Your #1 source for kayaking and canoeing information.               FREE Newsletter!
my Profile

Advice, Suggestions and General Help New Topic Printer Friendly Version

  Anyone here use Temagami style
  Posted by: rpg51 on Apr-21-14 8:57 PM (EST)
   Category: unassigned 

carrying bar and tump to carry canoe? I'm looking to connect with someone with actual experience installing the bar on the center thwart in the traditional manner used at the Temagami youth canoe camps.

 Great Products from the Buyers' Guide:

Kayak Sak

First Need Purifier

Kayak Seats

Paddler's Truck Rack

PFD's (Life Jackets)

Table of Contents

Messages in this Topic


  you might ask at
  Posted by: kayamedic on Apr-21-14 9:30 PM (EST) the Temagami website
  Posted by: CEWilson on Apr-22-14 7:41 AM (EST)
One of the premises of human development is that we can learn, and pass knowledge down to later generations so they have the time to make additional discoveries.

The problematic nature of tumps; that they force load relatively fragile cervical vertebra that need not be loaded at all, has been well documented.

Shoulder pads on a curved portage yoke load the spine further down, which is a good thing. The pads further cushion impact, also a good thing.

That said, if you just hafta risk injury while compromising comfort, Algonquin Outfitters in Huntsville and Ox Tongue Lake Ontario can fix you right up.
  Uh , CE, most of the carrying work in
  Posted by: ezwater on Apr-22-14 6:02 PM (EST)
Africa is done by women with loads on their heads.

A study showed that head carrying is more efficient, energy wise, than carrying the same load in a backpack.

It isn't easy at first, but I took it up in the late 70s. Now I'm 71, and other than a slight buzz in one cervical nerve, I have never had a problem.

I do prefer to keep the canoe load below 50 pounds.

When I met classmates at our 50th high school reunion, the other *tall* guys had lost height. I hadn't.

Lifting canoes off the ground has caused me an occasional muscle spasm, but "heading" boats has never cost me a weekend of paddling.
  Thanks but
  Posted by: rpg51 on Apr-22-14 6:08 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Apr-22-14 6:52 PM EST --

Thanks for the input - but what I am most interested in is finding folks that have actual experience crafting, installing, and using the Temagami style carring bar and using a tump with the bar to portage canoes. I will try the ottertooth forum. Good suggestion. Not likely to find anyone here. No sign of a carrying bar at Algonquin Outfitters as far as I can see.

With all due respect CE - I think you are way out on a limb on this one.

  Actually he is not out on a limb
  Posted by: kayamedic on Apr-22-14 6:25 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Apr-22-14 6:27 PM EST --

but a tumpline can put you there

That said if you can find Craig MacDonald of Dwight ON.. he has a phone number somewhere he has useful information.

Charles Burchil has an interesting article with links.

  Please - not looking for
  Posted by: rpg51 on Apr-22-14 6:45 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Apr-22-14 6:52 PM EST --

"expert" opinions on the use of tumplines. Plenty of opinions out there. Some based on actual experience, others not. I'm just trying to find someone who knows how to craft, install and use the carring bar system.

Is there anyone here who attended one of the Temagami camps and who participated in one of the countless trips they have run to the Bay?

  I give up
  Posted by: kayamedic on Apr-22-14 6:57 PM (EST)
obviously you did not click on any of the links. The answer is in front of your nose.

Do I have to make it plainer?
  I checked out all the links.
  Posted by: rpg51 on Apr-22-14 7:16 PM (EST)
Thanks for the links. I did check them all out - I am familiar with them all.

I'm all set - just made contact with someone from another source who has some experience with this.

Again, thanks for the help.
  while I agree with CEW
  Posted by: kayamedic on Apr-22-14 7:44 PM (EST)
I know you are getting a traditional canoe and are interested in traditional methods..

and your original question was to source knowledge and not debate "should I tump or not".You've been out there to ride that dog.

The "portage bar" kind of threw me but it did occur to me that we have never had a yoke on our long Wenonah. It portages just fine with paddling around the shoulder area. Pool noodles that slide are a help. I saw a demo at the old Canadian Canoe Symposium of portaging without a yoke. Seems that the yoke constrains the position of the canoe. Just using the center thwart without yoke allows the portageur to slide the canoe sideways to use different pressure points.

  Check out pics to see
  Posted by: rpg51 on Apr-22-14 8:20 PM (EST)
examples of the carrying bar I am referring to.
  Sure ..just a rounded thwart.
  Posted by: kayamedic on Apr-22-14 8:29 PM (EST)
thanks for contributing to me drooling on the monitor screen re the rest of the pix.

  Happy to oblige with the pics.
  Posted by: rpg51 on Apr-22-14 10:30 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Apr-22-14 10:47 PM EST --

The carry bar is lashed to the regular thwart with line that is attached in a manner to permit the lashing of paddle blades so that they can be adjusted fore and aft on the fly to vary the length of the tump by varying width of the paddles over which the tump passes. The ends of the carrying bar pass over the gunwales to take pressure off the center thwart attachment to the inner gunwales which is a common failure point over time, even with double bolted thwarts.

