Tumpline
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Royal Magnell
(BlueMan) - F

Locale: Northern CA
Tumpline on 09/17/2010 20:45:28 MDT Print View

Has anyone made a tumpline? I'd like to make/purchase one that I could easily attach or detach from a pack. I could see it making a frameless pack easier to carry or making that rare heavy load much bearable.

Steve S
(idahosteve) - F

Locale: Idaho
tumpline on 09/18/2010 10:39:33 MDT Print View

Years ago, and I mean long ago, LOL, Chouinard aka Patagonia used to sell them. I just found it in my boxes the other day. If your interested, pay for postage and I'll send it to you! I can send a pic of it if you would like

Royal Magnell
(BlueMan) - F

Locale: Northern CA
Interesting on 09/18/2010 13:05:11 MDT Print View

I think I've heard that before Yvon liked the idea I guess. I'll PM you.

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Re: Tumpline on 09/19/2010 17:48:33 MDT Print View

Once you try it, be sure to let us know how you like it.

I have been wondering how well it would work. Quite awhile back I used tump lines to portage on canoe trips. It took awhile to get your neck used to it, but once you did then it was the only way to go.

Fortunately, a UL pack is a lot lighter than a wooden canoe or a wanigan box full of canned goods.

--MV

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Tumpline on 09/19/2010 18:05:39 MDT Print View

Seems to me that if one needs a tumpline, then they have the wrong pack for the job. Additionally, the neck muscles are going to become very sore for most people who are not used to this kind of work on the neck.

Joe L
(heyyou) - MLife

Locale: Cutting brush off of the Arizona Tr
Not for everyone on 09/19/2010 18:46:16 MDT Print View

I too bought one from Chouinard in the late 1970s.

I've removed my posted opinion since I don't have citations for tumpline-specific injuries.

Edited by heyyou on 09/19/2010 19:15:02 MDT.

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Re: Not for everyone on 09/19/2010 18:57:45 MDT Print View

There are a lot of folks in canoe country that like them. The biggest problem I see is that they do require building up your neck muscles enough to be comfortable with them.

Back when I used them, I was set up in a way that allowed changing the proportion between the head and shoulders much as you can vary the proportion between the hips and shoulders with many packs. That gave me a good way to gradually build up my neck.

I found that early in the season I used the shoulders most. As the season wore on, I used the neck more and more. Part way through the summer I was using mostly neck with just enough on the shoulders to add some stability.

Do you have anything concrete on problems they cause for one who has gotten the neck well conditioned?

--MV

Edited by blean on 09/19/2010 18:58:22 MDT.

Steve S
(idahosteve) - F

Locale: Idaho
Re: Interesting on 09/20/2010 07:11:31 MDT Print View

I'll get a pic for you and post it up!

found the tumpline, here's a pic of it. I remember reading about Chouinard talking about it takes some practice to get your neck strengthened, and how it works etc... but I've never tried it.tumpline

Edited by idahosteve on 09/20/2010 07:49:30 MDT.

Royal Magnell
(BlueMan) - F

Locale: Northern CA
Cool on 09/22/2010 20:55:10 MDT Print View

If you're still interested in parting with it I'd take it off your hands and play with it. Any idea how you're supposed to attach it to a pack?

Steve S
(idahosteve) - F

Locale: Idaho
Re: Cool on 09/23/2010 07:55:30 MDT Print View

My recollection is foggy at best, but I thought that you ran the tumpline in a loop, up from and under the bottom of the pack, and put the wide web across your forehead.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Cool on 09/23/2010 09:12:13 MDT Print View

Tumpline should be adjusted according to the load and weight distribution. Could be at the bottom, middle, or other location.

I would be cautious on this, as the chance of a neck muscle injury is a big consideration. Even a minor neck muscle strain is awful. Here is a little known fact. Military pilots usually increase their neck size by at least one inch during pilot training from constantly reacting to g-forces. Some get neck injuries, and there are special exercises that are recommended. You can probably find more information via Google. Even exercising on a trampoline can be helpful. I have been in fighter jets, and the force does not seem that much compared to the one time I fooled around with a tumpline.

John McAlpine
(HairlessApe) - M

Locale: PNW
Cervical Vertebrae on 09/23/2010 11:47:30 MDT Print View

I just can't imagine that being good for your cervical vertebrae. I want to see you hike comfortably for many more years....maybe think this one over. Sure I've seen them used all over the world. Heck...I've seen dudes in Nepal carry a 100 lb load with a strap, but they've been doing it since a kid.
I'm only concerned for your health.............

