Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent

The portage technique

Two men carrying their canoes on their shoulders.

Mr. Sweesey, Mr. Bédard and a prospector’s tent at Long Lake (August 6, 1909).

© Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Pelletier-Landry coll., pl096.

These employees were building the railroad to cross part of the Témiscouata, through forest that was often very far from inhabited areas. Like these railroad workers and especially like the old coureurs des bois, sportsmen canoed and portaged to reach the more isolated hunting and fishing sites. These trips were live-action role-playing games well before that was a thing. The guns were quite real, however! 

As we can see here, little baggage could be carried during potages, since everything had to be transported on one’s back.

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