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Old 10-20-2011, 07:37 PM   #1
Grey-Jay
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Hornbeck Overnights

I say Hornbecks since I plan to get one but the question obviously pertains to any solo pack canoe in the 10 to 14 foot range. Specifically for those doing overnights where carries are initially or eventually required and you strive to avoid doubling the carries, what do you do about -

- one vs. multiple packs. Discussed in other posts, I assume one pack no matter what type is desired for the trail but then places all the weight in one end of the boat. Do you redistribute weight once on the water by removing items from one pack and placing in both ends of boat?

How do you attach your taken apart paddle inside the canoe for the carry? Bungee, velcro straps, etc?

Do you just carry the boat on your shoulder or have alot of you invested in the Hornbeck sold backapck attachment and use an external pack?

Thanks. I can't wait for spring already to do this.
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Old 10-20-2011, 07:57 PM   #2
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adkayaker,

My solo boat is a bit larger than most Hornbecks, so some of my methods may not apply...my boat is 31 lb, not 16 or 12...
I can fit my fully loaded internal frame pack in my boat behind me if I insert it near the middle. My gunnels are quite narrow (lots and lots of tumblehome), but once my pack is on the bottom of the boat, I can slide it back until it wedges in on the sides of the hull.
I can carry my solo boat either with the seat balanced on my head (for shorter carries) or by resting the seat frame on the top of my pack. PFD gets zipped around the seat frame, paddle is in my hand. Sometimes my paddle is tucked in between the center thwart and rear thwart, it slides around some, but doesn't fall out.

I also have an external frame pack with some yokes that I have used when day tripping. I put my daypack inside and the boat outside.

Do you have some specific places in mind??
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Old 10-20-2011, 08:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adkayaker View Post
I say Hornbecks since I plan to get one but the question obviously pertains to any solo pack canoe in the 10 to 14 foot range. Specifically for those doing overnights where carries are initially or eventually required and you strive to avoid doubling the carries, what do you do about -

- one vs. multiple packs. Discussed in other posts, I assume one pack no matter what type is desired for the trail but then places all the weight in one end of the boat. Do you redistribute weight once on the water by removing items from one pack and placing in both ends of boat?

How do you attach your taken apart paddle inside the canoe for the carry? Bungee, velcro straps, etc?

Do you just carry the boat on your shoulder or have alot of you invested in the Hornbeck sold backapck attachment and use an external pack?

Thanks. I can't wait for spring already to do this.
One pack, of course. A Knupac in my case, which unfortunately is not any longer manufactured. But many people fashion their own out of an external frame pack. I find it very comfortable to carry for unlimited distances. I mount the pack firmly attached to the 10.5 ft Hornbeck, including an aluminum rod connecting the bottom of the pack to the stern area of the boat. This gives me hands free travel, very important when bushwhacking in rough terrain. Two smaller dry bags inside the main pack for carries, but distributed in the boat when paddling, except in rough water when I want the bow and stern to be light to bob over waves instead of cutting through. Then I keep any extra weight as centered as possible, bags under my knees works well.

Shoulder carry works ok but only for short distances and is very difficult with a large backpack of any kind. The pack will get in the way of holding the boat properly, preventing you from holding the boat to your side.

I carry multiple pieces of velcro and para-cord for various things. A quick wrap of velcro holds my paddle and PFD in place in the boat during carries.

This is a photo of me on my first steps of a 185-mile 7-day solo trek heading diagonally across the Adirondacks (including 62 miles of carries), ending up on Lake Champlain beyond Plattsburgh. I brought all food and everything I needed with me. The Hornbeck and carry system all performed well.
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File Type: jpg knupacHornbeck.jpg (35.0 KB, 350 views)
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Last edited by Wldrns; 10-20-2011 at 08:15 PM..
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Old 10-20-2011, 08:13 PM   #4
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Places

