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Tomcat
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03/20/2023 08:45AM  
My question is directed to members who single carry portage or are interested in doing so.

Describe techniques that enable you to single portage or that have increased the comfort or efficiency of your single portaging.

I separate my equipment into three groups for portaging, my canoe including paddles and PFDs (approximately 50 lbs), my backpack including all camp related equipment (approximately 35 lbs), and my food pack (approximately 15 lbs at start). My total carry weight at the start of a seven day trip is approximately 100 lbs.
 
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03/20/2023 11:09AM  
Good question; interested to hear how others approach this...

For me, I tend to be 'packaged' pretty well with few loose items. Arrive landing, dog Cerberus exits canoe, I exit, remove pack, put map in pack pocket, attach PFD to pack, secure yoke, secure paddle in canoe, attach saddlebags to Cerberus' PFD, shoulder pack, shoulder canoe...and walk. Two minutes, perhaps?

Canoe weight is 24 lbs naked, perhaps 27 lbs with paddle, bailer, painter & yoke.

Starting pack weight (includes PFD weight) is about 29 lbs for a week...this comes down as food is consumed.

I'm weird in that I take pleasure in these types of efficiencies.
AlexanderSupertramp
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03/20/2023 12:22PM  
I try to keep as much out of the canoe as possible when portaging because I'm tall and narrow, and the overhead weight just becomes too challenging especially with the dog tethered to my waist. So for me I only strap in the paddles in with bungee deally bobs. Weight down low is much easier to manage so almost everything is either inside pack or attached to it. Dog carries two side packs and a top backpack that are enough to get all his treats, toys, and collar gear and some of his food. His life jacket snaps to the back of my pack along with my own. I need to have hands free in order to handle the leash if I need to, and the other to balance canoe.

My overall target carry weight for a week is 75lbs

Overhead carry
Canoe - 31lbs
Homemade clamp on yoke - 2lbs 6oz (plus whichever pad I go with)
Paddles - 2lbs total for both
velcro'd yoga mat that dog sits on - TBD, but guessing about 8-10oz

Total - about 36lbs

Looking to keep pack weight as close to 40lbs as possible, while already figuring the fixed dog food weight which is 7lbs for 7 days, that gives me 33lbs to work with for my own food and my gear. I am however looking to experiment with freeze dried dog food this year because that shaves multiple pounds off, I just dont want him to get sick by switching to a food like that on short notice, and its not affordable to ease into it.

I've shaved about 6lbs of weight off from last years pack weight by getting some higher end UL gear (new sleeping bag, pad, and cook items), a smaller pack, and just being more cognizant of what goes in the pack.

I scale each item out then weigh the fully loaded pack. Its always a work in progress though, tweaking things after each trip.
HayRiverDrifter
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03/20/2023 01:17PM  
I have a prism. Fishing Poles get BDBed into the canoe. Yoke doubles as a back rest and is clamped into the canoe

1 pack: Sleep system (hammock, ...) clothing and other personal items
5 gal bucket with gamma lid: food, kitchen setup, misc camp items
1 side pack with fishing gear

When I get to the portage, I step out in the water, install the yoke, BDB the paddle in, set the 5 gal bucket on a rock with handle in the up position, shoulder my pack, don my side pack, shoulder the boat, grab the bucket and go.

Things I have learned. DO NOT BDB a bunch of things into the canoe. I want that as light a possible when shouldering. Keep my pack as light as possible to make shouldering easier. No loose items period. I like having the bucket. It's water tight, doubles as a table or chair and carries all the things I would rather not have in my pack like food, stove and fuel.
03/20/2023 01:23PM  
I always single portage when traveling in my family group, but on my initial solo last year was carrying way too much junk (72 lbs!) to make this happen. I might try again this year. I think 45-50 lbs is doable.
Assuming a single, when I pull up to a portage, I don my PFD (unless it's chilly I'm likely not wearing it) and step out of the boat. Assuming the footing is less than ideal, I grab my single pack-with-everything-in-it and carry it up to shore along with my paddle, where I get it situated properly for the carry. Then I go back, hoist the canoe on my shoulders, grab my paddle as I pass by and off I go.

Any thwart bag or underseat bag is left in the canoe (they don't have much in them to prevent balance issues during portage); fishing poles are BDB'd to the seat and thwarts.
The big improvement I could make is BDB'ing/wedging the paddle in the canoe, but have so far decided to live with it out of habit.

