Why a Kayak?
I love my kayak. It's the Inuvik model from ClearWater Design and it was made at their factory that is within an hour of where I live.
I've had some pretty strange looks when people find out that I portage with my kayak. In fact, some of the looks have crossed over into sheer disbelief. The type of trip I like (mostly calm water on small lakes or rivers) seems perfectly-suited to a canoe. So why on earth do I take a kayak?
Well, there are several reasons. Firstly, it's what I have so there's no need to buy or rent a canoe every trip. Secondly, my kayak is much more comfortable than most canoes I've been in. Yes, that might be because I've been in some pretty crummy rental canoes, but still, my kayak is roomy for me (it's a gargantuan 28 inches wide!) and my gear, and it is easy to get in and out of. I'm 6'3", but I can still lean back and completely stretch my legs out, all while continuing to paddle. Thirdly, my kayak is big time stable. According to ClearWater, it's "perfect for ... rough water". I agree! I haven't encountered huge waves with it but the boat still feels extremely stable even in rough water. I haven't tipped it yet and the only time I've come close it was because I wasn't paying attention and almost smashed into something. Finally, my kayak is light enough (49 pounds) that I can portage it over my shoulder. I travel each portage three times (one trip with my gear, one trip back, and one trip with my kayak) so I look for trips with portages shorter than 1000 meters. I can usually get through a portage of that length with a maximum of one stop. I have considered making my portages even easier by getting a Carry Yak to allow for hands-free portaging. If you have any experience with a Carry Yak can you please let me know?