Oh hey there! So you'd like to learn how to portage a canoe? Well, you've come to the right place. In this post, I'll explain how to get a canoe on your shoulders, but in addition, I'll also give you a ton of tips for how to make portaging a more enjoyable experience, because, admittedly, I don't love portaging.
In the decade since I first learned to portage, I've developed strategies to make portaging as painless as possible. So if you're reading this hoping to learn how to portage a canoe, know that I am sharing guidance and tips to give you the best portaging experience possible. Let's get portaging!
Quick anecdote before we get portaging: So back in October I was on a canoe trip on the Coulonge River, paddling with a group of people I'd never met before. We were halfway through the trip, paddling a stretch of flatwater when I casually mentioned to my boat and the one next to us "I don't really like portaging."
I had thought this was a statement of fact - does anyone truly enjoy carrying a 60-pound canoe on their shoulders over uneven terrain? One man turned around, looking almost offended, and replied "How can a canoe tripper NOT love portages? That's half the job!"
Touché. For someone who doesn't love portages, I do a heck of a lot of them. I'm also really good at it if I do say so myself. But that still doesn't mean I relish the experience. If I wanted to spend my trip walking, I'd ditch the canoe and do a hike.
How to Portage a Canoe
There are two parts to portaging. One is actually carrying the canoe on your shoulders and walking in between two bodies of water. I'm sure you're interested in this part and that's how you ended up on this blog post.
The second part isn't as cool so a lot of people ignore it, but I'd argue it's even more important than just carrying a canoe. This part is how you organize your group and your gear so you have to take as few trips as possible, no one gets lost or injured and no gear is forgotten. Seems ...
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