Wild Northerner Magazine Spring 2018 - Page 26

BY SCOTT HADDOW

Wild Northerner staff

The wooden way

We bought a new/used truck last July a few days before a 12-day camping/canoeing trip.

It left me with little time to get a suitable canoe rack. I took a quick look online at racks for trucks.

Nope. I felt they were way overpriced. I couldn’t be motivated to buy one for $500 or more.

I grabbed some 2X4s from the shed and tools. I took a trip to the local lumber store to get a few extra pieces of wood. I picked up some bolts, washers and nuts from the local hardware store.

In about an hour, my stepdad, Mack, and I built a sweet rack.

It cost a total of $43 and it held strong and true for nearly six months until I took it apart in early December for winter.

I used the rack for my canoe every week when I went out fishing. The day after it was built, I took it on the ultimate test. My family and I drove more than 2,000-km through northern Ontario on our little road/camping/canoeing trip. We visited four provincial parks and a national park. We drove through raging storms and construction zones and down some rough side roads. No problems.

We didn’t overthink the design. We made it simple. Four main posts in the slots of the truck bed wall. We shaved them to fit the spaces with a jigsaw. Then we wrapped main support beams around the top, with two extra bracers running down the middle. (These also acted as the anchor points for the straps for my canoe.) Finally, we tacked on some cross supports at each corner to make it stiff as hell.

We used carriage bolts in the main junctions to keep it all together. I slapped a coat of black paint on it to tie it into my truck’s colours and that was all it took.

I’m not the easiest guy on stuff. I run rough.

Always have. The rack stood up to my abuse.

There are so many benefits with going with a wood rack over a pre-made steel one IMO.

With the wood structure, you can infinitely customize your rack, and, at a moment’s notice if a situation arises calling for it.

I added pieces of wood to dry towels and clothes. It made for a great dryer in the woods LOL. I added four pieces in the corners so I could hold fishing rods. I plan on making and attaching lockable boxes to use as rod lockers.

I added four rings in the bottom corners so I could stretch out a bungee cargo net and secure my loads down with ease. I’m excited to keep customizing it as I see fit and as the future unfolds.

Is it as pretty as a pre-made steel one? I guess it depends on your perspective.

Without a doubt, it is an inexpensive way to get a rack on the truck without busting a budget. And it saves more money for bait or lures. It also held a 12-foot aluminum boat with zero issues. It can hold multiple boats in fact.

It’s a winner.

Rack attack