While the usual very popular places are on my list - Lila, SRCA, and long loops involving Little Tupper, etc. . . . . I would especially like carrying in to the small and often ignored smaller ponds, wetlands, creeks,anywhere from a brief walk to a mile carry. I have my favorite list (all on public land) that I have visited as day hikes without a boat but would love to carry a boat in to them. While some of them are not connected to anything so exploration is limited, a one night visit to them offers good opportunities for solitude and wildlife sightings. A combination of maps and the Discover the Adirondack book series has helped me find such places that one can often avoid the weekend crowds. I won't mention names online but I have visited such places and have enjoyed loons, osprey, bald eagles, and even moose, without the traffic. In fact, I've written a couple articles for Adirondack Explorer in years past on such places and did name a few.
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Old 10-20-2011, 08:18 PM   #5
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Wow Wldrns. Fanfastic setup and I admire your trip accomplishment.
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Old 10-21-2011, 06:09 AM   #6
Rich Lockwood
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My system

On trips with all my solo boats 10'-14',I use an old external frame pack with 2 "U" brackets I made on the top of the bars. The brackets go around either a rear thwart or the back crosspiece of the seat. This gives you bow heavyness so I run a line from the bottom of the packframe to the stern which holds the boat level. This works fine on all but the most acrobatic carry sections . I secure the paddles and PFD in the boat bow or stern to right ballance. I put the framepack behind me frame up in the boat,but take the food and other big bag I carry in the top compartment out and secure then in the bow for ballance. I have carried my 25" Colden Flashfire this way on 2 mi carries and a liter boat 5+mi.Having the weight on a hipbelt is a blessing.
Hope this helps,Turtle
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Old 10-21-2011, 07:58 AM   #7
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On my last vacation into the SRCA, i rented a Rapidfire, 26# and 15', iirc. I stayed out 4 days and 3 nights, but packed food for 5 days.

I had everything in one pack (a Golite Gust, just a nylon bag with straps). Seems like i was always going into a headwind, and so had my pack in front of me the whole time.

I keep my food in a waterproof bag at the top of the pack, so that if i needed to, i could have shifted some of the weight more easily to the back. my 2 water bottles (4 lbs, full) could also be shifted behind me to move the center of balance, but as noted, i seldom had a tailwind.

to carry it, i usually used a wooden yoke, and it always rode in the back.

i was able to single-carry all the portages except the stretch from Nellie Pond to Long Pond, which was nothing but mud in places (after the rain the night before), and required too much hopping around. a lot of the stones and logs were hidden under water, and i couldn't tell what i was stepping on. at my age, and solo, i did NOT need to pull a back muscle or sprain an ankle, so i left the boat at one point, carried the pack a half mile, then went back for the boat, and so leapfrogged about a mile of that portage. having just one bag made that whole thing a lot easier.

i simply bunji-ed my double paddle and fishing rod into place, pulling the paddle forward once it was overhead to trim the balance.

i met a guy (twice actually, same guy, same 2 kids, two different years, two different locations) with a 10' Hornbeck Blackjack. i think it weighed 10 or 12 lbs. he carried it on his head like a hat, no yoke, with the seat pad as a cushion for his noggin.
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:18 AM   #8
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A Couple Thoughts

Sure, solo paddlers need a sliding seat or the ability to split their gear to achieve proper trim. As many solo and pack canoes do not have sliding seats, that leaves us with the need to split our load, which is easily done.

We just need to encapsulate camp gear and clothing in one bag, food/kitchen gear in another, and select a gear pack large enough to hold the commissary container in carries. A medium-large internal frame or portage pack, either low enough to allow use of a portage yoke and a dry bag for the camp kitchen should suffice.

I've never liked frame packs in canoes as they provide four stress risers where the corners touch the hull. This is a particular problem with relatively fragile ultra-light hulls.

The various frame carry systems feature those hull issues, exacerbated by locking the hull and paddler together. I worry about twisting falls with a 12 foot beam attached to my back.

The absolute best portage yoke is the Chosen Valley adjustable item, inelegant as welded aluminum can be. The lightest portage yoke is the Portage Strap from the Bag Lady. Everything else falls somewhere in between those two options.
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:20 AM   #9
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No yoke, he carried the canoe on his head like a hat? You must be yoking!

