backpack.
 
04/21/2021 01:19PM  
If not this year, all of us will arrive at the time we need to lighten up for portaging. the alternative is being unable to go at all on portages. When that time comes for you, I suggest starting earlier each day or else shortening the milage portaged each day.
 
Voyager
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04/21/2021 07:53PM  
I carry a # 40 pack and a #37 ( with all the accessories in it) solo canoe . No major troubles no matter how steep or long. ( Grand Portage) If my wife goes I try to keep the pack at #35 and the tandem canoe with accessories in and on it weighs # 52. I'm 73. I know some day, if I live long enough, I'll have to enjoy the trail 3 times.
 
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