Field and Stream Tip: Tote Your Own Boat

You don't have to be a human dynamo to hoist a 50- to 60-pound canoe onto your shoulders for portaging. Shouldering a canoe requires know-how but not great strength. The trick is to roll the canoe up your thighs and use its momentum to provide much of the force that carries the weight to shoulder height. --JEROME B. ROBINSON

[1] Choose a flat location with good footing, then stand the canoe on edge with the bottom of the hull snug against your thighs. Bend your body over the canoe and firmly grip the center thwart with your right arm fully extended and your left arm bent, so that your hands are roughly an equal distance from the gunwales.

[2] Bend your knees slightly, then lean back as you pull the thwart upward with the right arm and brace with the left arm, causing the canoe to roll up on your thighs.

[3] As your right arm comes even with your head, push outward with your left arm, straighten your bent legs, and lean back slightly to increase the upward force.

[4] When the outside gunwale rises above eye level, duck your head and left shoulder and twist your body to the right in one continuous motion, while using your left arm to push the outside gunwale upward and your right arm to guide the center thwart behind your head, where it will settle across your shoulders.

Voila! You're loaded and ready to hit the portage trail.