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 Post subject: Re: Portage Etiquette
PostPosted: September 5th, 2018, 1:44 am 
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Joined: March 23rd, 2006, 11:21 pm
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Location: Burns Lake, BC
I'd get rid of the first and last.
Do the portage at your own pace (or the pace of the slowest in group). Some are fast and some are slow. Keep the embarking/disembarking to being done in a timely manner.
Yielding to those faster than you can cover the last two rules.

A couple more...
In busy spots, loading the canoes perpendicular can accommodate 3-5 canoes instead of one broadside.
Always leave room for another canoe on any canoe rest. (assume someone else is coming)

How about adding... doing your single carry and going back to help someone else with their double. Picking up garbage en route to ensure a pristine look. Taking tools or time to help clear or clarify the portage trails.


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 Post subject: Re: Portage Etiquette
PostPosted: September 5th, 2018, 8:39 am 
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Joined: September 4th, 2018, 2:28 pm
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Hi Prospector16
I find the devil is in the details on recounting tails like yours. And the details change depending on the perspective of the participant. Your last post - yep, that makes sense. Your original post - obviously the other guys were rude but hard to tell what there perspective was about how organized, tidy, ready to go you were...so really hard to comment.
I also fish in a, gasp- motorboat - on georgian bay in addition to having an avid Georgian Bay kayaker in the family (my son who also goes fishing with me). At our local boat launches I can't tell you how many times kayakers think they own the place. The pull out kayaks in front of launch, they go get car, they drive car in front of launch, they then proceed to unpack kayak and neatly stow away all of their things in their car, carefully arranging everything for a neat drive home, Finally they then load kayak, take several minutes tying it down securely, then do a last look around, maybe go out and take a last look at the Bay, get a snack out of the cooler and a drink for the drive home and then clear the launch. This is so so common it is maddening and it is a strain to remain polite. Get your kayak out, move it to the side, unpack it to the side, got get car, throw your kayak on and jam your stuff in, then go somewhere out of the way to neatly pack if you feel the need to do so. Now I am NOT saying this is comparable to what you did..not at all...but someone coming across your gear may have that sort of experience and are immediately perturbed. No excuse for the rudeness and not saying anything but...as I said..everyone has different experiences that gives them a different perspective.

BTW, cool you are introducing your child early to the wonders of nature, canoeing and camping...will be great when they are old enough to be able to remember those experiences...will stay with them for a lifetime!!


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 Post subject: Re: Portage Etiquette
PostPosted: September 5th, 2018, 8:44 am 
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Joined: September 4th, 2018, 2:28 pm
Posts: 5
Canoeheadted wrote:

Always leave room for another canoe on any canoe rest. (assume someone else is coming)
.


Excellent advice!!


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 Post subject: Re: Portage Etiquette
PostPosted: September 5th, 2018, 9:16 am 
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Joined: June 28th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1577
Location: Freeland, Maryland USA
Prospector16 wrote:
Terrifying people is gaining their compliance or capitulation, not their respect.


To be clear about my interaction with the entitled kayakers, my initial approach, knowing that they were already labile and angry about not getting the site they wanted, was soft. Maybe too soft. Seeing arrivals struggling to get their canoes and gear ashore around their boat blockade it went something like this:

“Could you move one of your boats up behind the other so there is room for people to land?”

(Dismissively, while sitting on the grass eating) “We’re only going to be here for a little while, we have to paddle down to the next site because you all took all the permits here”

“Well, it’s really hard for people to get ashore with the kayaks like that”

Dismissive sneer, crickets, back to eating lunch and ignoring the problem. Things went downhill from there, and while I didn’t actually tell them I was going to cram their kayak somewhere uncomfortable I did give them a choice along the lines of “Well, you can move one of the boats or I will move it for you”.

I am hardly a terrifying guy in appearance or demeanor, by nature and nurture; I was partly raised by Quakers and married in Quaker Meeting. But enough was enough, and they did grudging get up from their idiot picnic and move one of the kayaks to make room, an action that took all of 30 seconds.

Had they initially come ashore with a friendly attitude and not been deliberate asses about it I might have invited them to stay with us. Thankfully that was a bullet dodged.