03/20/2023 01:39PM  
When single portaging I use one pack. Pull up to portage, dismount, attach yoke, BDB paddle and spare to pedestal seat, zip PFD over center thwart, put pack on, pick canoe up from water and walk away. One of my rules (single or double portaging) is to never carry anything in my hands.
03/20/2023 04:31PM  
Great topic--thanks for bringing it up. So far responses have discussed solo paddling; I'll offer a tandem perspective. My wife and I have been single-walking since the late '70s. Fortunately, as we've aged, gear weight has dropped considerably. Weights approached 80 pounds each when we began paddling the BWCA/Q, but now we can comfortably outfit a 10-day trip while carrying under 65# each. I'm carrying the canoe (with life jackets wrapped around seats), a 115 liter drybag pack (sleeping pads, sleeping bags, some clothes), and a small fanny pack (camera, multi-tool, sunscreen, bug dope). Tia carries a Kelty frame pack with food, tent, cooking gear, dining fly, etc. The Kelty rides face-down in the canoe, and has a multi-purpose foam pad secured to the face to eliminate any pressure-points against the hull of the Kevlar canoe.

We wet-foot. When we reach a portage, we each step out of the canoe, secure the life jackets to the seats (this may change this year--new design life jackets), place water bottles in the Kelty, and BDB 2 straight-shaft carbon paddles together. I help her get the pack on, then stuff the two map/compass envelopes behind the foam pad on the face of the pack. She uses the paddles as walking sticks, carbon pair in one hand and the wooden spare in the other. I put the fanny pack on and rotate it to my left side, then put on the dry bag pack. Finally, I hoist the canoe onto my shoulders. Usually this is a 3-minute or so process if the portage landing isn't crappy or we have strong winds--either situation may call for moving the canoe into a better position for getting it on my shoulders. Tia leads across the portage, letting me know if I've got a tight turn or low clearance coming up.

At the next lake, I unload the canoe directly into the water, take the dry bag pack off and place it into its canoe position. I take the paddles from Tia, set them aside, remove the maps from behind the foam pad, help her off-load the Kelty and place it in the canoe pad down. Remove BDBs from the carbon paddles, stash the spare, and we're off. If it's a long portage, we may have water and/or snacks in addition to the routine described.

TZ
YetiJedi
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03/20/2023 06:56PM  
Thanks, TZ, for the tandem perspective. Looking to try this option this summer and your explanation gave me some good starting points. Much appreciated!
03/20/2023 07:04PM  
YetiJedi: "Thanks, TZ, for the tandem perspective. Looking to try this option this summer and your explanation gave me some good starting points. Much appreciated!"


I hope you have a great trip, and you're correct in stating that another person's techniques are just a starting point. Our methods would drive some people crazy, but they have served us well. I should note that for several years we have taken in only home-dehydrated meals. We also fitted our cook pot with a cozy, reducing stove burn time for most dinners by ~65%. Breakfasts need only hot water, lunches are always cold.

TZ
TreeBear
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03/20/2023 09:45PM  
I'm definitely young enough to still do some stupid double packing every now and again, but I have also noticed myself steering away from it more and more, especially on solo trips! That said, from guiding, I was always targeting efficiency for my groups and so I started trying to get us always down to one trip through the portage (with me, the guide, usually coming back to help stragglers.) What I learned was the importance of prep work. Make sure there's only enough packs along for every person to have just one big item, a pack or a canoe. Minimize or eliminate loose items when possible. A big pile of things to carry is a quick route to not being able to single portage. And I tried to get groups to carry things around a bunch before a trip. If it's hard to carry now, it won't be easier on trail! Lighten that pack up where possible.

But once the gear is packed and I'm out there, what do I do? Solo trips are where I face this the most because there's no relying on others. I either have to carry it all or go back and forth for it. To be fair, I haven't gone on longer than a two night solo yet so that really sheds the weight down in the pack. I almost always fit food and equipment in one pack to reduce that complication. I don't usually have a second paddle along which might be a stupid risk but is also a big hassle solo. Most of the time I have found the solo trips to be a good chance not to rush it and take one trip with the canoe and one with the rest. But when I do portage it all, it's usually a pack on the back, canoe on the shoulders, paddle and camera case in one hand (or paddle in the seat and camera case in the hand), and I wear the life jacket. Then I switch back and forth which hand has the case and the paddle. Sometimes I put one in each hand and, if needed, steady the canoe with the paddle handle.

