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Spring Raftpacking (and Packrafting)
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Maia Jordan
(maia) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Spring Raftpacking (and Packrafting) on 03/26/2013 21:25:38 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Spring Raftpacking (and Packrafting)

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
gear on 03/26/2013 21:38:30 MDT Print View

What gloves do you wear while packrafting? I've been rafting in calm water with air temps in the low 40s and my fingers have nearly frozen off with neoprene gloves. Albeit, they were thin and have since upgraded to 3.5mm neoprene gloves. I've not tried these new gloves yet.

What pack are you using in the photos?

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: Spring Raftpacking (and Packrafting) on 03/27/2013 07:58:23 MDT Print View

Looks like a fun spring activity but is there a limit depending on the streamflow at certain water level gauges? At a certain speed (think it was 1300 cu ft/sec on the Gila), kayaks, canoes, and regular rafts become dicey as the current takes over. The width of the stream/river makes a difference too, so wondering if there's a formula to take all these hydrology factors into account (besides just a trial run downstream on a known watercourse).

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: spring flows on 03/27/2013 09:43:13 MDT Print View

HK, most all USGS gauges will have a flood level for the given stream. When you get to 90% of flood things tend to get pretty interesting/pushy, conditions with which a packraft deals poorly.

The tricky part is all those small, ungauged streams which are only runnable in a packraft, and only runnable when they're close to flood. I try to catch those after the peak of spring runoff, as the flood helps clean out all the debris felled and left behind by winter.

Jean-Francois Jobin
(jfjobin) - MLife
Stowaway dry suit on 03/27/2013 11:20:33 MDT Print View

except the neck closure system,the stowaway is still dry after some expeditions?Still satisfied?

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: Spring Raftpacking (and Packrafting) on 03/27/2013 12:21:22 MDT Print View

@T.L. - I rarely take gloves backpacking between about April and September unless I'm doing a high mountain trek, so any gloves I take for whitewater packrafting are always with an eye towards maintaining paddle sensitivity and control. In the winter, I use neoprene Toasters (NRS), and in the spring, I use the NRS Hydroskin gloves. The latter are my favorite.

I like barehanded for short runs, but cold hands on longer backcountry runs is pretty miserable.

The orange packs are the old ULA Arctic Dry packs, now called the "Epic". I've mostly switched over to HMG packs (Porter 4400) for packrafting due to better durability and comfort while trekking. The Arctic/Epic are pretty uncomfortable with loads more than about 35 or 40 lbs for me.

@hknewman - every waterbody is different. Huge floods on the Yellowstone River below Livingston can be really fun big water to packraft. The same flood through town would be suicidal in packrafts. For tiny creeks, you need a lot of water. Like Dave said, I like to catch runoff after the peak, because wood *tends* to be cleaned out, but this isn't a hard and fast rule. I start keeping my eyes peeled, and rafting, once water levels start to rise.

@jfjobin - Very satisfied with the Stowaway. I still crave seat, elbow, and knee patches.

Edited by ryan on 03/27/2013 12:23:29 MDT.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
gloves on 03/27/2013 12:26:48 MDT Print View

Ah yes. I have the Hydroskin gloves as well and was using those when my fingers got dangerously cold. I'm still not sure why they did.

I have the NRS Natural Gloves, which as you know are basically the same as the Toaster Mitts but with fingers. I'm hoping that these will be a good improvement in warmth. I don't packraft in the dead of winter, so the Natural gloves will be used on early spring and fall trips.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Weight? on 03/27/2013 17:05:21 MDT Print View

The pictures show paddles that are kinda heavy compared to some of the paddles I've used.

Werner, Lendal and others offer much lighter options and Lendal in particular offer three and four piece paddles, for a more portable backpacking option?

Edited by brooklynkayak on 03/27/2013 17:07:16 MDT.

joe newton

Locale: Bergen, Norway
Dry bags on 03/28/2013 07:02:50 MDT Print View


Can you tell me what dry bags you guys are using in the photos? They look like they pack 'flatter' than the usual dry bags with oval bases.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Dry bags on 03/28/2013 07:05:11 MDT Print View

Those orange ones that came with the Arctic packs were the Pacific Outdoor Pneumo (LTW version I believe). I don't think they're made anymore though.

joe newton

Locale: Bergen, Norway
Re: dry bags on 03/28/2013 07:11:22 MDT Print View

Thanks Chris. Any recommendations for a similarly shaped dry bag?