Friday, May 29, 2009

Knu pack looks to change the way you look at portaging

Imagine if portaging didn't have to hurt your shoulders or be uncomfortable at all?

Well for a few years now I have heard the name Knu Pack bantered about, but never paid much attention. How good could it really be I thought? It's called "The Knu Pack" and after watching the video below my mouthed dropped! At first glance this looks to be the device I have been searching and praying for. Seriously....this looks like the one and only device to take all the pain out of portaging!

Watch this video and let me know what you think.

From their site:

"The words "comfort" and "portage" are rarely ever used in the same sentence... until now. The patented Knu-Pac system integrates the carrying ability and comfort of an external backpack frame with a 100% waterproof bag to allow you to carry both your canoe or kayak and/or your gear with more comfort than you can imagine.

Knu-Pac gives you full visibility, improved body posture, increased maneuverability and, best of all, the weight is carried by the larger, stronger muscles of your legs and not your aching shoulders. The unique cradles support virtually any size canoe or kayak at the balance point and allow for easy loading and unloading. Our universal thwart allows any solo canoe or kayak to be carried with the Knu-Pac with a simple clamping system.

Now you can carry your kayak anywhere!"

* UPDATE: After doing a bit more reading I found out that ownership of the company has recently changed hands, so I have contacted the new owner to find out when he plans to update his products page. As of this writing it says " New products will arrive for 2009 season, updates to follow". You can click HERE to go directly to the products page.

The Trip and a Half Method

On our trips, Gerry and I have always single carried portages and have never really understood people that do the double or even the dreaded triple carry. If you need to make three trips you are on a LONG trip, really disorganized or more often then not, bringing way to much crap! I think it helps that we started out on the right foot by making smart choices about what gear was essential, then buying the lite weight version, while keeping luxury items to a minimum. We never wanted to do that "car camping without a car" we once did again and after having seen many people unsuccessfully try to do just that in the Algonquin interior ( know, like the guys we have all seen on portages with the coolers that "clink") I don't see us changing anytime soon. But we are not getting any younger and I am sure there will come a time when we will have to look at doing the double and when we do the "the trip and a half method" is the way to go. I have heard the "trip and and a half method of portaging described many times, but never as well as this.

Makes sense to me!

The trip and a half Method:

Consider the case of 2 paddlers arriving at a 2k portage with a canoe and 2 packs. They walk the packs through first, and this trip takes them 20 minutes. One of them goes back for the canoe which takes 40mins for that round trip and a total time of 1 hour. The other paddler waits around for the 40 minutes.

If they did the trip and a half method they would walk the packs half way in 10 minutes. One would drop the pack and go back for the canoe while the second would complete the portage and then return for the pack. They would both complete the portage in 40mins thus saving 20mins.

In general, if somebody is waiting for a long time at the end of a portage they are doing something wrong.


Monday, May 25, 2009

Awesome Trip Log Video

Tenzing (AKA Chris Loomis), a frequent and popular poster on the Algonquin Adventures message board has shot a movie of a recent trip. His engaging personality combined with his unique first person perspective of the film and life, make it a must see.

From Chris's video info:

"Journey through the Saint Regis Canoe Area of New York's Adirondack Mountains, as Chris Loomis paddles and portages, rediscovering the routes and memories of his childhood"

Below are parts 1 and 2 please watch and let me know what you think in the comments.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

About time for an UPDATE....

Hello everyone.

A lot of stuff has been going on over the last few months and over that time I have thought of updating, but just didn't have the drive. Until recently, my love for this blog has been at an all time low and I am at a bit of a loss to explain why.

Do I still love Algonquin? CHECK
Do I still love to blather on about things that mean little to anyone but me? For sure!!

But for some reason, I just didn't feel "inspired" to write or share anything for a while, so I choose not to. I tell you this not to make excuses, but to explain that should this happen again....that this is most likely the reason.