After one or two bad falls with way too much gear on, I pretty much decided the last guide season that if I am going to be doing this for as long as so many of the incredible people on this forum, I had to portage smarter. So I try to single pack 90% of the time now. It just wasn't worth it. And the other 10%, I sure hope I have a light enough canoe along. The 150 pound portages are something I can leave behind for good!
andym
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03/20/2023 10:29PM  
When we single portages (actually for double too) a key is that everything is either in a pack or strapped to the canoe. Maps are in cases and attached to seats with small S-carabiners and BDBs. Paddles are attached to seats with the big twisty things (forget the name), PFDs are zipped around the seats. Big packs on, day packs in hand. Off we go. With the old KnuPak system where you use a control rope to manage the pitch of the canoe, I could portage the canoe with everything on it and still carry a daypack in my hand.

Definitely agree that what you strap to the canoe must be balanced. And the worst is a bow heavy canoe. Holding the bow up is a killer.

In those days, I would carry the heavier pack with the canoe due to my wife’s knee problems. But that depends on the partners. Our niece’s husband tried the same split and it took a while for him to agree to give our niece the heavier pack. She’s tiny but was an officer in the Israeli infantry and could carry a lot of weight.

20 years and 8 cancer treatments later, we still use the same organization system but I portage with my daypack and go back for my big pack. My wife still singles and takes care of the boat at the far end. That way her pack and my day pack go directly into a floating boat. If someone comes by, she can keep our canoe out of their way. Only my big pack is put down on land. Honestly, I don’t think we lost a lot of time to the second portage. I’m quick without the canoe and we are well organized.
03/21/2023 06:52AM  
I have one pack for everything including food . My base weight is around 14lbs. I land the canoe, take my pack out, attach my portage yoke, place my paddle up the portage against something for grabbing on the way. My other paddle is secured but early assessable in the canoe. I wedge my PFD into the seat pedestal. Put on my pack, hoist the canoe, grab the paddle and away I go. I paddle an Advantage. I move the seat forward and my pack sits right behind me.
03/21/2023 01:03PM  
Since TZ brought up Single-carrying for group trips...thought I'd mention how we do that.

Just like a solo trip...no loose items other than the map & paddles.

We are carrying one larger pack in the 100+ liter range which will have one person's personal gear, and also all the community gear and food. A second, much smaller/lighter pack will have just the other person's personal gear.

So we land, remove the two packs, attach PFDs to packs, map in pack pocket, and then one person gets a big pack + paddles, and the other person gets a small pack + canoe. Off we go...perhaps a couple minutes in transition if we're not dallying.


03/21/2023 07:28PM  
sns: "Since TZ brought up Single-carrying for group trips...thought I'd mention how we do that.


Just like a solo trip...no loose items other than the map & paddles.


We are carrying one larger pack in the 100+ liter range which will have one person's personal gear, and also all the community gear and food. A second, much smaller/lighter pack will have just the other person's personal gear.


So we land, remove the two packs, attach PFDs to packs, map in pack pocket, and then one person gets a big pack + paddles, and the other person gets a small pack + canoe. Off we go...perhaps a couple minutes in transition if we're not dallying.



"


Exactly! While the pack I carry with the canoe isn't very small, it's very light. Group gear and food is in Tia's framed Kelty.

TZ



straighthairedcurly
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03/21/2023 08:23PM  
Solo trips:
Small waist pack with ditch kit, BeFree 1L bladder/filter
Single backpack (40L?) with all my gear and food for a week (use an Ursack)
Canoe (Wenonah Advantage) with paddle and spare paddle BDBed in place
I hook the PFD to the pack when portaging. To keep from losing my BDBs when I remove the paddle, I have them zip tied to seat frame.

Total weight:
Canoe + paddles +misc (bailer, BDB, bow/stern lines) 36 lbs
Pack base weight 21-22 lbs
Food 10-11 lbs
When I add in the items I am wearing, the total gear and food is around 75 lbs. It is lighter when I do the border challenge and leave my luxury items at home (less than 70 lbs total).

I weigh everything and log it in lighterpack.com

Between my first trip in 2020 when everything weighed about 100 lbs, I have made the following changes. Lighter canoe and yoke, lighter tent, less cooking gear, lighter packs, less camera gear, lighter sleeping bag, less misc.

03/21/2023 08:40PM  
Blatz: "I have one pack for everything including food . My base weight is around 14lbs. I land the canoe, take my pack out, attach my portage yoke, place my paddle up the portage against something for grabbing on the way. My other paddle is secured but early assessable in the canoe. I wedge my PFD into the seat pedestal. Put on my pack, hoist the canoe, grab the paddle and away I go. I paddle an Advantage. I move the seat forward and my pack sits right behind me. "

Curious as to how you get your pack weight down to 14# including food? How long of a trip is that for? I assume that base weight doesn't include the canoe?
YetiJedi
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03/21/2023 09:29PM  
dogwoodgirl: "
Blatz: "I have one pack for everything including food . My base weight is around 14lbs. I land the canoe, take my pack out, attach my portage yoke, place my paddle up the portage against something for grabbing on the way. My other paddle is secured but early assessable in the canoe. I wedge my PFD into the seat pedestal. Put on my pack, hoist the canoe, grab the paddle and away I go. I paddle an Advantage. I move the seat forward and my pack sits right behind me. "



Curious as to how you get your pack weight down to 14# including food? How long of a trip is that for? And I assume that base weight doesn't include the canoe!"


