Forum Index » Photo Gallery » Packrafting - Wind Rivers - 4/15/07


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Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Packrafting - Wind Rivers - 4/15/07 on 04/16/2007 01:42:47 MDT Print View

It's late and I'm tired (!) after a looong drive today but couldn't resist posting this photo, taken this morning during a packrafting descent of Boulder Creek in WY's Wind Rivers:

Ryan Jordan packrafting, Wind River Range, WY

Thanks to my partner, Joel Walthall (BPL Sales Mgr) for taking a GREAT shot for me!

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
re:Packrafting - Wind Rivers - 4/15/07 on 04/16/2007 04:57:59 MDT Print View

Great shot, Ryan! Looks like a lot of fun. And I see you still use your Tilley?
I hope to see a trip report, and some discussion of your gear and how to protect it, since I am planning a Spring trip with my wimpy little Sevylor 'trail boat'.. Is that one of the larger Sealline Stormsacks you lashed on the front?

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: Packrafting - Wind Rivers - 4/15/07 on 04/16/2007 07:59:21 MDT Print View

Brett - not a Stormsack -

That's the Arctic Dry Pack.

David Stenberg
(dstenberg1) - F

Locale: South
Re: Re: Packrafting - Wind Rivers - 4/15/07 on 04/16/2007 12:36:50 MDT Print View

WOW! That looks like so much fun!

Please post more pics if you have time or put them on your blog.

Edited by dstenberg1 on 04/16/2007 12:42:52 MDT.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Re: Packrafting - Wind Rivers - 4/15/07 on 04/16/2007 12:44:31 MDT Print View

Ryan,

What do you use as a PFD?

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: Packrafting - Wind Rivers - 4/15/07 on 04/16/2007 13:13:30 MDT Print View

Richard, I *normally* use an SOS inflatable -- BUT -- I forgot it in the car, so I wasn't wearing a PFD. I know - BAD! So, I usually, for small creeks and calm water, use a TorsoLite pad wrapped around my chest under my shell.

David Stenberg
(dstenberg1) - F

Locale: South
Re: Re: Packrafting - Wind Rivers - 4/15/07 on 04/16/2007 17:36:55 MDT Print View

Thank you for posting the pictures on your blog. I see you were using the Wild Oasis. Care to give any thoughts on this shelter? Can we expect a review?

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: Packrafting - Wind Rivers - 4/15/07 on 04/16/2007 17:45:44 MDT Print View

I've posted more photos and comments from this trip here:

Packrafting in the Winds @ RyanJordan.com

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Packrafting - Wind Rivers - 4/15/07 on 04/16/2007 18:57:26 MDT Print View

Ryan - In the photo Packraftingboulder8 the pack rafts are outside the shelters. Did you leave them there overnight?

I have found that if I invert mine and put a thin insulating pad on it, it makes a very cushy mattress.

Packraft bed

Edited by richard295 on 04/16/2007 19:02:17 MDT.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: Packrafting - Wind Rivers - 4/15/07 on 04/16/2007 20:23:13 MDT Print View

Richard, we pulled into camp late and didn't want to inflate our rafts until morning, but yes, they are actually pretty comfy.

Roman Dial
(romandial) - F - M

Locale: packrafting NZ
Re: Re: Packrafting - Wind Rivers - 4/15/07 on 04/17/2007 02:20:15 MDT Print View

Anybody out there find the lightest foam-filled PFD?

A non-inflatable PFD?

Hoping to find something under the 2 pound mark.....

Roman

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Re: Packrafting - Wind Rivers - 4/15/07 on 04/17/2007 21:22:45 MDT Print View

Ryan mentioned a 14 oz pfd here, but never said what brand it was.

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/xdpy/forum_thread/15/index.html

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Packrafting - Wind Rivers - 4/15/07 on 04/17/2007 23:54:55 MDT Print View

Roman - The lightest non-inflatable PFDs use kapok instead of CC foam. Astral and Norge are the two primary manufacturers of this PFD type.

Roman Dial
(romandial) - F - M

Locale: packrafting NZ
Re: Packrafting - Wind Rivers - 4/15/07 on 04/18/2007 00:08:25 MDT Print View

Richard, Kapok? Like the fiber from the tropical tree?

Have you used one? What sort of construction keeps it dry?

