Knu-Pack portaging system?

I’m a rookie at wilderness tripping, & pretty close to that at canoeing period, but I live near a wilderness area with a nice canoe trail system, so I hope to change that this summer. Most of the lakes in our area are fairly small (avg. -150 acres), and the portages fairly short & numerous (under .5 miles, & 5-7 per easy day).

Neither of my canoes have good portage yokes, & I intend to build some, but was trying to think of a way to use my frame pack (freighter style) to help carry the canoe so I could do single portages when alone. Then I saw the Knu-Pack, & it’s basically what I was thinking of building. Mine would be designed to work with a standard portage yoke so I would have either option available. Does anyone have experience with this type of system, & what are the pros-cons?

Is it worth messing with?

By the way, I’m a semi-old guy (45) with older heavy (75+# tandem canoes).

Thanks in advance guys, this sight is a wealth of information.

Yep. Liked 'um. Investigated 'um. Bought

– Last Updated: Dec-24-05 5:04 PM EST –

'um. Then even before they arrived found Sea Winds Canoes. Liked 'um. Investigatged 'um. Bought 'um. Never used the Knu-Paks as do not need them, can not use them with the specialized Krugers.

They are brand new in the boxes in the basement. They are still here as although I no longer needed them there was no hurry in letting them go either. If you really decide Knu-Paks are for you and would like a good deal e-mail me.

Oh yeah. You should look at fesibilityof back and a 75# canoe on same portage. Generally not a good idea. With Knu-Paks almost all the weight will be trandfered to your hips. They generally do not take it that well. I found this out later from a lot of old timers that tried it, but rejected it for more traditional back packs, yokes, trumph lines, etc.



Portaging canoe weight
I would second those who have advised a lighter canoe regardless of carrying method. It sounds like you are travelling solo. I own several solo canoes. The heaviest, an old Wenonah Rendezvous in “Tuffweave”, basically fiberglass, is 54lbs. The other two are a 17’6" 43 pounder and a very handy little 15’6" that only weighs a tad over 30lbs. It would be ideal for the use you describe. Good luck. PS-for short carries, I just balance the canoe’s padded seat on my head!

for all the help guys.

You are probably right about the weight being to much to make in a single trip, but the packing system sounds like a good design anyway. I think I’ll go ahead & build some decent portage yokes & the pack system for my pack frame & make the bag quickly removable as was suggested.

As for the lighter solo canoe, I’d love it, but with 3 kids & a wife the funds just aren’t there right now, although I will keep my eyes open for a steal. I’d love to build a ceader strip solo, but again, it’s a cash intensive project, especially getting kits shipped to Alaska.

Hopefuly at least part of the family will get to go more than I expect, & we’ll make good use of the tandems, an aluminium “Pioneer” & a fiberglass “Oswego” (anyone familiar with either brand?). For now, & I’ll just keep drooling over all those beautiful solos out there.

A Theoretical Question
If you slip and fall, what do you plan on doing with the canoe? With a more traditional portage yoke you can slip the canoe off your shoulders and drop her before she lands on your head.

If you fall with the canoe into some deep loon shit how easy will it be to get back up? With a traditional portage yoke all you have to do is roll the canoe off of you. I would think with the Knu-Pac you have an additional step of sliding the pack off.

BTW, I have never used the Knu-Pac.

The way I understand
the system you do not. There are simply two cradles which are open on the top that the yoke sits on. I’ve never seen them close up, but I picture them as semi-circles, or semi-ovals if you will, open on the top. They stick up from the pack frame & the thwart sits on them, so they would be as easy to get out of as a portage yoke. I too have never used the system, or seen it in person, & thus my questions.

i bought one about 6 years ago …

– Last Updated: Dec-26-05 3:18 PM EST –

unfortunately i hated it. the 'cradles' are waaay up in the air and getting the canoe up there was not easy. primarily because it difficult to look up and see where the 'cradles' are relative to the yoke. i tried it on my solo ... to get the ash strips on side of the cane seat into the cradles.

i ended up tearing the cane seat in the attempt to cradle it and boy was i pissed. in fact, i was so pissed i quit my trip early and came home so i could return the damn thing. the next year, i got a quick on-off yoke which was/is wonderful and clearly a superior method to portaging your boat.