I'm guessing Blatz's definition of "base weight" does not include consumables (food, fuel, etc.) which I think is common for backpackers. But perhaps I'm mistaken.
03/22/2023 01:39AM  
TrailZen: "Great topic--thanks for bringing it up. So far responses have discussed solo paddling; I'll offer a tandem perspective. My wife and I have been single-walking since the late '70s. Fortunately, as we've aged, gear weight has dropped considerably. Weights approached 80 pounds each when we began paddling the BWCA/Q, but now we can comfortably outfit a 10-day trip while carrying under 65# each. I'm carrying the canoe (with life jackets wrapped around seats), a 115 liter drybag pack (sleeping pads, sleeping bags, some clothes), and a small fanny pack (camera, multi-tool, sunscreen, bug dope). Tia carries a Kelty frame pack with food, tent, cooking gear, dining fly, etc. The Kelty rides face-down in the canoe, and has a multi-purpose foam pad secured to the face to eliminate any pressure-points against the hull of the Kevlar canoe.


We wet-foot. When we reach a portage, we each step out of the canoe, secure the life jackets to the seats (this may change this year--new design life jackets), place water bottles in the Kelty, and BDB 2 straight-shaft carbon paddles together. I help her get the pack on, then stuff the two map/compass envelopes behind the foam pad on the face of the pack. She uses the paddles as walking sticks, carbon pair in one hand and the wooden spare in the other. I put the fanny pack on and rotate it to my left side, then put on the dry bag pack. Finally, I hoist the canoe onto my shoulders. Usually this is a 3-minute or so process if the portage landing isn't crappy or we have strong winds--either situation may call for moving the canoe into a better position for getting it on my shoulders. Tia leads across the portage, letting me know if I've got a tight turn or low clearance coming up.


At the next lake, I unload the canoe directly into the water, take the dry bag pack off and place it into its canoe position. I take the paddles from Tia, set them aside, remove the maps from behind the foam pad, help her off-load the Kelty and place it in the canoe pad down. Remove BDBs from the carbon paddles, stash the spare, and we're off. If it's a long portage, we may have water and/or snacks in addition to the routine described.


TZ"


This is basically what my wife and I do. I love how easy and efficient it is. We always wear our PFDs which saves a little time. Holding up a pack so your partner can just slip their arms into them can reduce back injuries from lifting while bending and twisting. I also agree with not having loose items in the canoe.
This may seem odd to some but I enjoy portaging as much as paddling.
03/22/2023 09:29AM  
907Tundra: "This is basically what my wife and I do. I love how easy and efficient it is. We always wear our PFDs which saves a little time. Holding up a pack so your partner can just slip their arms into them can reduce back injuries from lifting while bending and twisting. I also agree with not having loose items in the canoe.
This may seem odd to some but I enjoy portaging as much as paddling."


Enjoying the portage isn't odd at all! We paddle for distance--no fishing or base camping--so usually when we hit a portage we need the change of activity. Walking feels wonderful after a stretch of paddling, and paddling feels great after a portage.

TZ
Tomcat
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03/22/2023 10:15AM  
Deleted
andym
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03/22/2023 01:13PM  
I also hold my wife's pack and help her put it on. One note on doing this: we find that it is important for the person to get the pack into position and hold it steady. Let the other person control putting it on and don't let go or move it until they have clearly said that they are ready. You don't want to torque their arms when they are behind them getting into the straps.

And I completely agree that the mix of paddling and portaging is great. After a long bit of paddling, I find that it is nice to stretch my legs.
scotttimm
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03/22/2023 03:25PM  
Finally achieved single portaging last year on the Border Challenge (twice). Here's what we did for our tandem (first time with son, second with brother):

Gear:
One BIG bag, a CCS Guide, that has everything but food and day gear.
One mid-sized roll top dry bag with backpack straps - food bag.
One small backpack that contains food for the day, first aid kit, sunscreen, sundries. It also has a reservoir bladder for extra water on the long portages.
Three carbon paddles. One is semi-permanently Bungee Dealie Bobbed (BDB) behind/underneath stern seat and to thwart on my left side.
Map case - hangs by BDB's on thwart in front of me (stern).
GPS - mounted on thwart in front of me.
Two silicone water bottles with Katadyn Be Free for water. These sit with each paddler, but crazy important to do a verbal check to make sure it isn't in the canoe when the portage begins (single portaging means they can easily be lost!).

