I’m planning a solo through-paddle and am unsure how to best portage my kayak (a Wilderness Systems Tsunami 140). I think it’s sufficiently durable but I’m concerned about carrying the 55 pound kayak plus gear and water. I have a few questions: What is the longest non-wheelable carry? What do you experienced kayakers recommend for the non-wheeled portages? Have you had a good experience with a commercially available yoke or did you build your own?
Recommendations on the best wheeled cart are also appreciated as I don’t think my current cart will hold up on the NFCT.
I’m thinking of starting around the 3rd week of June 2018 (hopefully) after the black flies but while there’s (hopefully) still water. I have some unbreakable commitments in May and I’m concerned that if I leave later, I’ll be dragging my kayak along shallow river beds. I welcome your thoughts and suggestions…
While figuring out how to portage a kayak and gear is on my mind, the largest safety issue I’m concerned about is misjudging my location and accidentally entering class 3+ whitewater . I’m a skilled paddler but have a healthy respect for the power of a river and the need to scout especially when I’m paddling solo. Were the tougher drops well marked or obvious? I’ll have maps and the through paddler’s companion but want to be careful.
I am very excited about the trip and planning for it. Can’t wait to start this journey.
I can’t tell you what you might encounter the 3rd week of June, but anytime there is rain the water can rise and be an issue. As far as specifics, any of the rapids on the Saranac River can pop up quickly. Last spring I was paddling with someone and as we approached the rapids with portage river right, he started left around a rock and ended up havining a hard time getting back to shore. When I came up on him, he was holding some branches trying to reach shore? Best advice, when approaching rapids stay close to shore and approach slowly. There may or may not be a noticeable sign. That being said, on the south branch of the dead river, I took an exit too soon and ended up bushwhacking through some thick **** because I was too concerned about the rapid. You can always pull off and scout ahead. How long do you plan to take ?