Proper canoe lifting is all about style, not strength. Anyone over twelve who can stand on their own two feet should be able to hoist a KEVLAR® canoe on their shoulders. The Red Rock Wilderness Store website has a thorough step-by-step tutorial on proper lifting. Review it, and practice a few times on your front lawn; you’ll be good to go for your next canoe trip.

Note that most people will have a preferred side to lift from. It may not make much of a difference lifting a carbon-fibre Quetico 16, but will be come noticeable when you try to shoulder a three-seat Quetico 18.5. Find your best side, and remember to use it.