Process:
As we roll up to the portage, bow paddler stops paddling and secures paddle blade under front seat and BDB's the grip to the handle on the bow deck while I guide us in. Bow paddler hops out, adjusts canoe for exit and pops off spring creek yoke to get at CCS pack. While they are doing that, I secure stern paddle to the BDB that is holding the top right corner of my map case, take the GPS out of it's holder and put into the day pack. I hop out and help hoist the CCS pack to bow paddler, secure the yoke, then I put the food pack on my back and the day pack around my front. We double check for the water bottles as part of the routine, empty and pocket them or drink if necessary. Life vests may be worn under packs or may be clipped under the seat. Stern paddler watches as I get the boat up to make sure nothing falls out and I get on shore safely - then they take off down the trail. When they get to the other side they keep the pack on and scout the landing for the best entry spot. When I catch up I drop the boat in where they suggest, remove the yoke, CCS pack goes directly in, food bag and day pack in, GPS pulled out and popped in - we hop in and go!

I have yet to achieve single portaging with the family trips. We're getting close, but usually a couple of us have to double back.
03/23/2023 07:11AM  
When I was younger my wife and I single portaged. It’s just what we did, first few trips I didn’t know anyone did it differently. Just ignorance.

We had two packs.

CCS guide pack with 2 30L barrels side by side. One barrel contained food for the week, the other had gear, tarp, depth finder, reels on top of the barrels in the pack.
Zipper top had trowel (Q), matches/lighter, fire starter, head lamp, put water bottle in to portage.

I carried this pack…probably started at between 65-70# Sometimes heavier, but the pack got a lighter as the trip progressed. Map case attached. Rolls up on portages/Velcro.

I carried the Souris River Q 18.5 probably 55#

Each seat had a CCS or GG seat pad with storage. Bug spray, fish lures/gear, sun screen, miscellaneous

Second pack: GG Nimbus Portgage.
tent sleeping gear, pads, personal gear, camp sandals: weight 55-60#
Stowmaster net attached to top of pack

Portage process:
As we approach landing both jump out secure life vests to seats…unless a short portage then just wore them.
I grab the nimbus and throw it on my wife, hand her the paddles, and poles.
Throw my pack on, flip the canoe onto my shoulders take off.

Other side: usually catch Sarah, she notes the best/safest spot to put canoe in, drop it in the water, throw pack in, take Sarah’s pack off her back and put in the canoe. Both un do life vests and put them on, get in and take off.

Nothing ever touches the ground…of course sometimes we pulled the canoe off to the side to talk to other people, check out scenery, rest…etc…

THEN: I started bringing the entire family. My 5 and 7 year old boys, had gear that weighed the same as Sarah’s and mine and they couldn’t carry the same weight, obviously. Heck just doing the meadows portages with no weight was tough for them. So we moved to double portaging for me and single for the family. Sometimes all of us double.

Also now that we plan to do doubles…we bring extra’s…chairs, boxed wine for after the kids go to bed :) as an example.
At 52 I am not sure I can carry 110 to 130 pounds on the portages I used to. I did the Argo to Cone to Elk recently and with little weight I was so much more careful going across those rocky portages—picking my way through the boulders…while 15 years ago I floated on top of the rocks/boulders very sure footed with all that extra weight. You gotta be safe too.

Sorry long post: For me single portage is about being efficient with packing, either lighter gear, possibly less gear, or being in good shape or a combination of both to find it enjoyable. Not for everyone but it has its advantages just like every method. My Bother and I could drive up from the Twin Cities in the AM, put in at Snowbank at noon and be eating a late dinner on Raven that same evening. There is a freedom in knowing you can get anywhere you need to pretty quickly…no worries on finding camps as it’s no big deal to move on—no panicking set’s in. Sarah and I would be camped in the Q near LBF…and be at home by 6pm in the twin cities all in the same day…or take 3 days—whatever we felt like…like I said there is a freedom knowing you can get anywhere you want in a day…

T

03/24/2023 11:19AM  
Most of the things mentioned are as applicable to efficient portaging as single portaging.

One thing often mentioned about portaging which single portagers never do: don't take the canoe on the first trip, take it the second. I started taking it on the first even though I double; it simplifies things (especially when solo).

Somebody mentioned (different thread) that they stop every third portage or so for 10-30 minutes for water/snack/change of socks. Double portaging I just do it while walking back. I never change socks until camp. What do you do?
03/24/2023 01:05PM  
boonie: "
don't take the canoe on the first trip, take it the second.

