I just got a dory and I’m really enjoying it. I’ve been using it for some day trips on small streams where I often have to pick it up and carry it over small obstacles (without the oar frame, of course. maybe I should have gotten a llama instead). I was wondering what people find to be the easiest ways to pick up and carry an inflated boat. I always want to grab for a handle of some sort in the middle of the boat, and actually popped out one of the velcro attachments for the frame by using it as a tie-in point and carry handle. I’d also like tips on attaching a small daypack. It seems hard to balance something so small on the front tube, and of course I would love to be able to carry the boat short distances without detaching the pack. Any ideas along those lines–quick and easy portaging and attaching small bags-- would be most welcome.
If your raft has no load, then the easiest way is to reach down from the front of the seat and under it with your hand, tucking your elbow under the inflated seat and holding the inflated boat, bow up and on your shoulder. Your arm is wedged in there and can relax and you have a firm grasp on the boat so brush and wind do not grab it and take it away, the way that the too-casual paddle blade tucked under the tubes can lose the boat.