Thanks to everyone....and yes I mean EVERYONE that emailed, posted and Face booked wondering when I would be return. From what most of you have said it was both concern that I had walked away for good and a need to have the "Snow blower ass guy" removed from my main page! Worry no more my friends, as I plan to be the only ass you see here for a while.

Now for an update....

Algonquin Trips Planned: As of this moment I have no definite plans for trips to the park this summer. Sad eh? I have a loose timetable for a 3-4 day trip I will take with my daughter and the strong wish, but no plans at all for a trip with Gerry. I will post more when I have time, but I plan to take Lauren to Rock Lake to complete the solo route I would have taken in 2007 had it not been for the Tornado. Just writing about tripping is getting me excited about it, so I will try to post more this afternoon after my workouts. Any trip planned for CC2009 would hinge on Gerry and we haven't spoken about it, so I can't say with any certainty how likely it is to take place. I would like to get back to our annual tradition and have been batting around some ideas. More to come....

New Canoe Pad: I bought a new yoke pad, but sorry no video this time! This one is from Hooligan and is the polar opposite of my other ones. It is a simple, thick, water proof pad and looks to be a much better solution then the last pair. My old ones worked well for the most part, but needed to be readjusted depending on who was using them and I think this proved to be a bit of a pain. I will post a full review of the Hooligan....I am thinking a video might be fun?

Iromman Training: This has been a sore spot for me and is the main reason I haven't been posting. I inured my leg 6 weeks ago and have been unable to run or bike.

How did it happen? I was running and heard/felt a "pop" and felt severe pain on the outside of my left knee. In training this happens from time to time and in the past I have been able to run through it with no consequences, so that's what I did. I completed the 90 minute run and it hurt at times, but nothing over the top bad. Once a stopped I realized how bad things were and within 20 minutes I could not even walk. The pain was focused on the outside of the left knee and I could not put any weight on my leg or bend my knee without pain. I was really scared and thought it was a severe knee injury.

After a week I could walk with a bit of a limp, but it still hurt all the time. Running was out of the question. After 3 weeks I tried to run twice and each time could only manage about 15 minutes before the pain forced me to stop. It was very frustrating. I had been to countless Doctors, Chiropractors, Massage, Sports Injury clinics all in hopes of finding the problem, but they didn't and I began to get really down.

Working out has become as essential to breathing to me and for the first time in years I was unable to do what I loved. Even when all of my back problems were at their worst I could still fight through the pain and get my workouts done, but this was different and I feared my running days were over. I was so pissed off at everyone. I knew that it was something simple, but no one could give me a correct diagnosis or any help that made even the slightest improvement. After 5 weeks of this I had gained 15 pounds, was WAY off my diet (is McDonald's a food group?) and hated how I felt. This was the lowest I had been in years and I felt so sad and helpless. It was hard to believe that I was the same guy that 5 weeks earlier was ready to conquer the world. My self confidence seems to be tied to my workouts. No workouts = No Motivation for anything.

It was while I was doing my daily (....and I do me daily) google search for a solution that I found a site that changed everything. The diagnosis? Iliotibial Band Syndrome. I sat and read the site through and knew that I had found my problem. The "IT band" runs on the outside of the thigh and connects the hip to the knee. In runners, this fibrous connective tissue tissue can rub on the outer aspect of the knee and become inflamed causing severe pain + all the symptoms I had been experiencing.

After more research I found a myofacial release technique that crushes all of the "knots" out of the tissue. I used a lacrosse ball and lying on my side put in between my thigh and the floor and rolled it up and down. It was extremely painful , but once I was done, nearly all my knee pain had subsided. Finally a solution!!! Armed with this, I went back to my RMT and told him that I wanted him to work on my IT band for the next week. That was last week and since then I have been running and biking with no pain. It's still not 100%, but it's healing and I am back doing what I love. The moral of the your own advocate for health and don't take no for an answer. Ironman here I come!!