A Few Links
The Aboriginal Link
SI 1954, John Durant
"A northern Indian will not move without his tump. I once saw a band of Algonquins board a train in northern Quebec and every man hauled his luggage by tump, even those who had suitcases with good handles."
"The one good thing about it is that you can shed the load in a flash by slipping the headstrap when stumbling over rough ground. Incidentally, when the load falls away, you feel like an ascending balloon."
Mention of a mention: Pierre Berton's book "Vimy" describes Captain FR Phelan's adoption of the tump he observed in use by indians in Quebec.
Mention of tump use customary with indians in Maine
"This style of canoe was used as a hunting and gathering canoe in eastern Canada, by the Micmac Indians. It does not have a center Yoke I rigged two black nylon straps for my shoulders, and a leather Tump line for my head to pack it around"
Ottertooth Forum: "Yes, the tump is THE portage tool at Keewaydin and Wabun camps, and possibly at Camp Temagami"
Aboriginal reference:"Canoe over-head. Tump-line slung over forehead took stess relief of tha shoulders"
Jack Pledger: Good tump description
Mr. Jack Pledger provides a good explanation of what a tumpstrap does for you and why it works.
Unique tump method
Camp Nominingue has combined the paddle lashing method with the tump strap installed a couple of inches forward of the thwart.
The tump is adjusted so the paddles do not contact the shoulders. I've not tried this but find it thought provoking:
a)Pro?: A more heads-up configuration.
b)Neutral:The tump should be at or only slightly forward of the balance point.
c)Con: Minimal leaf spring action .
d)Con?: Slip & fall neck injury from paddle entrapment
f)Con: The time spent lashing and unlashing at every portage.
Canoe tumplines available!
No, I'm not a paid endorser :)
Bob Henderson wrote a portaging article for Kanawa magazine (Fall 2002) in 2002.
He also espouses the virtues of the tump strap, leading with an amusing story of skill versus youth, and also discusses
alternatives if you have a bad back.(A good article no longer available online)
In praise of the tump
portagecoach: "It's incredibly more efficient than having your load begin at your shoulders. This is the way the early voyageurs and natives managed their portages."
paddling.net: "A tump strap can help spread the stress of the load and stops the canoe from slipping down your back"
CanoeKayak Magazine: "Use a tumpline: A tumpline is a strap that reaches across the crown of the head and allows you to keep the load in line with your spine."
myccr forum: "I've been portaging canoes using a tump for a good twenty years"
A canoe flipper in Manitoba with plenty of photos.
In Barrie Ontario is a thriving canoe club ideally situated at
the gateway to the north. They have good courses and speakers as well.
Princess Cinema (Reel Paddling Film Festival)
The Barrie Canoe Club
Canadian Canoe Routes: excellent compendium
For tripping in central Canada this site is a great resource for trip info from
Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society
Get on their mailing list.
Virtual Algonquin Park
A well organized tour of selected trips and introduction to Algonquin Park