Backpacking Light Wilderness Skills I - Introduction to Packrafting (WS1-IPR)


Backpacking Light Wilderness Skills I - Introduction to Packrafting (WS1-IPR)

WS1-IPR provides an introduction to flatwater and Class I-II river packrafting philosophy, techniques, and gear (3 days).

Course Overview

Learn basic and intermediate techniques that will prepare you for planning and executing your own packrafting trips.

Welcome Packet

Backpacking Light Wilderness Trekking School Welcome Packet The Welcome Packet is a course overview sent to students upon sign-up. It provides all the information you need to know what to expect of the course from gear, possible weather conditions, terrain, et al.

Curriculum

  • Gear for packrafting and packraft trekking;
  • Packrafting technique on flat water and Class I-II whitewater;
  • Packrafting gear maintenance and repair;
  • Techniques and considerations for packraft trekking and camping.

Course Logistics

Day 1: Arrive at our retreat center early for a morning of seminars featuring packrafting gear, an overview of packrafting, and general instruction. Spend the afternoon on still water learning packrafting techniques, wet exit and entry, paddling, and packing. The evening will be spent packing for an overnight packrafting trip on a local river.

Day 2-3: Leave early for a 2-day, 25+ mile packrafting trip on a local river. We'll camp en route on an island in the middle of the river. Learn to load your packraft, read river currents, paddle and ferry to avoid obstacles, and more. Experience great fellowship around a campfire on an island campsite, be lulled to sleep by the sound of the river, then get up and do it again! End on Day 3 back at our retreat center for a short debrief.

  • Duration: 3 days
  • Intended Audience: This course is aimed at anyone interested in learning how to packraft, and learn the techniques the blend packrafting with trekking and camping. Minimum age is 18.
  • Start/End: Mountain Retreat Center in Montana's Gallatin Range
  • Fly In/Out: Bozeman, MT (Airport Code: BZN)
  • Packrafting Locale(s): Madison, Gallatin, Jefferson, Missouri, and/or Yellowstone Rivers, as dictated by water conditions.

What is the Student:Instructor ratio for this course?

There will be no more than three students per instructor on these courses to maximize quality instruction, safety, and acceleration of your learning.

Do I need my own packraft for this course?

No! Backpacking Light will supply packrafts. We have a diverse fleet that will give you the opportunity to try both solo and 2-person boats, "dory-style" boats, and both undecked and decked (whitewater) boats. We also have "super-ultralight" boats that weigh less than three pounds!

However, you should rent or purchase your own kayak paddle (1 or 2 piece is fine for this course, 210-230 cm in length, and suitable for river kayaking) and a Class III PFD. You will get wet and swim in potentially cold water, so a neoprene wetsuit or dry suit is also required.

More Frequently Asked Questions

Be sure to Review the FAQ before enrolling in this course.

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