Winter Hiking. Now What?
We’ve been kayakers now for a number of years, and have loved every minute of it. But lately we’ve been feeling a bit ‘old'(er) every time we have to load them up on the minivan. It just seems they are getting heavier and heavier. My wife struggles with it more than I, being on one end of the boat- she’s not quite as strong, and not quite as tall. It’s time to look around a bit.
Our Heavy Hobie
I’ve had the Hobie pedal type, which we really enjoyed but it needed too much draft to be productive for our exploration style. It’s weight was prohibitive to be carted by anything by my trailer with a special rack. In the end, we sold the 2 Hobie tandems, as they just were not practical for what we needed. Plus, they weighed a ton. So we sold them to someone who can get better use out of them, on the Hudson River.
Our Wide Pongo
Then I bought a Wilderness Systems Pongo (12′?) kayak. <used> It’s a great boat that tracks straighter than an arrow. I can put anyone in that thing and they’ll love the paddle. But on the trailer, that wonderful hull design works against me. I can’t stack it against any other yak. It’s not light, but not super terrible. Just not very stackable.
Old 68lb Town Loon 13 6's, and 55lb Necky Manitou 12's
Then I bought 2 used Old Town Loon 138 kayaks. Tracking is great, open hull design makes it great for camping, since it does not have all the cubbies that require expensive gear to fit inside. I can put anyone in them as they are very steady. Problem? Weight. Simply becoming too heavy for my wife to help me load them.
Then I bought 2 Necky Manitou 12′ kayaks, off season. These paddled nice, but the smaller cockpit makes it a tougher fit for individuals not quite as in shape as they thought. The initial stability is slightly tippy, secondary is wonderful. Weight not terrible. But since it has portals, it greatly restricts carrying any camping gear. And portage is not happening.
Slipstream Ultralight Impulse. Love the weight!Looking around, somehow I found Slipstream Ultralight Canoes. I fell in love with the concept for a number of reasons:
Certainly, I’m getting my money’s worth out of these, because I’m using them more. It’s a win-win.
Trade Secrets of DIYing
Great information that you don't have to learn the 'hard way'.