Portaging is one of the worst parts of being outdoors and exploring the wilderness with your canoe. For many, it is worth it because you get to become one with nature and experience breathtaking views on the water that you wouldn’t be able to see without your canoe. Portaging, also known as carrying your canoe between waters, can cause significant pain to your body if proper technique is not in place. At Moose Track Adventures, in Ely, MN, our experienced canoe guides deal with portaging on a daily basis and have some tips for portaging that you may want to consider to help keep the pain down!
Portaging Pain Relief Tips
Getting out on the Minnesota waters is supposed to be fun. Don’t let portaging be the reason that you do not explore the beautiful waters in this area. Instead, implement these helpful tips so that any pain you experience from portaging is limited. These tips include:
- Clean Canoe – No items should be dangling or loose from your canoe. Tuck everything away in a compartment so that all you have to think about is carrying your canoe.
- Reliable Pack – The pack that you wear on your body for storage should be very supportive. Additionally, place a sleeping pad underneath your pack so that nothing pokes at you while carrying the canoe.
- Practice Makes Perfect – Although you may feel a little embarrassed, practice carrying your pack around the neighborhood before tackling the real thing.
- Teamwork – If you are exploring with a friend or family member, put them to work too! Working together during portaging will help keep fatigue down and allow you to spend more time out on the blue waters!
- Gone Fishing – Loose rods are a no-no when it comes to portaging. Your fishing rods should be strapped down with bungee cords along the gunwale of your canoe. Any extra canoe paddles should be stored in this area as well.
- Go Lightweight – Although it may be a little bit more expensive, a lightweight canoe makes portaging so much easier! Spend a little more upfront and your back will be thanking you for years to come.
- Slow and Steady Wins the Race – Don’t try to speed through the portage process. On average, it takes it takes individuals 20 minutes to portage 2000 yards. It is good practice to carry your canoe for 20 minutes and then rest for 5 minutes so that you don’t fatigue as quickly.
- Keep Your Mind off the Portage – Sing songs and remind yourself that a big candy bar is awaiting you once you complete the portage! This will help provide motivation and keep your mind off of the long journey.
This is just a few of the tips for portaging that our experienced staff has picked up over the years. For more detailed portage instruction or to setup a guided canoe tour this spring or reserve your outfitting equipment for the Boundary Waters near Ely, MN, contact Moose Track Adventures today by calling (218) 365-4106.