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Hello from the University of Waterloo!

Discussion in 'Guestbook' started by Robb Nelson, Oct 1, 2019.

  1. Robb Nelson

    Robb Nelson Future Mechanical Engineer

    Greetings all,

    My name is Robb Nelson. I'm an avid outdoorsman, enjoying everything from backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing, mountain biking, trail running. and mountaineering.

    Currently I'm in my 4th and final year at the University of Waterloo, studying Mechanical Engineering. Are there any other engineers here?

    Part of our study requirements is to complete a design project in our 4th year. My team and I are a collection of outdoor enthusiasts aiming to design a portage stability enhancement device - a device designed to transfer the suspended load from the shoulders to the hips, and offer self-stabilization during the portage.

    As such, we are currently in the conceptual stage and looking to acquire input/feedback/experiences from outdoor enthusiasts. I've compiled a short survey/form with less than 10 questions that will greatly help us determine the needs of the paddling community.

    Now, as per forum policy I'm aware that I'm not allowed to post any links until I've achieved 3 posts. Hopefully this rule might be swayed in this case (admin?) I'm not trying to sell anything, simply gather information that will hopefully help our collective community. Being in school, it is difficult to conduct interviews with enough people to achieve a suitable sample size, so I thought it would be in our best interest to explore forums.

    Thanks alot for everyones future help!

    -Robb
     
  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    There is not an easy way to bypass the three post limitation so just add two more short messages here. Good luck,

    Benson
     
  3. mccloud

    mccloud Wooden Canoe Maniac

    Having portaged a few canoes in a few places, like Labrador and Yukon, and messed around with various portage devices, I agree there is room for improvement. I have used a backpack frame with L-bracket attached to accept the center thwart. THis helps somewhat, but puts the canoe high up - not so good, and you really can't load unload by yourself. Extra weight on a long canoe trip is always bad. My suggestion would be to find a combination of devices which distributes the weight to pelvic girdle, shoulders and head. SO what questions do you have? Tom McCloud
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Robb Nelson

    Robb Nelson Future Mechanical Engineer

    Thanks for the encouragement and replies.

    mccloud, once I've got my post count up I'll start a new thread with the details of the project and the link to the form/survey.

    -Robb
     
  5. Craig Johnson

    Craig Johnson LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I converted an old Kelty frame to catch the center thwart and have used it on my last 3 trips. I welded a Y further down the frame so that it rides at the same height as it normally would. I am able ( with a little practice ) to get it up and down by myself. I'll try to get some photos soon.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Robb Nelson

    Robb Nelson Future Mechanical Engineer

    Hey Craig, thanks for reaching out. We'd love to see some inspiration for our future design!

    -Robb
     
  7. JClearwater

    JClearwater Wooden Canoe Maniac

    Robb,

    You are certainly not the first person to ruminate this issue.

    There used to be a commercially made pack frame set up called Knu-pac. Google it. It basically was as Craig suggested above, a pack frame with the vertical side bars extended up with 'U' shaped gizmo on the top to accept the canoe thwart. You could make your own out of an old pack frame and a couple oarlocks, or equivalent, on the top. This requires a canoe with a center thwart of course.
    Short of that make yourself a decent carry yoke. In Cliff Jacobson's book, "Canoeing Wild Rivers," he provided a plan with dimensions for a padded yoke. I made one years ago to use with a fiberglass Old Town that weighed in a about 75 lbs. It worked great. A decent yoke makes all the difference on a lengthy carry. I still have it.

    The best option is to get one of your college buddies to carry your canoe for you - sort of a Canoe Sherpa guy. Hang a can of beer on a string from the front of the inverted canoe - you know sort of like a carrot. Might work.

    Jim
     
    MGC likes this.
  8. OP
    OP
    Robb Nelson

    Robb Nelson Future Mechanical Engineer

    Jim,

    Thanks for the reply. We are aware of the Knu-pac, seems like a good stepping off point for our goals. We are aiming to have something those achieves both a load transfer from spine to hips, self-stabilizes (think gyro) and assists the loading/unloading of the canoe. Many of the existing solutions only really address the load transfer. However, I agree with the beer can technique. However the challenge would be rewarding my friend with a warm beer...haha.

    -Robb
     
  9. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    The Knu-Pac was a pain and made loading harder.
    Anything other then just a good yoke just gets in the way after a couple of portages.
    The key is technique and using your hips to swing the canoe up.

    Dan
     
    Robb Nelson likes this.
  10. MGC

    MGC Paddlephile

    Coincidently.....http://www.adkforum.com/showthread.php?p=278390#post278390

    Personally I will always prefer a simple carry thwart and when it's not available a properly located thwart is just fine...a few towels or a bit of padding and it's off to the races. Carry devices tend to be used by folks who are portaging with an ultralight canoe where the idea of packing gear and the canoe at the same time makes sense. If you are carrying a 20 foot (or even 16) wood and canvas two plus miles the last thing you'll do is try to add more weight. It's enough just to carry the boat.
    Beware of creeping elegance.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
    Robb Nelson likes this.
  11. MGC

    MGC Paddlephile

    The like button does not do justice...I love that idea...very solid.
     
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  12. JClearwater

    JClearwater Wooden Canoe Maniac

    I copied the two pages from Jacobson's book on how he recommends a yoke be built.

    Good luck.
    Jim IMG_2718A.JPG
     
    Robb Nelson likes this.
  13. OP
    OP
    Robb Nelson

    Robb Nelson Future Mechanical Engineer

    Thanks Jim, much appreciated!
     
  14. Andre Cloutier

    Andre Cloutier Firestarter. Wicked Firestarter.

    If you are carrying a 20 foot (or even 16) wood and canvas two plus miles the last thing you'll do is try to add more weight. It's enough just to carry the boat.

    Mike, with respect, a portage is getting one foot out, (occaisionally two) in order to slide a loaded canoe over a dam or other obstruction. the above describes a road trip -though with the mention of a 20 foot canoe its clear you dabble in masochism.
     
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  15. Craig Johnson

    Craig Johnson LOVES Wooden Canoes

    The frame on the left is original Kelty frame from the 70s. the one on the right is the one I modified. I cut the top part of the frame off at the crossbar that the shoulder straps attach to. Then I welded it back on lower and horizontally to form a shelf (easier to land the yoke on than between uprights). I replaced the waist belt and shoulder straps with new more padded version.If the stated goal is to transfer the weight from the shoulders to the hips this works great. It will always be clumsier than just a yoke but the minimal weight was justified for me. As for the gyroscopic stabilization part, balancing the canoe from the hips instead of the shoulders is a little different but just takes a little getting use to.The problem it doesn't fit nicely in a canoe like a canvas Duluth pack. PA020051.jpg PA020053.jpg PA020054.jpg
     
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  16. MGC

    MGC Paddlephile

    Ah...yes. I keep forgetting the nuance of Canadian boating...we call our portages carries and they are occasionally endo masochistic events. I have asked my sons to scatter my ashes on Mud Pond carry...if they do I get the last laugh.
    My wife and I recently did a route with 17 carries. After about the 7th or 8th one she asked why we had never done route before. "Too many carries" I told her. She asked then "why now" to which I replied, "well, we've never done this route before". True story. I now own a Kevlar Kipawa. Light as a feather at 42 pounds.
     
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