I never change socks until camp. What do you do?"


As I alluded to in my post, no one educated me on what to do, I just did what made sense and then observed to learn/modify. So in my ignorance...why do people say don't bring the canoe over the first trip? It seems like it would be easier to pull gear out of the canoe, put it off to the side, then flip the canoe on your shoulders and take off. If you leave it to the second trip...you need to lift all the gear out, pull the canoe out/off to the side, then put the packs on and carry gear...it's an extra step of lifting...one time no big deal but in a whole trip it could add up. I see you changed to first for the canoe, but wondering on the reason out of curiosity?

Socks? I have a dry pair and wet pair and they never mix... so like you I change at camp. Feels like a nice luxury after a day of wet footing.
AlexanderSupertramp
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03/24/2023 01:33PM  
boonie: "Most of the things mentioned are as applicable to efficient portaging as single portaging.


One thing often mentioned about portaging which single portagers never do: don't take the canoe on the first trip, take it the second. I started taking it on the first even though I double; it simplifies things (especially when solo).


Somebody mentioned (different thread) that they stop every third portage or so for 10-30 minutes for water/snack/change of socks. Double portaging I just do it while walking back. I never change socks until camp. What do you do?"


If I was double-portaging I take canoe first as well because I want it off the landing, on longer portages I would get back after 1st trip and sometimes there would be multiple groups with multiple canoes all jammed up, then trying to hoist mine over my head in a minefield of packs, gear, and canoes is a little cumbersome.
straighthairedcurly
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03/24/2023 02:58PM  
boonie: "

Somebody mentioned (different thread) that they stop every third portage or so for 10-30 minutes for water/snack/change of socks. Double portaging I just do it while walking back. I never change socks until camp. What do you do?"


I never change socks until camp. I'm a wet footer so it doesn't make sense to change earlier in the day. I would just be hauling around a lot of wet socks.

I drink water at the start or the end of each portage (or both on a hot day). I usually just eat a snack in the canoe (handful of gorp or a piece of candy). Lunch is usually on shore at the end of a non-busy portage or we pull off on a rocky shore area if the lake is really busy. If it is a short travel day, we just wait to eat at the campsite.
03/24/2023 03:48PM  
Tim, I do it for the same reason you mentioned, less lifting (simpler) adds up after multiple portages, makes sense. Have seen people say don't take it the first trip so you can see what you are up against - down trees, etc. - but that rarely occurs in the BW in my experience and the way I dealt with it was the same as it would have been the second trip - over, under, around, through.

I've never seen the need to change socks/footwear during the day.

I bought a Sawyer Water Filter Bottle many years ago so I wouldn't have to carry two Nalgene's and occasionally stop, dig out a filter and filter water. Just unscrew the cap (filter attached), dip, screw cap on. I don't really eat what most would consider a lunch perhaps, just a ProBar and some nuts, which is easy to do while walking. I carry it in my pocket. But I hadn't thought of it as a way I saved time over someone who single portaged but stopped to do those things.

03/25/2023 03:23PM  
Thanks Boonie…the taking the packs first for scouting suggestion makes sense. Thanks for the explanation.

Like you, not sure I need the scouting, but it’s good to understand the reason and to each their own…if it works better for someone else…then it works for them.

T
03/25/2023 06:29PM  
I think some people like to clear portage trails. I've never found it necessary in BW and it saves time and work as you mentioned, but I usually have neither a saw nor axe anyway. I would likely do it differently if I took a trip to WCPP.
Voyager
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03/28/2023 02:07PM  
About the only few differences in my portage practices are : The PFD stays on, I only take it off when I reach camp. It's the older Seda brand and very comfortable. That saves me a lot of time. I do however, remove it on the Grand Portage each time. My paddle slides under a permanent thwart bungee with the grip wedged under the seat. Spare 8 oz. paddle is clipped under the partial ceconite bow decking. I have installed light-weight partial cedar inwales so I can use my gunwale clamping yoke on my Blackwater.( I wish someone could design a Quick, light-weight solo yoke. ) The SPOT and Inreach stay attached with mounts. Maps are narrow strips of the intended route, attached to a light -weight, narrow, home-made clipboard . They have rings in the end for easy flips to the next section. The clipboard has a thwart clamp on the back and of course a tether. I'll have 20 strips for the border route. That stays on the thwart and maps can be consulted even when carrying the canoe. You will all hone your system over the years by trial and error. One of the nicest compliments I ever got, was from a hard-core wilderness traveler. He referred to me as a portage machine. ( But I'm not so well oiled anymore.)
03/28/2023 03:01PM  
Voyager: " I have installed light-weight partial cedar inwales so I can use my gunwale clamping yoke on my Blackwater.( I wish someone could design a Quick, light-weight solo yoke. ) ."


