2015 Pack Wheel Portaging Trip in Canada

Here's some great thoughts on the use of a Pack Wheel doing a portaging trip in Canada in 2015. Jeff's thoughts are great on a yoke system so that someone could pull from the front while the oporater balanced and steered the Pack Wheel. We've been thinking about this for some time and will look into making this happen.

Pack Wheel Portaging in Canoe Pack Wheel Portaging

The Packwheel passed some rough Algonquin Park portaging (that’s when you carry your canoe and supplies from one lake to another) with flying colours.

The Ortlieb 20L Panniers worked well and kept our gear dry despite being partially submerged through a few water crossings.  I had them full to the max (about 50lbs total), attached on the lower bar and put another 25-30lbs on top.  It took a bit of getting used to, but after a while I was handling it like a pro.  We attached a rope to the front for very steep hill climbs, most of which were fairly short.  I should have taken some pictures of the trail we were on because I can’t imagine anyone using one of these in a rougher place.  All kinds of rocks and roots sticking up all over the place (I’m glad I opted for the 29er).   I found the best strategy for rocks and roots was just to ram the Pack Wheel straight into them.  The wheel absorbed the blow and the Pack Wheel just sort of jumped over the obstacle.  That said, all of the welds held tight and apart from a very slight bend in the handlebars due to a wipe out, the Pack Wheel is no worse for wear!

I am planning to attach a rope on a permanent basis to the front with it pulling on the Pack Wheel down at the axle.  I am going to slide the rope through a piece of small poly pipe, which will serve as a yoke of sorts and allow me to keep it out of the way of the wheel when it isn’t in use (small bungy cord to the rack).   A buddy will carry a rope that can be quickly clipped to the poly pipe yoke and we’re all set.  I’ll send a picture of that when I get it figured out. We were pulling from the platform, which was too high and to some extent the Pack Wheel puller was working against the efforts of the Packwheel pusher.  A lower attachment point will fix this and will also help to get over obstacles.

Most importantly, after 10 kilometers of portaging, my arthritic hip was feeling fine!  Thanks for inventing such a great device!!

Jeff – Toronto, Canada.


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