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Backcountry Camping in Algonquin Park (Canada) and Removable Yoke

Omar Mir

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Finally got a chance to take the canoe out on a real backcountry camping expedition. Needed to create a removable yoke to portage (1KM) on my shoulders. Went superb. I do need a better shaped/contoured yoke, I'll do that this month so that my second trip in September is more comfortable as I will have pretty large hills to portage. I figured you folks might enjoy some pictures of the picturesque lake and the canoe (and fish). And yep the barrel contains all supplies for multiple days including tent etc/


Yoke is made with poplar (like the floorboards) and the hardware is a woodworking cam clamp, and 4in bolts/washers (galvanized steel). And yep I add a backrest seat before I go out to give some back support. Yoke pattern from here. Would not recommend the yoke though, a contoured/deep dish yoke is substantially better and will be my next build for this canoe.








360 shot of campsite: https://photos.app.goo.gl/xsoF9JWFoj4GoDGM8


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Everything looks great... the boat, the scenery, the bass...! If you're looking for ideas on upgrading your yoke, I've attached a drawing of a yoke for an Adirondack guide-boat. This is from The Adirondack Guide-Boat by Kenneth and Helen Durant, which is the definitive book on the topic. Note that the ends of this yoke are round in cross section with brass rings. On guide-boats, these ride in semi-circular notches by the gunwales at the center of gravity, which allows the boat to be pivoted up and down while the yoke fits comfortably on your shoulders.

Fair winds, Andy


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Also thank you for that page - that's excellent :) - I was considering an alternative by creating a cylinder and using a barbell foam pad to cushion as a quick solution but this would be a good winter project also I'm an idiot and have no spatial sense so it will take me a while to figure out what the drawing is exactly indicating.

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Below are 2 pics of a yokes. The first is of one like the plan that I attached to the earlier post and is sold by adirondack-guide-boat.com. The contrasting colors of the laminations on this yoke help to visualize it in 3-D. The second pic shows a different type of yoke on a pack canoe.

Have fun, Andy


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  • 1 year later...



Thank you for the photos. I love paddling Algonquin. Of late we have enjoyed Massasauga as well. One way to make the portages more enjoyable is to eliminate the portages! Algonquin is a green piece of paper that someone has colored on in blue (lakes, rivers, etc) and Massasauga is a blue piece of paper someone has colored on in green (islands). Beautiful country.





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