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Old 10-21-2011, 10:33 AM   #10
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Going Native

Side Bar:

The Native Americans, who invented the light weight canoe and shortly there after, presumably the portage... used a leather strap, attached to the gunnals, with a wider section in the middle of the strap. This they would position on their fore-head, and that is how they carried their canoes. I figure it left their arms free to do the Adirondack wave...

The leather afforded shock absorption, and thus positioned, meant that the weight was carried in a direct line down their spine. I do believe this is how they carried loads up the mountains in Peru, and I've seen pics of Sherpa's with head bands like this!

Not suggesting this for you now-a-days.. but interesting none the less. They didn't hang food bags... they just ate bear..
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:58 AM   #11
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Having fallen with a tool laden Woods pack with a tump only, I did not like the way it choked me.

And having fallen with a Knu Pac in Woodland Caribou, it was a painful neck injury. The problem with a stock solo seat and yoke is that there is about four inches of clearance. The "horns" can become dislodged and jam. Without a helper solo you can be in deep doo doo.

However a pack canoe without a carry yoke has just a thwart aft of center and the jamming should not occur. I still prefer the ability to throw off a canoe in case of impending doom.

I have seen Hornbecks just perched on top of the pack. If your pack is narrow enough it may well work to fit inside the boat.
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Old 10-21-2011, 02:34 PM   #12
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i tossed my old external frame pack into the back of a rented 12' hemlock nessmuk this summer and it worked out just fine.

i prefer to "double portage" for various reasons, so start by carrying my pack and paddle over the the trail, then come back for the canoe all by itself.
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Old 10-21-2011, 03:26 PM   #13
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I attach to the gunwales a light aluminum carry "yoke", centered to the Hornbeck (since the backrest thwart is far from center) that fits to the "U" carriers of the knupac. I then tie the "U" pack to the yoke, and along with the aluminum tube connecting the bottom of the pack frame to the gunwale near the stern, the pack/canoe become one rigid unit. I have actually fallen a few times when carrying, but the canoe itself cushioned my fall without injury to myself or to the canoe. Maybe I've been lucky, but it seems to be less dangerous than than the thought might appear. I am comfortable with the safety of the system, though I might unclip my hip belt and loosen straps if doing something like crossing a shallow stream, just in case. I see this as the most efficient method of carrying pack and canoe for unlimited continuous miles with relative ease.

When carrying my RapidFire I do not tie the knupack carriers in or use the lower stabilizer aluminum tube, as I do not think it would be as safe. I center attach a commercial clamp-in yoke without tying the knupac to it, and use a bow/stern line held in one hand for tip control. But my carries with the RF tend to be mostly on trails anyway, unlike the extensive bushwhacks I do with the Hornbeck where hands free is extremely important. The heavier and longer RF is very much less maneuverable when threading around trees and other obstacles on a bushwhack, so the RF is reserved for relatively "tamer" travel.

When paddling, the knupac frame fits nicely in the RF immediately behind the backrest, soft side to bottom of canoe, just as it does in the Hornbeck. I also have a custom made spray cover that fits over the canoe and pack. In neither Hornbeck or RF case does any part of the frame hardware touch any part of the hull. I know that it would not fit the same way in a Shadow.
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File Type: jpg HornbeckCover.jpg (66.2 KB, 282 views)
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Old 10-21-2011, 11:44 PM   #14
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I also have a larger canoe, 15 1/2 feet, so I carry overhead with a comfortable removeable yoke. I simply have one backpack and just toss it behind my seat without concern about balancing. I am able to 1-time all my carries, even the longer ones up to 3 miles, and I tie the (single blade) canoe paddle & life jacket inside the canoe when I do a portage.
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Old 10-22-2011, 08:03 PM   #15
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I disagree with Charlie about the Chosen Valley Yokes, I find that the the canoe slides around a lot on my shoulders, I prefer a yoke system that is more solid on my shoulders. I find that the choden valley yokes slide when I stop suddenly and if you bump somthing, like a branch, the canoe gets pushed around.

