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Discussion Starter #1
For one of my college courses I am designing a collapsible portage cart that will fit in the stern on even small playboats to make portaging more convenient and easier on the body. I am curious what you all think of the idea and what features/characteristics you would want to see in a product like this? Furthermore what are some of the other products out there that you guys/gals have used? From my experience all I’ve seen or heard of are home-made backpack systems. Any input would be greatly appreciated, and I’ll keep everyone posted as the product develops.

Thanks,
Teletumbler
 

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Lots of backpack options, and those generally work well for hikes without crazy rocks etc. For those easy yet long walks like waterton, it seems like something with wheels would be good, like the wheelies for sea kayaks. In my humble opinion, a robot sherpa would be awesome!
 

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That would be pretty rad...the wheels would have to be big enough to roll over rocks and stuff but still fit in the boat. Maybe like mountainboard tires? They're about 8 or 9inches and have an inner tube with good tread. If you hooked them up to a folding frame...mayby so one folds over and the other under..making an object flat and just the size of one tire...then a telescoping pole (maybe like a tent pole only thicker and stronger) to go the length of the boat...then the boat's stern or bow could rest on the small frame between the tires, be lashed to the pole that goes the length of the boat to your hand. That would be spiffy...I'll take one.
 

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A backpak would be more useful than something with wheels...the cart idea would be useful for some situations while the pack would be useful for all situations.....just something to think about....
 

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The pack's been done by a few companies. Nothing really new there.
 

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Plus, with a pack you still have to bear the whole load. With a wheeled cart you A) have a lever arm so you're load would be WAY less and B) don't have to take the time to strap the thing in and put it on. Sure, if you're trecking the high sierra you're not going to be able to use a cart and the time you'll have it on your back will dwarf the time it takes to strap it in..but if you're on a well worn trail with few big obstacles and cart comes out and BAM sets up in a flash then...that's a cool little gizmo.
 

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a midget,
a donkey,
rocket propulsion,
anti-gravity features,
beer holders/cooler,
solar powered,
pogo stick, ie springs, shocks,
sled with brakes,
skid plate for bottom of kayak
super comfortable shoulder straps.
oh well class just ended, I am outa here.
 

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I think it would be perfect for waterton (yeah, waterton wagon is a great name for it :))

I used a backpack system to portage there and my shoulders still hurt afterwards- had to stop several times to rest. (I'm smaller than most of you guys who run waterton!! :? ) A cart would be awesome!

I have one for my canoe, but it's definitely too big to use for my kayak. You should post pictures of the finished product when you have it! I may have to buy one if you put them in production :)

check out the wildwasser canoe cart, it may give you some ideas on design. it uses straps to attach the boat to the cart. works great!

Lauren
 

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mankster, I'm confused...is your concept donkey powered, midget powered, solar powered, pulled by the comfy straps, or all four? The cooler and beer holders are a great idea...I guess the sun could cover the cooler power...maybe the comfy straps could be for the donkey...which the midget could jockey...the only problem is those lil' fuckers can DRINK! If you're not careful you might not even need your beer holder.
 

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BSOE,
You just *nearly* got me busted dicking off on the web here this morning! I nearly fell out of my chair when I read your post... thank god all I got was a funny look from the woman walking past my office just now! ;)
 

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As long as you are making something with wheels make sure you can hook it to a bike. I'd love to run bike shuttle on runs like shoshone so I don't need to bring two cars and waste gas.
 

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I-dot, check out the extracycle (www.extracycle.com). It's long enough to carry a playboat...I saw it on an LVM (I think) and the wavesport website used to have a picture of a boat strapped to a bike...I assume it was a bike with an extracycle attached. It attached to any bike with minimal fuss...so they say. I don't have one.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Does anyone know of a company that makes the backpack style carriers? Or does everyone just make their own?

Thanks for all the great comments so far! Keep them comin'!
Teletumbler


For all of you interested in the final product I will post the website once we get that far.
 

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Salamander makes one called the bak yak. I've seen a different one but I can't remember who made it.
 

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I've made one of these before to haul a boat out of the Upper Taos Box. Since I was living in Durango and heading over there 5-6 times a season, it made sense for some of us to make them. I don't have one anymore but I'll describe it. Works pretty well and is fairly lightweight- made out of PVC. The trick is that is has to be able to break down to fit in the small confines of a boat, but it also has to be sturdy.

Step one: Using PVC piping and elbows, glue a "U"-shaped form with the long (top) side about 10" to 12" and the sides about 8". The lengths really depend on the size stern you have.

Step two: take another long side glue two T-joints on either side to match up with the open side of the "U" frame in step one. This is your axle housing. Do not glue the joints where the T-joints fit into the "U".

Step three: Drill holes through the T-joints and the open pipe on the "U" Shape for cotter pins. When locked together, it forms a strong rectangle that fits over your stern (or bow), which is cam strapped to an attachment point in / near the cockpit. When the cotter pins are out, it's in 2 pieces- the axel housing can fit under a float bag, and the "U" shape can fit behind the seat with each side poking back toward each float bag.

Step four: Make an axle out of a metal dowel to fit within the housing. Get two lawn mower wheels and permanently fix one to one side of the rod, and use a hose clamp on the other wheel. The size wheel depends on your indended terrain (such as the steps on the climb out at Little Arsenic versus the flat terrain of Waterton) and the amount of room in your boat; as well as the weight considerations. I think mine were about 6" in diameter.

So, you can break it down to just a few pieces (U shape, axle housing, axle, wheel, hardware) and it should weigh only a couple of pounds. Assemble it, slide it over the front /back of the boat and cam it tight (think: putting on a ring that's too small); then pull the boat along by its grab loop. We had it worked out that we could attach the grab loop to the pfd and walk hands free. Definitely takes the weight off of hauling a loaded boat- I've since been shouldering my creeker after Upper Box trips and it's definitely harder than rolling.
 

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Well, I have been making these kayak backpacks for a couple years and have sold about 100 of them. They work really well.

I call them the "crawpack"

go to www.crawpack.com if you want to check them out. They roll up about the size of a pineapple, have padded shoulder straps, and have a padded hip belt which really helps alot.
 

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Tele,

Pay some attention to the way you attach to the kayak if you are looking for comfort. If you are not careful, the boat rams you in the ass/small of your back on down hills or between steps. It doesn't feel good after a couple of miles. For what it's worth, towing is WAY easier when possible. However, when you hit rough terrain, the wheels are useless hunks of weight that your shoulder will curse. An ideal set would consist of nothing more than wheels, an axle, and some clever strap system (would having the strap system double as a pack system be too much to ask?). Also, you have to allow the wheels to attach in just the right spot, so that you can balance your load without dragging. Another thing, forget hose clamps, simply drill and use retainer pins to attach the wheels; maybe weld a washer on the inside. Anyhow, create something revolutionary so that it is easier for us shlups up here to lug our boats around (we don't have roads all over the damn place like in CO). I'll buy one, as long as it isn't much more than $100 bucks.

Mike

PS Has anyone looked into using a pack frame? I have an old ALICE pack that weighs very little and is 100% modular. It seems like it would be easy to attach a kayak to it as a pack system. I have carried huge loads in comfort with it. It wouldn't be hard to imagine attaching some sort of removeable axle/wheel system as well. I don't have the time or creativity these days...
 

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I think a pack frame would work great.

Crawdad...your rig looked SWEET for a planing hull...but would the displacement hull of most creekers be comfortable on your back like that? Maybe that's where a frame would come in and do the trick. An alice frame is not a bad idea at all. Available cheap at any surplus store.
 
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