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Old 09-03-2004   #1
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 57
Kayak Backpack Suggestions

I need some suggestions on a good kayak backpack system. We've got a group going to NZ in a few months and need to get something for the hike in runs. We need something that will do well with Creek boats/ overnight gear. I'd also like it to be as small as possible to fit in the back of the boat after using. I know that "The Craw" had some packs he was building for pretty cheap. How do those work? I've seen the Salamander pack, but I'm not too keen on paying 100 bucks. Please help... Thanks.


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Old 09-03-2004   #2
badkins's Avatar
Laramie, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 488
The Craws yakpacks looked sweet but seemed to take forever to set up. I ran the upper box with him this year and by the time they got their kayaks set up I was nearly done with the hike at the take-out. They were definately very compact when not in use.

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Old 09-03-2004   #3
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 14
Once "the craw" is set up for a boat, it goes on pretty quickly, less than 2 minutes. It handles heavy loads fine.
(And Badkins... even with your 20 minute head start on the upper box hike out... I think we got to the top at about the same time... )
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Old 09-03-2004   #4
Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 130
I made up my own, turned out it was very easy.

An old backback. The backback needs to have side compression straps towards the top of the pack and a point to attach a strap along the waist belt. The backpack needs to be able to "fit" inside the cockpit

2 straps (I used a piece of webbing that could fit through or attach to the buckles on the side compression straps of the backpack and a cam strap

So.. lay the backback in the cockpit

Strap 1 - this strap will be passed under the kayak, and will be attached to the side compression straps. This strap doesn't take any weight, but keeps the boat aligned on your back.

Strap 2 - this strap will be passed through grab loop and will be attached to the waist belt. This is the weight bearing strap.

Once you are done you can then simply put the entire kayak on your back like a backpack.

Take an extra strap and attach it to the other grab look and you can hold on to it and pull the top of the boat forward abit to keep your heels from banging the other end.
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Old 09-03-2004   #5
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 13
This is not for everyone and certainly not for short hikes like the T-box. However, if you are going to do long hikes with a boat and gear the Quickpacker is the ticket!

It is a take-a-part frame pack that was designed for hunters, and I have used it to hike into rivers carrying a boat and gear for a few days. I generally use the slings from my pin kit and two 9' cam straps to fix the boat to the frame. You could also could also use your throwbag and shed a few ounces. A line from the upper grab loop to your hand is a nice addition if you’re walking in irregular terrain. The whole system weights about 2 lbs and when you break it down it is about 4x4x14”.

You can see pics and buy the pack at Make sure you set it up in you living room a couple of times before you get into the woods. It takes a few minutes to set it up the first few times, but after that it is pretty easy.

Have a good trip and write if you have any questions.

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Old 09-03-2004   #6
Charc in = charc out
ToddG's Avatar
Seattle, Washington
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 475
The best, cheapest, & easiest solution:

1. go to K-mart & spend $3 dollars on a 6 foot "fun noodle" pool toy.

2. find a 12 foot cam strap.

3. cut the noodle into 2 3-ft. segments.

4. run the tail end of cam strap thru one segment, but don't run it the entire way to the cam.

5. run the same tail end either through the holes in the back of your seat or the accesory cord loops at the back of your seat, from the near side of the seat across to the other side.

6. once the strap is through your seat anchors, run the same tail end thru the second noodle segment.

7. join the tail end with the cam down at the stern grabloop of your boat, & center the the noodle segments such that they are fitted up against the back of your seat inside your cockpit.

8. adjust the strap using the cam (you want the boat to sit high so that you don't kick your stern with your achille's every step).

9. BONUS: take the rescue belt off your rescue vest & run it through the security loops on the deck of your boat. you will use this as a "sternum strap", which will pull the ass end of your boat in tight to your back.

this method freakin' works & is super cheap & the most comfortable thing i've ever tried for hiking your boat long distances. it is also cool because you don't have to really disassemble it. simply undo the cam connection & jam both noodle segments (with the strap still through them) into the stern of your boat.

feel free to hit me up with questions ..

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Old 09-03-2004   #7
Livingston's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 679
the craw...

I think the Craw (Marty Cronin) sell his craws for ~$40. It is light and pretty small (grapefruit sized). I haven't use mine yet so I can't comment of comfort or practicality but it looks right. He is out of town now, and out of cell range, but I believe he is getting a bunch made to take to Gauley. He lives in Boulder.
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Old 09-03-2004   #8
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 57
Thanks for the resposes guys. I think that Craw thing will be my best bet... Plus the price is good. Anyone know how I can get ahold of Marty, and when he might be back? Thanks again.

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Old 09-03-2004   #9
erdvm1's Avatar
Lyons, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,565
Send a message via AIM to erdvm1
Craw is out of town until Monday. Post your number and he'll get back to you ASAP. He'll check mountainbuzz before he'll say hi to his wife after a vacation.
PS I have a CRAW and love it. Used it to hike into lime creek this year.
Go Dawgs!!!
Happiness is a way of travel not a destination
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Old 09-07-2004   #10
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 57
Thanks guy for the info. Marty (The Craw) please give me a call. My cell is 303-947-2485. I live near Golden and could meet up anywhere. Perhaps at the Golden Kayak park or something. Look forward to talking.


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