I carry one pack on short solo trips, trimming the canoe is usually no problem but if I need to I can usually find a heavy rock to put in the bow or a gallon of water.

http://www.rei.com/outlet/search?query=yokes
http://www.boundarywaterscatalog.com...fm/4,7876.html
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Old 10-22-2011, 08:32 PM   #16
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I disagree with Charlie about the Chosen Valley Yokes, I find that the the canoe slides around a lot on my shoulders, I prefer a yoke system that is more solid on my shoulders. I find that the choden valley yokes slide when I stop suddenly and if you bump somthing, like a branch, the canoe gets pushed around.

I carry one pack on short solo trips, trimming the canoe is usually no problem but if I need to I can usually find a heavy rock to put in the bow or a gallon of water.

http://www.rei.com/outlet/search?query=yokes
http://www.boundarywaterscatalog.com...fm/4,7876.html

You can indeed mold the CVCA yoke pads to give them more curvature. Sub 40 lbs boats tend to bounce and the pads slide around. Giving them a little sag helps with my 30 lb boats. I have an old Universal Solo yoke you posted a link to..the pads wore out and I put CVCA pads on.
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Old 10-22-2011, 10:55 PM   #17
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- one vs. multiple packs. Discussed in other posts, I assume one pack no matter what type is desired for the trail but then places all the weight in one end of the boat. Do you redistribute weight once on the water by removing items from one pack and placing in both ends of boat?

I have taken my Hornbeck Blackjack 10 on solo trips of up to a week. I single-carry. I carry a Granite Gear Traditional 3.5 Portage Pack. When loading the boat, I place it right behind the rear thwart.

Though I enjoy hanging bear bags, I have followed the prevailing wisdom and a couple of years ago bought a bear cannister, a Backpacker's Cache. I put all my food and trash and everything that has any scent at all into it. I attach a short strap to the carrying case for it and attach that to the sternum strap on the portage pack for carrying. It doesn't block my view of the trail. When loading the boat, I use the same short nylon strap to anchor it to the forward thwart.

How do you attach your taken apart paddle inside the canoe for the carry? Bungee, velcro straps, etc?

Hornbecks come with cords that loop under the foam floatation seats. The cords are to be used to lash the paddle shaft sections down onto the seat. I have a one-piece paddle, so I simply slide the blade from front to back under the rear thwart next to one of the gunwales till it locks into place. The other blade hangs out over the gunwale but is no bother. I learned this from Adirondack Connections Guide Service. It eventually wears the edge of the paddle blade, but so does paddling.

Do you just carry the boat on your shoulder or have alot of you invested in the Hornbeck sold backapck attachment and use an external pack?

Someone else on this thread has already mentioned this, and I am not the same person to which they refer, but I too simply wear my boat on my head like a hat. When I mentioned this in a post a year or two ago, CEW got very upset, warning about neck injuries. I agree that one cannot or should not try this with most boats, probably not even with the 19 lb Kevlar version, but an 11 3/4 lb Blackjack is actually lighter than some military headgear. The foam floatation seat provides some cushioning, and the foam floatation in the crown of my Tilley hat provides more. Adding a carbon fiber paddle does not make a perceptible difference. I have carried this boat this way for years and it feels perfectly fine. I would definitely not do it if I felt the least little bit of pain, strain, numbness, pressure, or other symptom from doing it.
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Old 10-23-2011, 09:35 AM   #18
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We have used our Hornbecks ( 10.6 and 12) all over the lower USA,Canada and Alaska and have never needed packs to our stuff ------that what we have the truck camper for
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Old 10-24-2011, 12:06 AM   #19
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Suds by the looks of it wldrns might be able to carry that too. haha.. Wldrns that's an amazing load you have there, how do you get that on your back ?
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Old 10-24-2011, 06:34 AM   #20
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Suds by the looks of it wldrns might be able to carry that too. haha.. Wldrns that's an amazing load you have there, how do you get that on your back ?
Roll it upside down on the ground (right side up for the pack), tripod mode - being rigid it stays put, resting on the stern and pack frame bottom. Easiest then is if it is elevated on a mound or a rock higher than where I am standing, then I simply back into it. If on the flat I sit in front and slip into the backpack straps. Then I do a partial lean to one side to get one knee under me and in kind of a continuous rolling motion get my feet under me and up all in one motion. It takes a practiced technique that sounds more complicated that it is, but it is not all that difficult.
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