I do not know Stratton Lake and may have made an assumption from your initial post, thinking this was a launch area near parking access and not a portage trail between lakes, which can be different situational scenarios.

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 Post subject: Re: Portage Etiquette
PostPosted: September 5th, 2018, 3:03 pm 
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That was not a reference to you Mike McCrea but your further explanation provides quite a lot of context, and based on that I can finally conclude that yeah those guys were jerks too!

That is a different Stratton Lake that you've linked to. I have a photo of how we were set up - I should post it.


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 Post subject: Re: Portage Etiquette
PostPosted: September 5th, 2018, 8:40 pm 
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Location: Winnipeg, MB
youngknight wrote:
BTW, cool you are introducing your child early to the wonders of nature, canoeing and camping...will be great when they are old enough to be able to remember those experiences...will stay with them for a lifetime!!


I second this, good on you!


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 Post subject: Re: Portage Etiquette
PostPosted: September 5th, 2018, 9:18 pm 
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Thanks guys. A love of nature is something my father passed on to me and it is really important for me to pass it on to my kids. I only got into a canoe for the first time in my life about 5-6 years ago but I was absolutely hooked immediately. Maybe some day I'll be a respected old timer but into my 50s now my days are numbered. I've got high hopes for my kids.

I am really hoping that at least one of my kids will one day be one of the respected old timers on this site or some site like it (there are no sites like it at present as best I can tell). My 8 year old this is his 5th canoe trip - the other 4 were "father and son" trips that I did with 2 different friends of mine. I remember on one of those about 4 years ago I was going to bed on the Friday night and smelled an awful smell in the tent - turned out that at age 4 he'd crapped his pants for the first time in well over a year. I was a few sheets into the wind at that point and it was about 1 am, and my buddy still tells stories of all the cursing I was doing while cleaning him up in our tent :-)

This was the first camping trip for my 2 daughters. My wife's first canoe trip since her teenage years - she did a lot of paddling courses way back then and fortunately has retained it all. She's a better paddler than me from a technical perspective. This was our first full family canoe trip. My first trip with my wife. Lots of trips under my belt with Scouts with my 2 teenagers.

Anyway - yeah - hoping this will stick with them the way it did with me from my father.


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 Post subject: Re: Portage Etiquette
PostPosted: September 6th, 2018, 6:28 am 
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Joined: June 28th, 2001, 7:00 pm
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Location: Freeland, Maryland USA
Prospector16 wrote:
So if possible I'd like to summarize main points on portage etiquette
- get your portage completed as quickly as you can
- keep your gear well organized / not sprawled all over
- keep the portage endpoints as clear as possible
- if possible, send canoes away once full to clear the endpoint
- keep the portage trails clear of gear and people
- yield the portage to those faster than you
- larger groups yield the portage to singles / smaller groups (something we've always taught the Scouts)

Does that sound reasonable? Is there more to add?



Canoeheadted wrote:
I'd get rid of the first and last.
Do the portage at your own pace (or the pace of the slowest in group). Some are fast and some are slow. Keep the embarking/disembarking to being done in a timely manner.
Yielding to those faster than you can cover the last two rules.

A couple more...
In busy spots, loading the canoes perpendicular can accommodate 3-5 canoes instead of one broadside.
Always leave room for another canoe on any canoe rest. (assume someone else is coming)

How about adding... doing your single carry and going back to help someone else with their double. Picking up garbage en route to ensure a pristine look. Taking tools or time to help clear or clarify the portage trails.


We do not rush carrying or packing, but we don’t have too. We keep our boats and gear neatly and compactly staged, and follow a practiced routine which includes staying as far out of the way as best possible.

To move on from the divisiveness the thread is developing, let’s focus on portage and launch site etiquette and behavior. I would add to the advice above:

At the end of a portage trail or launch area, do not initially stage your boats and gear in the prime spot. Once you are ready to load you can move a canoe to the best launch spot, load it and go. If a paddler with a faster/lighter/quicker load shows up he/she will appreciate the consideration, and be out of your way all the quicker. This applies especially to groups or the disorganized.