David Lutz
(davidlutz)

Locale: Bay Area
"Tumpline" on 09/23/2010 19:00:47 MDT Print View

I would assume that people who use these things start young and work up to a full load gradually. In other words they are in shape for it.

Looks sketchy to me to start from scratch, gotta invest the time.......

Joshua Gray
(coastalhiker) - MLife
Bad idea? on 09/23/2010 19:40:56 MDT Print View

Just to warn you, when I went to Uganda on medical missions, we treated untold numbers for neck pain, back pain, and cervical neuropathy for the years and years of carrying things via tumpline and/or just balancing objects on their head. Of course, we are talking about 20-60 lbs for 20 or so years, but I can't imagine it is good at all. Even on rare occasion it is still a bad idea. As others have said, your muscles are not conditioned to carry objects in that manner.

Just my 2 cents.

Jeff Antig
(Antig)

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Tumpline on 09/23/2010 23:43:51 MDT Print View

If tumplines are used correctly, they do not cause any more health problems than carrying a backpack. Many people wear it on the forehead and that is where the problems begin. It is meant to be worn on the top of the head and when used correctly, it puts the load on the spine. As the person leans forward, there is a straight alignment from the top of the head down to the spine from the load. Not sure if that was very clear but I hope it helps.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Tumpline on 09/24/2010 09:25:32 MDT Print View

I've found them more of a painful hindrance than an aid. If you're just using it occasionally, your muscles won't be up to the task. It's a neat idea to contemplate, but frankly not practical for most people in most situations. Better to take a few ounces more of pack that can carry a load.

Frank Deland
(rambler) - M

Locale: On the AT in VA
tumplines safe? on 09/24/2010 10:33:25 MDT Print View

http://www.myccr.com/SectionForums/viewtopic.php?t=22396&highlight=tumpline

Ouch! Like this, Bob?

http://www.amtraders.com/pricing/rigging%20a%20canoe%20for%20portage.pdf

Edited by rambler on 09/24/2010 10:39:30 MDT.

Eric Lundquist
(cobberman) - F - M

Locale: Northern Colorado
Re: Tumpline on 09/24/2010 11:31:37 MDT Print View

After 7 annual trips to the Boundary Waters with my father during my middle school and high school years I was never concerned with using a tumpline to help carry our large (~45-50lbs) Duluth Packs. For short portages they weren't required but on long 200+ rod portages they certainly become handy. I always used them alternately through the longer portages to relieve the weight from my shoulders as these packs do not have waist belts.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Tumpline on 09/24/2010 11:56:03 MDT Print View

Eric,

Not being combative here. If the packs did not have waist belts and weighed 45-50lbs, wouldn't it be better to get a back that is built to carry that amount of weight and transfer most of the loads to the hips?

Eric Lundquist
(cobberman) - F - M

Locale: Northern Colorado
Re: Re: Re: Tumpline on 09/24/2010 12:56:14 MDT Print View

"Not being combative here. If the packs did not have waist belts and weighed 45-50lbs, wouldn't it be better to get a back that is built to carry that amount of weight and transfer most of the loads to the hips?"

There are some detailed books about the pros/cons of the traditional 'Duluth Pack' which is a canvas pack with leather straps vs. modern Cordura nylon packs and with padded straps, modern hip belts, sternum straps etc. A good recommendation for reading would be any of Cliff Jacobson's books but in particular his Boundary Waters Canoe Camping book. He outlines why he thinks that traditional packs are a better option in terms of durability and water proofness/resistance. I've found that his recommendation to be true in my experiences.

I think it ultimately comes down to the experience that you're trying to achieve. Traditional packs don't have the extra modern conveniences such as hip belts and compressions straps which as I've often seen get caught up on the gunwales of the canoe and become a tipping and tripping hazard. They can also limit the bags from sitting properly inside the canoe. Most portages are less than a few hundred feet while others can get to be a half-mile or more. At this distance I don't feel that a hip belt is necessary when I have the option of the more traditional tumpline. I think the longest portage I've done was the 1.5miles from Angleworm Lake completed twice with two people for 1 canoe, 1 food pack, and 2 gear packs. Whew!

I will admit that I haven't been able to go back for a few years now that I'm more committed to lightweight backpacking and what changes that might dictate on how I'd choose my gear.

Edited by cobberman on 09/24/2010 12:58:02 MDT.