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Submitted: 01-12-1999 by Forrest Brownell

Light (only 33 lb) and agile, this little boat is perfect for exploring small streams and remote ponds. Paddled from a kneeling position—folks with big feet will want to raise the single cane seat or replace it with a foam saddle—the Old Town Pack responds best to "traditional" technique. Practice your J- and C-strokes, get yourself a properly-sized beavertail paddle, and jump in. You'll discover that this short canoe tracks surprisingly well. And don't be fooled by the shallow, molded keel. The Pack maneuvers with ease and grace. You can turn the boat to either side in its own length—without once having to reach your paddle across the gunwale.

The Pack isn't a boat for whitewater, of course, though you can run Class I and even short, easy Class II stretches if you're careful. Nor is it an expedition craft, though it will carry food and gear for a week or more.

What is the Pack's forte, then? Messing about, just messing about—uncomplicated, undemanding exploration of out-of-the-way waters, near and far. The Water Rat in Kenneth Grahame's famous story was right. There's nothing half so much worth doing, and this is as good a boat as you'll find anywhere for doing it.

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