Roman

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: Re: Packrafting - Wind Rivers - 4/15/07 on 04/18/2007 06:53:39 MDT Print View

John & Roman et al - that 14 oz vest is a Stearns Class III, you can buy them at Wal-Mart. They're not so hot for whitewater and can't punch you out of a hole well. I have a 9 oz SOS inflatable that I trimmed, but they are wholly uncomfortable while paddling (restrict mobility) and too hard to inflate on the fly if you bite it. I like my TorsoLite-under-a-rain-jacket the most, until I can find (or make) something better than the Stearns model.

john flanagan
(jackfl) - F

Locale: New England
Jury rigged pfds on 04/18/2007 07:28:31 MDT Print View

I find the notion of the torso light torso burrito "interesting."

To be honest, my first reaction is that it's wacked. Ken Knight and I had a little exchange going in another thread in which I pulled in my horns a bit...but having spent 10 years guiding wilderness canoe trips and many more as an avid paddler, it's hard for me to not react strongly. The analogy that comes to mind is going back to using cloths line to "protect" climbing routes becaues of it's handling characteristics while in your pack. So rather than get on a high-horse about it, could someone just describe the experience of swimming rapids in this rig? Do you find yourself clamping your arms to your sides to hold it in place, or does wearing it under a shell suffice? Ever had the shell balloon while swimming - if so what happened? Can you swim strongly and with confidence to affect a self-rescue?

It's also certainly possible that I'm missing something here, so don't want to get to far up on the soapbox, but this strikes me as a really poor idea. It's fine with me for folks to take whatever risks that they wish, as long as they are informed...

Edited by jackfl on 04/18/2007 07:30:27 MDT.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: Jury rigged pfds on 04/18/2007 08:01:27 MDT Print View

Jack:

It's risky. A real PFD is a whole lot better.

I have swum rapids with it. Standard technique: feet down, chest up.

It gets worn around the front of the chest, it's not long enough to go around your back. Mine uses 5/8" nylon straps with side release buckles attached to 1/2" miniature grommets in the pad's RF welded rim. This, combined with wearing it under a shell, keeps it in place quite well. A 3/4 length pad works better for flotation but tends to roll you, where the short length of the torsolite keeps you chest up, but making it harder to do an aggressive swim if needed.

It's not an ideal solution, and I try to use it only in a pinch in Class 2 water. Waters with > Class 3 or strainers etc. - I'm wanting a real whitewater PFD.

Edited by ryan on 04/18/2007 08:02:52 MDT.

john flanagan
(jackfl) - F

Locale: New England
Re: Re: Jury rigged pfds on 04/18/2007 10:51:08 MDT Print View

Ryan, thanks - that paints a picture of small, semi-technical, low volume streams. Great detail that it works with the shorter torsolight and that it's actually better to avoid a full body wrap...you're going for a taco rather than burrito :~).

My objective in posting was to gain some clarity about what you're doing, how, and under what circumstances / constraints. Who knows - it could be helpful context for someone reading this to shape their own decisions. No intent to chide.

In terms of lightest full whitewater pfds. I assume that you've looked at "squirt vests" that pull on over the head - no zipper weight? Consider it an insulation layer in camp - a very bulky vest and pillow. Again with the :~)

Edited by jackfl on 04/18/2007 10:51:50 MDT.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Jury rigged pfds on 04/18/2007 17:03:49 MDT Print View

I went to a couple of paddling shops and weighed all of the L/XL PFDs they had on display. My chest is 45" and so this is the size I weighed. I also measured the weight for a number of PFD sizes above and below L/XL. On average, there is about a .1 lb difference per size.

The MTI Livery PFD seems to be the best standard option for rough water packrafting at .9 lbs. This is only .06 lbs heavier than the SOS Scout inflatable suspenders before any modifications to lighten them. It has these additional benefits: it can be worn under a properly sized windshirt or rainwear for insulation, in lieu of a high loft vest; the two side straps and the accordion style foam on the sides allow a comfortable athletic fit for paddling; and there is an elastic safety loop that locks the zipper in place.

I misspoke relative to the Astral Kapok (natural material) PFDs. Contrary to the marketing hype I read, they weren't lighter than the comparable PFDs with foam... sorry Roman.

I am sure that a custom PFD could be created that weighs less than the MTI Livery but, the safety tolerance would probably be lower.

Packraft PFD Options

Edited by richard295 on 04/18/2007 19:27:46 MDT.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: Re: Jury rigged pfds on 04/18/2007 18:43:02 MDT Print View

Wow, Richard, awesome data! My only gripe with the MTI Livery is lack of pockets. I need survival and misc gear in my PFD - firestarting kit, knife, whistle, camera, and a snack. So, I like PFD's with pockets. And my paddling smocks (a Patagonia Specter pullover in mild weather and an NRS Endurance Splash Top in cooler weather) have kangaroo pockets - I wear these when using the SOS or TorsoLite as my PFD.

But, at 0.9lbs it would almost be worth adding two external front pockets.