This article, written by Cliff Jacobsen, describes a grueling experience with portages. As he approaches camp near sundown, it starts to rain. His group set up a tarp and set the packs underneath. They decide to portage the canoes and packs to the next place they need to start canoeing tonight, so they can just pack up and leave in the morning. It’s a big portage, around three kilometers. After about an hour and a few turns, they climb a hill to see if they are getting close. They had taken a wrong turn somewhere. They turned back and marched back to camp, very unhappy of course.
Jacobsen details many ways to make sure you don’t get lost on portages. Using strategies like sticking close to the shore to find the portage, looking for dips in the horizon, and other logical things. Things like taking the path of least resistance, since portages have been used for centuries, take the shortest and easiest path and it’s probably right.
The article also discusses strategies for a safe, comfortable and efficient portage. Things like how to hold the canoe, how you should have an even number of packs per canoe, and how you should establish and keep patterns in your packing and portaging routines.
I didn’t learn too much from this article, but that’s because I’ve already gone on the canoe trip and had to figure out a lot of this on my own and through experience. However, a lot of what I read here would have saved me a lot of trouble and pain and sore muscles during the trip.