Sunday, November 18, 2012

Packing It In

Over time I'll expand on Pack-rafting as I did with Fat-biking but for today I'm going to spill the words like an octopus bailing a boat and clean up the story over time as I learn about how it's done.

Packrafting? Right, you have no idea if it's a verb or a noun and you're not getting a grammar lesson from me but it's a scream! Wait, I shouldn't talk like I'm on Happy Days, but in this boat, The Fonz would squeal like Arnold the pig on Green Acres. Why all the old timey talk, well it's really fun like when you where a kid at a lake and you would play on anything that floats. I remember the best thing at my Grand Parent's cabin was a small blue plastic boat. I'd get it first and play with it for the longest time. Even as a child it was so small that I'd sink it if I didn't stay right in the middle. I always thought water was the best place to be. Over time crappy vinyl boats that popped faster then bubble wrap on Christmas showed up but never got any better. Some time after real tough laminated materials showed up and people figured it was time to make a lightweight boat that adults could play in for hours like that child in his blue boat.

Enter the Pack Raft. It's a thin, tough raft that holds a load of gear and fits in a stuff sac at 6 pounds.

I got my new boat yesterday, pumped it up and jumped in for a carpet paddle. Yes, I'm a child with a small boat and I don't care because you're grinning at the idea of playing yourself.

This is my fat bike and all my boating gear, including the packraft.
Yellow is a drysuit, Orange is the packraft, dry bag fleece, blue inflating PFD (don't go on the water without a vest)

This video above is a set of images that show a bag, scooped with air is squeezed in to inflate the boat. It takes about 2 minutes.

I get into a drysuit to control the cold water spray. From scuba I know dry-suits are the pinnacle of comfort and this suit is so nice.

Loading a bike is a learning experience....

Above: This is the first wet foot I get in the new dry suit and the Yak (Pack Raft). The bike looks like a mess but that's the best I could do and it looks like pictures I've seen.

I'm trying to do more of a video blog for this stuff so bear with me while I learn how to talk and film. This is the launch.

I'm really excited to be in my boat. Enjoy.


I ride around but the island is narrow and long. Most is heavily treed and the river side is too steep to ride so I ride in the low land that is clear of brush but it's soft. Below is the end of the island I just landed on and I need to cross this waterway and out to the right to another island and then my exit.

Above: I needed to double back to get a shallow entry. The other side is a short cliff that I can't do with a bike without swimming first.

Below: The launch and paddle out. The second repack went ok but I must memorize a methodology to load and unload. I lost my camera at one point and then as I type, realize, I also lost the video of the launch. I had a video but I don't know what happened to it.

Above: I'm sitting on top because my pack and gear is inside the raft. I have a spray skirt for longer paddles but I am comfortable on top for now. Later I'll attach the pack to the back of the raft for balance.

I land, pack up for the 3rd time and ride back to my start about 2 miles south. It was a short trip but about right for a child at heart. Next trip starts at the same place but goes south and should be more boat and less ride.

Packrafting is going to be a lot of fun for me and I expect you will get some enjoyment out of reading about my Otter Adventures.

Happy Days

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! I'm jealous,.....mine won't be here until the 26th. I have plans in the works for when it comes. Have fun, Later JP