Maybe this will get you dreaming of getting back into the Yukon country? Sure gets my blood boiling.

  I would not use a tumpline to portage a
  Posted by: ezwater on Apr-22-14 7:15 PM (EST)

First, I used to have to portage an Old Town Tripper, filled with a long pedestal for whitewater, and with no room for a yoke. I would back under the boat, get the lip of the back of the solo seat slot to rest on my shoulders, and I would then poke my head forward, into the front bottom of the solo seat slot. I then walked with the boat slanting upwards. Outfitted, that Tripper weighed close to 100 pounds, and even just to portage uphill a quarter mile from the Chattooga was grueling. But you can see that the arrangement was fairly close to that used with traditional canoe tumping, except perhaps for the upward slant of the boat.

Tumping a canoe has disadvantages, compared to heading one, balanced only on one's head, or using a portage yoke. Heading or a portage yoke allow some head motion for navigation, and obviously head placement can be adjusted a bit. Not with tumping.

If a canoe is heavy enough to need tumping assistance, isn't it too heavy, like my Tripper?

And if it is more reasonable in weight, why not head it for short carries or use just a proper portage yoke for distance? Why use a tumpline if a boat is properly reasonable in weight?
  Here we go -
  Posted by: rpg51 on Apr-22-14 7:17 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Apr-22-14 7:49 PM EST --

sorry - I should not have posted this inquiry here. My bad.

Tumping a canoe properly permits endless adjustments of weight divided between the shoulders and the head on the fly as you walk the trail. The key is learning to do it correctly. Its all about experience and the skill that comes with experience.

I wonder how much the 17 foot wood canvas canoes those wonderfully skilled young ladies portage when traveling all over the far north weigh? Maybe 85 at the start and 95 or 100 by the end of the trip? Just a guess. They seem to do pretty well. Certainly they are having a good time, eh?

  I know about trading between shoulders
  Posted by: ezwater on Apr-22-14 10:35 PM (EST)
and head from what I have done with the Tripper. I agree that with a yoke and a tumpline, adjustment would be easier.

It's possible tumplines are a brilliant idea that has been forgotten. But I'd rather have a lighter boat and just a properly set up yoke.
  Lighter boats -
  Posted by: rpg51 on Apr-22-14 10:59 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Apr-22-14 11:02 PM EST --

is something that I bought into for a long while. But I have changed my thinking. Light boats are nice on portages there is no denying it. But I have come to the conclusion that ultra light boats are not my cup of tea when paddling in a tripping environment. I prefer a boat with some heft that settles into the water nicely and that has a bit of flex and feel to it. I feel that I got sucked into a sophisticated marketing campaign that led me in the wrong direction and had me chasing the latest and supposedly greatest composite available. I'm done with that. It was a Madison Avenue seduction and I fell for it hook line and sinker. For me now there is no joy in paddling a composite tripping canoe. Its like the difference between linoleum and hardwood floors. I'll leave the stiff composite boats for the racers which is something I will never do.

  Boat stiffness
  Posted by: Guideboatguy on Apr-22-14 11:14 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Apr-22-14 11:25 PM EST --

I am not in any way trying to shoot down your preferences, but there's no denying that wood/canvas canoes are much stiffer (much less flex occurs per unit of stress) than any lightweight composite boat. It's possible that heavy-weight composites might be stiffer, but I seriously doubt it. Just push on the hull and see which one flexes more. Wood/canvas boats don't "sound" as stiff when riding the waves - a very pleasant sensation - but that, of course, is a whole other issue.

Wood/canvas boats have a lot of appeal to many of us, and I'm certain more of us would own one or two if a single boat didn't cost the same as a small fleet of composite canoes, or if used ones in good condition weren't mostly living the retired life in some garage or museum (not true in the far north, but true almost anywhere else).

  One price comparison
  Posted by: rpg51 on Apr-22-14 11:47 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Apr-22-14 11:49 PM EST --

$2700 (US) ultra light kevlar wenonah 17

$2615 (Canadian) Headwaters Bush Model Prospector 17

So a first class wood canvas tripping canoe can be had for less than $2,500 us funds.

Neither is cheap, I'll concede that.

A heavy layup kevlar boat is stiff as heck in the water. They intentionally make them that way on the theory that it makes them faster - which is does.

Maybe you are right on the stiffness - I don't know. But I do know I do not enjoy plastic and I do enjoy wood and I've only got maybe 10 - 15 years of real paddling left and I'm gonna paddle wood canvas. Everybody should do what they want. This is just my new way of thinking. Sometimes I think part of the reason I like WC is the very fact that it is heavier which makes it quiet and comfortable in the water. I'm not really sure what it is.

  Wood/canvas or dacron
  Posted by: kayamedic on Apr-23-14 8:59 AM (EST)
canoes can be stiff with a heavy layup..thicker ribs and planking or somewhat flexible with lighter planking and thinner ribs.

