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Thread: Old Town Packer canoe

  1. #1
    Member
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    Mar 2007
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    Dallas Texas
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    Smile Old Town Packer canoe

    This past June I back packed into the North Fork of the Chandalar planing to make it to the lake and then out to Coldfoot. Unfortunately my 64 year old knees let me down after 80 miles of river buttom and crossing tundra.

    So, I plan to return next year with a Old Town Packer Canoe ( one man) and start at the haul road ( West fork of the North Fork of the Chandalar) go to the lake and down the Chandalar to the Yukon west to the Bridge.

    I'm not a very experience canoer ( did white water in Wisconsin when I was a kid. So what do you think about this little one man canoe on the Yukon River. What do I need to know , what do I need to watch out for.
    ( I'm in great shape for an old guy - working out since 1973 - but I'm still an old guy)

    Your comments, thoughts and questions would be greatly appreciated!!

    Regards

    MIke Dotson

  2. #2

    Default Old Town Packer

    I currently own a Packer, I find it is a little tipy. I used it duck hunting last year and tipped it over. The water was shallow, but the pride was broke. I think my Old Town Penobscot is a better canoe. It's 15'6 (thereabout), and I can shoulder it and carry with no problem. Also it holds alot of gear. I took an extended canoe trip, with two people in it, all the camping stuff, and it handle all water conditions. Only down side is, when going solo, you need weight in the front to hold it down. I would reccomend the Penobscot.

  3. #3
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    Jun 2006
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    Circle, AK.
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    616

    Default packer canoe

    your packer won't carry much gear for such a long trip, are you planning on carrying the canoe for long distances? I would consider a 16 footer with a flatter, wider bottom for stability and then just canoe it backwards. I do this with my old town predator and have navigated pretty small streams quite well but I am experienced in a canoe. Keep your gear low and centered in the canoe with the heavier stuff up front and deffinately use dry bags!! I would also learn the different strokes for canoeing and practice canoeing solo so you know how the canoe will handle and respond. You could also consider an inflatable canoe such as the pro-pioneer which you could fly in. Sounds like an awesome trip, I'd be interested in hearing your story afterwards. Hope this helps..............

  4. #4
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    Mar 2007
    Location
    Dallas Texas
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    Default Old Town Packer

    Guys,
    Thanks for the advise. Yes, I will use dry bags and keep the gear centered!! I don't plan on carrying the canoe far if at all but the shortness looks like it would be easier to handle for this old guy.

    I plan to make alot of stops and do pleanty of hiking with a light load. I'm concerned about the river as it approaches the Yukon as it appears from the map to have many small branches and I don't want to make any errors. Has anyone been on the Chandalar down by the Yukon?

    MIke

  5. #5
    Member
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    Jul 2007
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    Between two lakes in Alaska
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    Default

    Mike,

    You might contact local canoe stores in your area. One of the stores here puts on a "try day" where the canoe companies bring their canoes and you can try them out. We were going to get an Old Town until we tried the Mad River. The "feel" makes a lot of difference.

    Sportsman's Warehouse has a store in Fairbanks. The local store here carries the Pack in stock, so you should be able to pick up one there...might be able to buy one ahead of time to make sure they have one for you??

    Seems like there's a place in FB that rents canoes.

  6. #6
    New member
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    Apr 2006
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    419

    Default Canoe

    Old Town makes a 13' 3" canoe in the discovery and predator series. Same canoe different color. Semi-light, very wide for almost boat like stability, and very large weight capacity. I wouldnt trade my discovery for anything.

  7. #7
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    Jul 2007
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    Between two lakes in Alaska
    Posts
    952

    Default

    I eye balled those 13 foot Discovery canoes, but wasn't ready to buy one. I think they stopped making them. They are not listed on their site.

  8. #8
    New member
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    Apr 2006
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    419

    Default 13' Old Town

    I do believe you are correct. Would be nice to find a used one, but havent seen many. They came with an optional third seat when in production. I am pretty sure they still make a 13' 3" preadtor. Same hull as the discovery but camo w/ anchor and other accessories. The cool thing is the load capacity in maybee maybee 100lbs less than a full size 15' -16' freghter type canoe, but much more manueverable/transportable.

  9. #9

    Default Many ways to skin a cat...

    Short wide canoes are good for standing in for clam flat water use....the shorter/wider design doesn't lend itself for moving water conditions and arn't very seaworthy....If you are over 5'6 and weight over 160 lbs get a boat that is at least 15 feet long and not over 30 inches wide at the gunwale (solo canoe) a rocker of 1 to 2 inches wouldn't be bad either..Here in Anchorage you are limited to Old Town and Mad River at REI, both heavy boats...In Fairbanks at Beaver Sports you can get We No Nah Canoes that offer lighter materials...Flex weave , Kevlar etc, some under 60 lbs.....I suggest that you order the We No nah catalog..its free and they offer alot of general info about canoe design and material..http://www.wenonah.com/products/temp...da460a...Learn the J stroke, it takes about an hour of practice, then you can prefect it while on a trip...I plan on getting the We No Nah Prospector 16 footer in flex core/kev at 61 lbs..its a tandem that can be paddled from the stern and center solo...also check out the Trump Line method of carrying a canoes...Here is another site with more general canoe info...http://www.redrockstore.com/canoes.html...good luck

  10. #10

    Default OOOPs didn't notice yer from Texas....

    Not sure how much of my info you'll be able to use...

  11. #11

    Default Dumping into the Yukon....

    I have been on a number of rivers that dump into the Yukon and on the map they look like they be difficult...like maybe they are fast with big eddy lines to look out for...Most of the time they flow gently and with small eddy lines that are easy to cross just by following the natural course of the river...Don't know about the Chandalar though...

  12. #12

    Default Make that Tump Line for canoe carrying...


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