Savage River has a very lightweight carbon fiber yoke that attaches via a webbing strap. Takes about the same length of time to put on as a clamp style yoke, but if you added some Fast-tex buckles it would be pretty quick. It works well if properly snugged. Savage River carbon yoke

My favorite solo system was the old Hidden River (long since gone) that I have on my Advantage. Really quick, much more durable, comfortable and functional than the pedestal yoke from Chosen Valley. With this yoke I leave the aluminum tabs attached to the gunwales and simply slide the yoke on at the portage- easy to flex the hull enough to get it off and on.
03/28/2023 03:47PM  
Voyager: "Maps are narrow strips of the intended route, attached to a light -weight, narrow, home-made clipboard . They have rings in the end for easy flips to the next section. The clipboard has a thwart clamp on the back and of course a tether. I'll have 20 strips for the border route. That stays on the thwart and maps can be consulted even when carrying the canoe. "


Portage Machine: I'd love to see some detailed pics of your map system!
03/28/2023 03:49PM  
Banksiana: "Savage River has a very lightweight carbon fiber yoke that attaches via a webbing strap."


Banksy, I'd noticed that yoke on their site, and it looks cool - have you seen it in person? Any clue what it weighs?

The strap-around-hull attachment strikes me as cumbersome, but perhaps it's better in the real world than in my imagination.

On my Blackwater I've been using my own DIY yoke for a couple seasons with no complaints. Around 20-30 seconds on average to attach, less to detach.

Always open to better/faster/lighter ideas, regardless!
03/28/2023 04:53PM  
I bought the carbon fiber yoke with my Blackwater. It's not as quick as the my old Advantage yoke, but not bad. I have to say I loathe the Chosen Valley Pedestal yoke (which wouldn't fit on the new seat platform in the Blackwater anyway)- [I had a Chosen Valley pedestal yoke for two years for my Advantage, when my trusty yoke (pictured in my earlier post) failed after some 30 years of use- I went through three Chosen Valley yokes, two broke on Q trips and one was defective, I found the yoke uncomfortable, cumbersome, unreliable, prone to coming undone and over-priced. Chosen Valley did replace each failed yoke- then I got the phone number of the guy that bought the parts bin from Hidden River and I was able to resurrect my yoke that took 30 years to fail]

Back to the Savage River yoke. Easy to attach (put the yoke in place- if in water let the canoe float over the strap, grab and cinch home, if on land put yoke in place and move the canoe so the strap shows on the proper side, cinch and go. I think a Fast-tex buckle might be quicker but as it stands its not too much trouble. Main thing is to properly place the yoke (sharpie mark guides me) or it can work loose. I would say the installation is about 10 seconds or so. Removal is just pushing down the cam lock and yanking the straps through the cam. Yoke is very light but I stuck big square Bourquin pads on it that probably weigh 4 times what the yoke does, but I like to get the canoe as far above my head as possible.
YetiJedi
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03/28/2023 05:53PM  
Voyager: "Maps are narrow strips of the intended route, attached to a light -weight, narrow, home-made clipboard . They have rings in the end for easy flips to the next section. The clipboard has a thwart clamp on the back and of course a tether. I'll have 20 strips for the border route. That stays on the thwart and maps can be consulted even when carrying the canoe. "


Voyager, I'm also interested in seeing pics of this system you mentioned. Sounds pretty cool.
03/28/2023 06:51PM  
Banksiana: "Yoke is very light but I stuck big square Bourquin pads on it that probably weigh 4 times what the yoke does"


Thanks for all the info. I also have a yoke (not sure if it's Chosen Valley) that connects to the Blackwater's pedestal, but I don't like it.

If you put the yoke on a scale - even with the Bourquins attached - I'm curious about the actual weight.

Do you like the Bourquins? Did you get the smaller or larger ones? I just can't get used to the padded strap pads (Chosen Valley I believe)...
Voyager
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03/29/2023 04:11AM  
I'll have to see if Savage River has a carbon yoke on hand when I pick up my JD III in May. I've always shied away from yokes with a strap under the canoe. Now I'm wondering if I could modify their yoke to fit my partial inwales.

I'll try to find a picture of my map system later today ( or take one). The actual strips of maps that cover Sha Sha resort on Rainy to the Pigeon River came from Muddyfeet. I copied them on waterproof paper with a laser printer and coated one side with plastic to give them more stiffness. Of course, if you want to venture very far off course you'll need a GPS or backup maps. (I carry both.)