I forgot to tie one down on a trailer once. While I will never do that again that the wood dacron boat left the traier bounced on the double yellow line, did two barrel rolls into the ditch at 30 mph and emerged unscathed save for road rash attributes to woods flexibility.

I have three lightweight traditonal wood canoes skinned with dacron.
  Posted by: rpg51 on Apr-23-14 7:38 PM (EST)
What are your dacron covered canoes filled with? Do you paddle them regularly? Are they re-covered vintage canoes or new canoes?
  It doesn't sound like your experience
  Posted by: ezwater on Apr-23-14 10:14 AM (EST)
with composite tripping canoes is any wider than mine.

I don't argue with people who prefer wood-canvas. There are reasons. But whatever design goals you specify, they can be very closely approximated in composite canoes.

I hope I get a chance to try a wood/canvas boat for a while before I die. That might be about halfway across the next long portage.
  Yes you can build any WC hull shape
  Posted by: rpg51 on Apr-23-14 5:16 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Apr-23-14 7:57 PM EST --

in composite. But in my opinion you cannot duplicate the feel and performance characteristics of a WC canoe just by building the exact same hull shape in composite. I have owned kevlar canoes that are taken directly from the lines of well respected WC hulls. My opinion is that it is not the same - not even close.

But like you I think people should paddle the kind of canoe they like and it is perfectly reasonable for someone to paddle composite. In fact it is the clear leader in the market certainly compared to wood canvas. I am just sharing my thoughts and the reasons why I have chosen wood for my later years. I would say that one clear area where composite wins out is maintenance. Wood canvas canoes do require more maintenance and for many people that is a huge factor in their decision and it makes complete sense. I hope you do have a chance to spend time in a wood canvas canoe. I predict you may not decide to convert, but you will see first hand the beauty and the aesthetic advantage that wood has and maybe, who knows, you might even conclude, as I have, that light weight is not necessarily the most important quality in a tripping canoe. Indeed, you might even conclude, as I have, that ultra light canoes do not perform as well as heavier canoes in the river tripping environment.

Another factor is your skill level as a paddler. There is no question that the length of time I have been paddling makes me feel much more comfortable about paddling wood canvas than I did years ago. I am confident that I can paddle and make decisions that will avoid serious damage to a wood canvas canoe. The wc canoe is far more rugged than people realize but you cannot treat it like royalex. You do need to take care. But if you are careful, and you are a decent paddler, you can paddle most anything in a wood canvas canoe. The biggest problem is boney rivers and there you just have to slow down and line your way down some areas.

Back to the tump line issue - there was mention that it has been well established the long term use of a tumpline causes damage to the spine. This reminds me a bit of Donald Rumsfeld who I recall once saying that it has been "pretty well established" that Iraq has amassed a stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Does anyone know of any studies (other than anecdotal report based opinions) that support the idea that use of a tumpline causes more harm that use of a yoke or back pack?

  Agree with your points.
  Posted by: ezwater on Apr-24-14 1:02 AM (EST)
I would not use an ultralite composite for wilderness involving real risk of bashing a canoe. People give away survival strength to get that extra 8 pounds off.

I don't think tumping would necessarily harm the spine in the long run, if the user is reasonably careful, reacts appropriately if strain does occur, and remembers that some of us are more susceptible than others when age causes the vertebrae to weaken. That's how I've been able to continue "heading" canoes.

I don't know of a really successful translation of a particular wood-canvas classic to a composite version. The odds of partial success would be better if the composite layup were thick and stiff enough to get close to wood-canvas stiffness. But there goes most of the weight advantage, out the window.

Same has applied to attempts to make Royalex versions of composite canoes. I don't know of a super successful translation.

I'd like to hear more about attempts to make strippers durable enough for wilderness travel. Somewhat less routine maintenance than wood-canvas, I would think, and perhaps field repairs could be managed.

There's similar discussions in the world of composite and wood musical instruments. There's some real good carbon cellos, but real good is not Stradivarius. My newer kit harpsichord is modeled very closely on the historical original, while an older one had a plywood soundboard and heavy plywood case. The historical clone sounds much better, and the plywood box pulled itself apart from string tension.
  With the low incidence of people
  Posted by: kayamedic on Apr-24-14 9:27 AM (EST)
using tumplines would any funding for such a study even be possible.. Come on now.. be realistic.

I don't care what you do. Getting an injured kid out of the woods in Temagami should have been enough for me. He was tumping and collapsed at our campsite.
But no.. I went ahead and did it again in Woodland Caribou and fell and wrenched my neck badly.

My three wood dacron canoes are in good shape but used often over the last twenty years. They each see some three dozen days on the water. I live on a lake. One advantage of dacron is it does not contribute to paint checkering.

The downside is that the hull must be absolutely perfectly fair below. Imperfections are telegraphed.

Hence our fourth wooden boat ... a 100 year old Robertson is going to get canvas.


Follow us on:
Free Newsletter | About Us | Site Map | Advertising Info | Contact Us


©2015 Inc.