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Packraft Trekking in Montana's Bear Trap Canyon (Videocast)
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Packraft Trekking in Montana's Bear Trap Canyon (Videocast) on 06/03/2008 17:30:54 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Packraft Trekking in Montana's Bear Trap Canyon (Videocast)

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Packraft Trekking in Montana's Bear Trap Canyon (Videocast) on 06/03/2008 18:03:37 MDT Print View

I look forward to more good stuff like this. Thanks to Ryan and Bill for going out, having a good time, and documenting it for others to share.

Edited by sharalds on 06/03/2008 18:03:50 MDT.

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: Packraft Trekking in Montana's Bear Trap Canyon (Videocast) on 06/03/2008 19:08:23 MDT Print View

I really enjoyed the videocast. It really made me wish I had a packraft (or rather the money for one). We've got all kinds of rivers in Missouri that could make for a great hike-out/float-back trip.

A big thanks to Ryan and the BPL team for putting up quality content like this!


Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Packraft Trekking in Montana's Bear Trap Canyon (Videocast) on 06/03/2008 19:16:42 MDT Print View

Ditto Sam and Adam's comments!

A group of us are planning a multi-week packrafting trip to the Bob Marshall Wilderness this summer. We likewise expect a few long swims in the cold snow melt creeks and rivers. In what ways did Roman's book influence the equipment and techniques used on this trip versus prior trips? The catalyst for this question was that this trip included foam PFDs and helmets plus one dry suit.

I wear a Mont-bell semi-dry top and Kokatat semi-dry Tropos pants when packrafting cold water in warm weather. When I swim, I invariably end up with a few cups of water inside each pants leg. The top and pants do a great job or preventing cold shock and good job slowing down the onset of hypothermia during long swims. How much leakage did Ryan's Alacka dry top and dry pants have after his long swim?

Edited by richard295 on 06/04/2008 07:40:18 MDT.

Brett Tucker
(blister-free) - F

Locale: Puertecito ruins
Re: Packraft Trekking in Montana's Bear Trap Canyon (Videocast) on 06/03/2008 22:48:17 MDT Print View

I'm just pleased as punch that we have folks like Ryan and Roman with the specialized knowledge, a conservationist's mindset, and the willingness and ability to share that rare combination of values with the world. I can't think of a better venue than BPL for packrafting to truly come into its own.

Steve O
(HechoEnDetroit) - F

Locale: South Kak
re:packrafting vidcast on 06/03/2008 23:24:24 MDT Print View

Nice vid.

Question: Is the PR river difficulty scale different from the International Scale of River Difficulty?
Also, what volume was the river running that day?

If anyone is interested in seeing more of that river, there is a nice youtube vid here

Edited by HechoEnDetroit on 06/03/2008 23:39:43 MDT.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: re:packrafting vidcast on 06/04/2008 09:57:58 MDT Print View

Hi Steve,

The river was around 1,400-1,700 cfs (I think, I'm going on experience didn't look at the gauge online). The largest rollers were in the 3-4 ft range.

Jason Brinkman
(jbrinkmanboi) - MLife

Locale: Idaho
Re: Packraft Trekking in Montana's Bear Trap Canyon (Videocast) on 06/04/2008 10:02:06 MDT Print View

I just recently bought a full drysuit (NRS Extreme Relief) for the traditional catarafting that I do. It's heavy by UL standards at around 4 pounds (XXL), but it can be used in lieu of raingear and it's fairly compact.

In fact, I didn't even bring raingear on our May 17 - 26 rafting trip on Marsh Creek / Middle Fork Salmon / Main Salmon and Lochsa Rivers in Idaho (all of which were snowmelt seasonally peaking).

There's definitely a strong margin of safety to being completely waterproof and able to withstand long periods of immersion. Fortunately the only swims in our 240+ mile trip were the ones we anticipated (planned?) on the Lochsa. I was actually HOT on my one swim ~ novel concept, eh?

Edited by jbrinkmanboi on 06/04/2008 10:03:34 MDT.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Packraft Trekking in Montana's Bear Trap Canyon (Videocast) on 06/04/2008 11:09:37 MDT Print View

I found it note worthy that Ryan was hypothermic after his swim. He was wearing a 2-piece Alpacka semi-dry suit. I wonder how much it weighs and if any water got in the suit?

My size L 2-piece Mont-Bell/Kokatat semi-dry combo weighs 2.1 lbs. This combo allows a small amount of water in (few cups) during a long white water swim but not enough to experience cold water flushing.

My size L Kokatat GFER dry suit weighs 3 pounds and is absolutely dry inside after a long white water swim.

What do the other packrafters wear in snow melt rivers, what does it weigh, and how much water gets in during a long white water swim?

Carol Crooker
(cmcrooker) - MLife

Locale: Desert Southwest, USA
Alpacka suit on 06/04/2008 13:50:29 MDT Print View

I wondered about the same thing, Richard.
At the Whitewater Rescue Technician course in Jackson Hole in April, we spent a lot of time in the Snake River doing swim rescues, river crossings, and being the victim for rescues. I was toasty in a leaky rental dry suit. The guy wearing an Alpacka dry suit was also fine. I had a wool baselayer and two layers of fleece (on my torso) on under my dry suit. I don't know what the guy in the Alpacka had on.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: Packraft Trekking on 06/04/2008 15:49:47 MDT Print View

The Alpacka Semi-Dry Suit I had was leaky at the cuffs and waist. But it's an early prototype. I'd have been fine in any real dry suit. But any semi-dry dry suit would have left me pretty wet.

I swam for a long ways - several hundred yards. I was submerged by the whitewater several times. The water was rough enough that my neckline was below water most of the time, and this served as a key point of entry for water. I may not have had my collar all the way zipped up as well.

Tim Cheek
(hikerfan4sure) - MLife
video camera on 06/04/2008 17:21:46 MDT Print View

Ryan, Were you happy with the video camera and the equipment you used to keep it dry?

Edited by hikerfan4sure on 06/04/2008 17:28:00 MDT.

Jason Brinkman
(jbrinkmanboi) - MLife

Locale: Idaho
Re: Packraft Trekking on 06/05/2008 01:32:54 MDT Print View

Well it's definitely not packrafting, but here's what I was up to over Labor Day Weekend. We are calling it Lochsa River Madness 2008. Enjoy.

Lucas Osborne
(LukeO) - F

Locale: Big Sky Country
Re: Re: re:packrafting vidcast on 06/05/2008 09:51:12 MDT Print View

Well done Ryan--thanks!

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: video camera on 06/05/2008 10:48:25 MDT Print View

Tim, I used a Canon TX1 and I'm very happy with it. For the size and weight, it takes outstanding video. It can also shoot in 1080x720 30fps which is really nice. Its major disadvantage is its lack of external mic capability, but the built in mic is pretty good for collecting ambient noise like birds chirping etc. I didn't do anything special to keep it dry, just threw it in my main dry bag.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
A+! on 06/05/2008 19:26:32 MDT Print View

Sounds like full value for an overnight. Inspiring!

Roman Dial
(romandial) - F - M

Locale: packrafting NZ
vidcast and wetsuit use on 08/14/2008 22:10:05 MDT Print View

Wow, what a neat river and super video! I'm going to put that Bear Trap canyon on my to-do list when we come down in October,....

I used a 3 mm Kokatat farmer john wetsuit in Teton Wilderness for a week in early July while Forest and Derek wore 2007 prototype drysuits. They got pretty badly chaffed when portaging the sections of scary S. Fork Shoshone but the wetsuit worked well.

The wet suit is certainly a bit heavier but seemed less hot than a gasket dry suit or Alpacka dry suit.....