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Thread: Push Pole for Yukon River Trip

  1. #1

    Default Push Pole for Yukon River Trip


    Planning long Yukon River trip in 18 foot Sotar raft w/oars and small kicker. Concerned about running up on silt/sand bars. Have 3 Sawyer composite 11' 5" long oars including handles and blades. Considering taking a 4th (Carlisle) oar to be primarily used as a push pole and emergency spare/spare rowing oar. No experience using a push pole on large raft (didn't want to trash expensive blades).

    For the push pole, I am envisioning either modifying/reinforcing a HD commercial spare blade for pushing - or to perhaps add an extension to the shaft with a more appropriate end for pushing (which would also give me some flexibility on length). For anyone experienced using push poles, I would appreciate your thoughts on the idea of using a spare/spare oar as a pusher and what would be an appropriate length.

    P.S. - This raft with its inflatable floor floats high and will not be over-loaded. Not expecting to be poling a great deal, but like the idea of perhaps/maybe being able to work off a silt/sand bar without having to leave the raft. Many thanks.

  2. #2


    You might visit some of the large Wholesale Electrical Supply Stores, There are four on 54'th between Cordova and Fairbanks street in Anch.

    They sell very strong telescoping fiberglass poles for linemen.

    Paint stores sell telescoping pole for reaching high ceilings.

    Or just cut a tree for a pole.

    A "REAL" man would just jump in the water and pull.....That leaves YOU out........
    "The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008


    If you are using composite blades, then pushing them through the sand will not hurt them one bit. Use the regular oars and the spare can be used by another passenger, if there is one. I have use composite Carlisle oars for years and could not imagine anybody abusing them any more than I have. They are every bit as heavy and durable as the day they were new. The push pole will be a piece of gear that is not redundant and a waste of space and weight. If you need a long pole for something else, like a big tent or meat pole, then go ahead and bring one.

  4. #4


    Never tried it with a raft, but on the Florida flats I got to use a buddy's Temple Fork Mangrove Push Pole. Handy as can be because it breaks down into 4 sections for stowing. Dunno how it compares in price with a telescoping pole suggested by AGL4now (good idea, BTW), but it's another to add to the list of possibilities for researching.

  5. #5


    Many thanks for the suggestions.


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