If the area is tight put your gear inside your canoe until you have carried it all and are ready to sort it out, organize and pack. The hull is a long narrow empty container; there is no need for your gear to be scattered on both sides of the boat. With multiple boats pulled up perpendicular to the shoreline all you need is walking space between each hull. (Don’t even get me started about paddles left lying on the ground underfoot)

Despite my “I’ll move it for you” with the entitled yakkers I am very hesitant to even touch, much less move, someone else’s gear. If they are in my group, yes, but even then I will tell them why I’m moving it and where. With a stranger’s gear not so much, although I might stick an underfoot paddle inside their boat without conversation.

Have your stuff organized, packed and ready to go. Dawdling around opening dry bags looking for your missing hat, making a snack or asking companions if they remembered the tarp poles can be avoided with a little forethought, or at least accomplished out from underfoot.

When packing at an initial parking launch those same considerations apply. Same for taking out in those areas after a trip. That includes where you leave/move the boat and vehicle.

At ramps:

youngknight wrote:
At our local boat launches I can't tell you how many times kayakers think they own the place. The pull out kayaks in front of launch, they go get car, they drive car in front of launch, they then proceed to unpack kayak and neatly stow away all of their things in their car, carefully arranging everything for a neat drive home, Finally they then load kayak, take several minutes tying it down securely, then do a last look around, maybe go out and take a last look at the Bay, get a snack out of the cooler and a drink for the drive home and then clear the launch. This is so so common it is maddening and it is a strain to remain polite. Get your kayak out, move it to the side, unpack it to the side, got get car, throw your kayak on and jam your stuff in, then go somewhere out of the way to neatly pack if you feel the need to do so.


People with hand carried boats who do that oblivious and inconsiderate nonsense are the bane of paddler reputation, and the fishing and power boating lobbies carry a lot more weight than paddlers.

The “rules” of launch areas or portage trails may fall under a few simple practices; be aware, be considerate, and don’t be greedy, leave something for the other guy.


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 Post subject: Re: Portage Etiquette
PostPosted: September 6th, 2018, 6:52 am 
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Mike McCrea wrote:
The “rules” of launch areas or portage trails may fall under a few simple practices; be aware, be considerate, and don’t be greedy, leave something for the other guy.


I like that - nice and succinct!


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 Post subject: Re: Portage Etiquette
PostPosted: September 6th, 2018, 7:06 pm 
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Location: Sunny Wasaga Beach
My portaging has been almost all done on crown land where we rarely see anybody on a port. I was taken aback a few years ago when we went to Algon. The takeout was a small sandy beach. We spaced our 4 boats just far enough apart to walk in between to unload, perpendicular to the beach. 3 or 4 other canoeists coming a bit behind us were so impatient that they wedged their boats in between ours!! We were all adults and quite efficient at unloading and moving out of the way. A real turn-off. We saw more people on that port than we would see during a week on crown land.

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 Post subject: Re: Portage Etiquette
PostPosted: September 7th, 2018, 9:45 am 
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Location: Freeland, Maryland USA
wotrock wrote:
My portaging has been almost all done on crown land where we rarely see anybody on a port. I was taken aback a few years ago when we went to Algon. The takeout was a small sandy beach. We spaced our 4 boats just far enough apart to walk in between to unload, perpendicular to the beach. 3 or 4 other canoeists coming a bit behind us were so impatient that they wedged their boats in between ours!! We were all adults and quite efficient at unloading and moving out of the way. A real turn-off. We saw more people on that port than we would see during a week on crown land.


Living in the middle of the US east coast population density we do not have the opportunity to easily avoid crowds without making a long drive.

I do not like crowded launches or landings, especially since we have four canoes on family trips and a lot of gear. And I don’t want to be part of the problem. We try our best to avoid crowded areas in several ways.

Early morning put ins; we are usually on the road pre-dawn, and for stuff a few hours away that puts us on the water very early. Avoiding tripping in places that are also popular day paddling areas. Avoiding holiday weekends where lots of folks have a vacation day. Off-season trips.

And, mostly, avoiding putting in or taking out on a weekend, It was nice to be able to stretch a week’s Monday through Friday vacation time to 9 days by adding Sat/Sun on each end, but the crowds and campsite races just weren’t worth it. Actually we try to avoid Fridays and Mondays as well for the 3-day weekend crowd.