Another modification to my Blackwater I reluctantly made was the addition of another thwart, closer to the paddler. It gives me a place to put navigational things closer to me for easier reading. It's also a great grab-bar to assist this old man getting in and out and allows extra space for the myriad of things that seem to collect in front of me.
03/29/2023 08:30AM  
Voyager, looking forward to seeing those map system pictures! (and pics of your new Savage River next month!)

Like you, I changed the 'stock' thwart layout on my Blackwater: I moved the front thwart back ~9" (the Dillers made/sent me a slightly longer one) and the rear one forward ~4" (used the original here). This allowed me to use my DIY Yoke, which is a key part of my single-carry system...I needed the gap between thwarts to be considerably shorter.


Love all the info & ideas being shared on single-portaging...this has been my favorite thread of the year.
Tomcat
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03/29/2023 08:55AM  
I attach my map case to the backside of my backpack. I place my backpack in front of me for navigating the water. I fold the maps and place them in the map case so that they display the intended travel route in chronological order.
Voyager
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03/29/2023 08:28PM  
I use your same map system while paddling stern in a tandem.
Voyager
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03/30/2023 09:26AM  
Here’s the map system I use when doing the border route. It’s not something I’d use for a casual trip. The board, without maps, weighs 3.5 oz, and measures 3.5” x10”. It’s placed under a full-length thwart bungee for additional security in rough weather. The clip is the base part of a clip-on paddle holder. Canoe photo is from the start of the 2022 KW Challenge. Ready to rock and roll at Rainy Lake.
03/30/2023 10:39AM  
One challenge I've always had with single portaging is my pack interferes with my boat. I've tried different packs and in my solo, I always end up with the pack hitting the seat and pushing the bow forward, making the carry uncomfortable. I like to portage the canoe with it slightly tipped back towards the stern behind me.

What packs do you use or how have you dealt with that?
Tomcat
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03/30/2023 11:16AM  
Deleted
03/30/2023 02:06PM  
Voyager, that is awesome. Thanks for the photos - great idea. Does the clip hold it firmly in place on the thwart (no spinning)?
03/30/2023 02:08PM  
Speckled: "One challenge I've always had with single portaging is my pack interferes with my boat. I've tried different packs and in my solo, I always end up with the pack hitting the seat and pushing the bow forward, making the carry uncomfortable. I like to portage the canoe with it slightly tipped back towards the stern behind me.

What packs do you use or how have you dealt with that?"


Speckled, this is a real issue - I designed and built two portage packs (V1 & V2); they have a lower top to address this exact clearance problem.

The other possible way to solve this is by raising the canoe with a different yoke system.
03/30/2023 03:42PM  
Speckled: "One challenge I've always had with single portaging is my pack interferes with my boat. I've tried different packs and in my solo, I always end up with the pack hitting the seat and pushing the bow forward, making the carry uncomfortable. I like to portage the canoe with it slightly tipped back towards the stern behind me.


What packs do you use or how have you dealt with that?"
EddyTurn
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03/30/2023 04:09PM  
Speckled: "One challenge I've always had with single portaging is my pack interferes with my boat. I've tried different packs and in my solo, I always end up with the pack hitting the seat and pushing the bow forward, making the carry uncomfortable. I like to portage the canoe with it slightly tipped back towards the stern behind me.


What packs do you use or how have you dealt with that?"


Usually there's no interference if one uses canoe packs specifically designed to be lower in height, but wider than backpacking packs, as sns said. If this doesn't help then risers could help, for instance Hidden River pads have 3" risers option:
03/31/2023 09:36AM  
Banks and Eddy - That's what I need! I need to either just fab something myself or buy those riser pads.
AlexanderSupertramp
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04/03/2023 09:45AM  
sns: "
Banksiana: "Yoke is very light but I stuck big square Bourquin pads on it that probably weigh 4 times what the yoke does"



Thanks for all the info. I also have a yoke (not sure if it's Chosen Valley) that connects to the Blackwater's pedestal, but I don't like it.


If you put the yoke on a scale - even with the Bourquins attached - I'm curious about the actual weight.


Do you like the Bourquins? Did you get the smaller or larger ones? I just can't get used to the padded strap pads (Chosen Valley I believe)..."


I just finished making my own clamp on yoke for a NW solo blacklite. I ordered the lightweight Bourquins because I feel like for a 31lb canoe the standards are just going to feel huge, I am also very thin framed with boney shoulders, so a 6" long pad should be plenty. If not.. I'll sell them and go for the big boys.
 
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