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Packrafting Light?
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Chris Morgan
(ChrisMorgan) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
Packrafting Light? on 04/08/2009 16:00:21 MDT Print View


Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Packrafting Light? on 04/08/2009 16:08:22 MDT Print View

More like Backcountry Light ... which gets no objection from this old snail.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Packrafting Light? on 04/08/2009 17:13:59 MDT Print View

I had a great conversation with a friend this morning in which he emailed me berating BPL over so much packrafting coverage. My first reponse to him went like this:

Stop and think for a few minutes what packrafting means to wilderness travel. Seriously consider that without negativity for a couple minutes and then get back to me.

He took me seriously, thought it over for a 1/2 hour and responded with:

...good point. I think most of us who appreciate wilderness and quiet-use recreation would view packrafting as a welcome addition to recreation on public lands. My main curiosity lies in wanting to understand how packrafting fits with BPL's mission and what rafting has to do with lightweight backpacking and why BPL continues to push packrafting?

He raised a legitimate point, and that was whether packrafting fits into BPLs mission statement. And although Jim didn't quote the mission statement, he did make a good analogy, backcountrylight. My response to my friend was as such:

My first opinion on the onslaught of packrafting info that hit BPL was the same as yours. I don't raft - I backpack. Upon closer inspection of the device as a means for silent travel however, all it really does is extend the distance into the backcountry we can travel under our own means.

And, as far as it fitting within BPL's mission, it is dead on. Our mission is:

"To promote multi-day, backcountry travel in a self-supported ("backpackable"), lightweight style."

...When it all comes down to it though, if you don't want to take a raft out into the woods or desert, so be it. And worry not, there will still be 80 or 90% backpacking articles on BPL - spring time just happens to be whitewater season so we're doing our part to introduce this up and coming sport to the masses.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Packrafting Light? on 04/08/2009 17:27:31 MDT Print View

Well said!

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: Packrafting Light? on 04/08/2009 17:56:10 MDT Print View

I totally agree Sam, and if it was in the budget I would go out and buy one today! For now everytime I pass a river in the BC, I think about floating down it.

Dan Cunningham

Locale: Land of 12,000 Loons
Re: Re: Packrafting Light? on 04/08/2009 18:08:19 MDT Print View

I grew up whiterwater canoeing on MN and WI rivers and doing multi-day canoe trips into the BWCA or other waters. I never backpacked until I was an adult. For me, it was a natural progression of self-supported travel into the wilderness. The reason I love backpacking is intrinsically linked with why I love backcountry water travel (of which I still do at least a trip a year). I think Sam said it very well.

While I would love to see more editorial content on backpacking (seems to be kind of light lately), I don't have any problem with the occasional packrafting piece.

Chris Morgan
(ChrisMorgan) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
A clarification on 04/08/2009 18:18:16 MDT Print View

I have no aversion to packrafting, in fact I hope to try it some day - just thought it was an interesting front page choice.


Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Re: Re: Packrafting Light? on 04/08/2009 23:43:39 MDT Print View

Yes- we've covered packrafting which is not backpacking. However, we have also covered snowshoes, backcountry skiing, even ultralight mountain bike touring.

I would agree, though, that we've had a lot of packrafting focus lately and while I enjoy that BackpackingLight has become a real packrafting resource, I look forward to more backpacking focus in upcoming weeks.

Then when I get into packrafting in the future, I'll be looking back at all of these new articles, videos, and podcasts!

Robert Bryant
(KG4FAM) - F

Locale: Upstate
Re: Packrafting Light? on 04/09/2009 06:48:16 MDT Print View

And two of the packrafting features trying to upsell while an actual backpacking related article about rain mitts sits humbly in the list.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Packrafting Light? on 04/09/2009 17:43:23 MDT Print View

"And two of the packrafting features trying to upsell while an actual backpacking related article about rain mitts sits humbly in the list"

Yes it is an additional income potential for BPL. Especially classes on how to do it.

G Foster McLachlan
(hunter13) - F

Locale: NYS
packrafting on 11/09/2009 16:26:24 MST Print View

Anything to do with packrafting I'm in. Articles, gear reviews, podcasts, videos, gear for sale -packrafting backpack??hint hint.

I can understand some points made regarding this being a "back"packingLight website-but's also about wilderness travel, yes? And it's obvious to me that a natural step in it's evolution is the packraft. Those daring enough(and afford) to join in will see the possibilites unfold. I'm fraken psyched! Sorry for the gallactica pun.

Packrafting is where it's going, don't fight it.

BBL, I welcome your enthusiasm on the subject. Bring it!

Alex Maslov
(alexmaslov) - F
Re: Re: Packrafting Light? on 06/14/2010 11:15:09 MDT Print View

There is a packraft available for about $270 from

. Callahan

Locale: Stoke Newington, London, UK.
An alternative view... on 06/20/2010 20:08:19 MDT Print View

Packrafting provides the means of outdoor travel for those whom have disabling injuries which prevent them from backpacking.

Packrafting enables where there is simply no other opportunity to get outdoors and travel under one's own power.

This is why I bought Alpacka Rafts... Freedom! (o:

Packrafting brought me to BPL, not the other way round, so it is a two way path.

Larry Dyer
(veriest1) - F

Locale: Texas
I thought this was obvious. on 06/20/2010 22:14:48 MDT Print View

PACK Rafting.

Oh... it's a specialty craft that is easy to pack... even in a back pack. Seems simple enough to me and fits right in with the pack rifle and Tenkara rods. None of these have to be used while backpacking but can easily be incorporated since they're some of the lightest options available to accomplish those tasks.

P. P.
(toesnorth) - F

Locale: PNW
What's not to like? on 06/20/2010 23:44:20 MDT Print View

It blends two of my passions and gets me to interesting places with less difficulty.
I started backpacking in my teens, rafting in my 20's, and added kayaks in my 40's.
At my age (late 50's now), if it wasn't "light" I wouldn't be doing it. I find it totally appropriate. :-)

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: packrafting on 06/21/2010 06:18:47 MDT Print View

I'm curious as to what the percentage of backpackers will actually go packrafting? I live in the six rivers area of CA and can see its appeal, but I wold think the percentage would be relatively small.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
packrafting on 06/21/2010 15:46:58 MDT Print View

I finally received my Yukon Yak last week. It is awesome. Huge potential for cool trips here in Montana. Other places in the country have less profuse opportunities, but the Alpacka raft really is a paradigm shifting piece of gear.