Two unfortunately scheduled trips come to mind. An family Adirondack trip that saw us arriving at (very popular) Little Tupper Lake around noon on a mid-summer Saturday. On a stunningly beautiful day. We never did that again.

A solo spur of the moment stop at Green River Reservoir in Vermont, again on a lovely weather mid-summer weekend. I have never seen anything like that; I got the last possible parking spot and the last site permit and thought “OK, at least it can’t get any worse”. I did not know that the local outfitters drop off trailer loads of day paddlers throughout the day.

I paid the permit fee for a site and packed to camp on the lake for a couple days. I paddled in, quickly paddled back out and drove away a few hours later. It was insane, and I had a helluva time getting my boat and gear off the water at the launch by the time I came back

There were dozens of boats lined up at the launch, with gear strewn everywhere. Worse, people were letting their kids swim immediately in front of the launch area, so it was like trying to paddle in the shallow end of neighborhood pool.

It is likely that casual day paddlers or (especially) folks in rental boats lack the share-the-space ethic of experienced trippers. One of my happiest moments on that long New England meander was driving the hell away from the Green River Reservoir. Would not recommend.

Add that “Let the kids swim at the launch while we pack” to my list of no-nos.


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 Post subject: Re: Portage Etiquette
PostPosted: September 7th, 2018, 9:59 am 
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Location: Ottawa
I like dogs, used to have dogs. I've tripped with friends and their dog(s) and rather enjoyed that. But..... I don't like your dog running around sniffing at my stuff on portages, or pissing on my canoe. Oh sure, I know; "he's ok, he's friendly...he won't bite".

Keep your dog on a leash at the put in or take out. I don't think that's too much to ask.

MikeD.


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 Post subject: Re: Portage Etiquette
PostPosted: September 7th, 2018, 11:31 am 
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MikeD wrote:
I like dogs, used to have dogs. I've tripped with friends and their dog(s) and rather enjoyed that. But..... I don't like your dog running around sniffing at my stuff on portages, or pissing on my canoe. Oh sure, I know; "he's ok, he's friendly...he won't bite".

Keep your dog on a leash at the put in or take out. I don't think that's too much to ask.


Mike, that is an important one. Especially loose/unsupervised dogs on the trail.

I like dogs too and worked with them on a couple jobs early in my career. I very much enjoy having friend’s well behaved dogs as companions on trips.

But, an unknown dog running towards me on a trail with no human in sight, tail stiff, ears up, showing teeth, not so much.

Even a big dumbfriendly retriever, sopping wet from a swim, jumping up, rubbing against my (now not dry) legs, shaking wet coat over my gear, trodding muddy paws on my feet or gear, also not so much. Their joy is cute, but I could live without it.

A friend’s Blue Heeler was trained to sheepherding commands (and same-meaning whistles). One of the commands was “Come Behind”, which meant the dog immediately needed to get behind him. Wonderfully useful command for a dog off-lead.

That same dog however, a dog that knew and liked me from puppyhood and occasionally boarded with us, was very protective of said friend’s gear, and if I reached down for his boat or pack when he wasn’t around would growl and give me a “Don’t even think about it” look.

Gawd forbid you try to snag a beer from his cooler when he wasn’t looking.

So yeah, keep your dog under control.


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 Post subject: Re: Portage Etiquette
PostPosted: September 7th, 2018, 12:28 pm 
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You make me think back a year to Killarney with a trio of 20 something male boors that made a series of bad impressions and let a nasty rottweiler run to and fro snarling. Was able to extricate ourselves from these mojo killers. But back to happier thoughts.


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 Post subject: Re: Portage Etiquette
PostPosted: September 7th, 2018, 1:15 pm 
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Yes dogs need to be on leashes. That could be 'extended' leashes, but they need to be on leashes. It can be a bit of a pain on a portage, but it's the right thing to do.

It took me a few decades but I eventually clued in that even when walking the dogs around the block at lunch it isn't just about whether or not the dog is going to behave but much more about whether this unknown person you are walking past is comfortable with the dogs or not. Part of that awareness came with a better understanding of cultural differences. I grew up with dogs, but some cultures don't keep dogs at all and really aren't comfortable with them.

Keeping your dogs on a leash when portaging is just good manners no matter how good your dog's manners are.

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