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ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Members Only Packrafting the Smith River Canyon
by Ryan Jordan
Eight packrafters spend four days floating sixty miles in one of Montana's most remote and inaccessible river canyons. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Gear Guide: Packrafts
by Ryan Jordan
Review the current offerings in the packraft market and find out which boats are most appropriate for a variety of purposes including alpine lake fishing, incidental river crossings, flatwater boating, expedition packrafting, and whitewater paddling. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Learning to Packraft: Ten First Steps for Backcountry Travelers
by Ryan Jordan
This article identifies the first steps on a path to packrafting competence for those specifically interested in actually carrying their raft on their back into remote environments! Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Learn to Packraft! Episode 2: Stillwater Basics
by Ryan Jordan
Episode 2 of "Learn to Packraft!" provides an overview of stillwater packrafting gear and techniques. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Traversing the Adirondacks by Foot and Packraft
by Ari “Ike” Jutkowitz
Quiet streams and raging waters make for an incredible experience in the backcountry. The ADKs are home to a diverse array of animals and have a very appealing lure. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Techniques for River Corridor Camping
by Ryan Jordan
Tarp camping is tricky enough. Couple that with unstable ground and strong winds and that perfect campsite can quickly become a nightmare. Learn all the tricks to stay dry and happy. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Paddle Scouts: BSA Packrafting the Sun River Drainage, Montana
by Eric Vann (Photos and Video: Ryan Jordan)
The lightweight philosophy coupled with high adventure creates a schoolroom for incredible growth. Witness it here. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Learn to Packraft! Episode 1: An Introduction to Packrafting
by Ryan Jordan
Episode 1 of "Learn to Packraft!" introduces you to the wonderful sport of packrafting! Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only SUL BikeRaftFishPacking (BFRP)
by Ryan Jordan
An SUL approach to multisport: bikepacking, packrafting, and tenkara fly fishing. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Pack-and-Paddle Wilderness Route Planning: Predicting Stream Flows
by Ryan Jordan
Guidelines for evaluating watershed geography and streamflow to help ask the question: is this creek runnable in a packraft? Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Spring Raftpacking (and Packrafting)
by Ryan Jordan
In the high country, runoff doesn’t always coincide with what we all consider to be backpacking season, where trails are dry and the days are sunny. That being the case, here are some tips for trekking, packrafting, and camping in the spring snow and muck. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Packing for Adventure Travel: Ultralight Tips to Integrate Wilderness and Urban Kit
by Ryan Jordan
Packing to combine adventure travel and wilderness recreation. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Yellowstone River Packrafting
by Ryan Jordan
An Introduction to Packrafting in the Yellowstone River Corridor between its headwaters and Big Timber, MT. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Alpacka Stowaway Dry Suit Review
by Ryan Jordan
A 22-ounce waterproof dry suit designed for packrafters with an eye towards saving weight and bulk on longer expeditions. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Commentary
Members Only Commentary: The Packraft in 2013
by David Chenault
Ten years ago, packrafters had few options. Today, the choices are many, and the future looks very promising. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
24 Hours: Packrafting the Grande Ronde River
by Ryan Jordan
A new installment of the "24" series - stories about "24 hour" overnight trips. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Expeditions
Members Only The 2012 Alaska Mountain Wilderness Classic
by David Chenault
Is this the longest, toughest, roughest or hardest? The beauty of it is that at the finish no one knew or cared. Every competitor was left with indelible experiences, challenges accepted and honestly won or lost. Each had started with a clean slate and had accomplished every step in the wilderness through their own efforts. -Adrian Crane, writing about the Classic in Ultrarunning (1986) Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only A Lightweight Guide to the Crown of the Continent
by David Chenault
Backpacking and Packrafting Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Honeymoon at Isle Royale (Trip Report)
by Travis Leanna
Newlyweds Travis and Gretchen Leanna walk and packraft through Isle Royale National Park Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Trend Reports
Prospects for 2012: New and Noteworthy Gear
by Ryan Jordan
News from the cottage industry is conspicuously absent from Outdoor Retailer, where even modest booths can be more costly than a serious gear-buying habit. So, here are a few new and noteworthy pieces of gear from smaller manufacturers that were either released late in 2011 or are coming in 2012. Keep these items on your radar as you prepare for the coming season! Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Commentary
2011 Backpacking Light Staff Picks
by BackpackingLight.com Staff
Backpacking Light staff pick their favorite gear/cool dealio/thingy-dingy of 2011. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Commentary
Members Only Cottage Stagnation and Recent Gems
by Ryan Jordan
Commentary on the (lack of) gear you can love from the cottage industry. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Expeditions
With a Capital C: My 2011 Alaska Mountain Wilderness Classic
by David Chenault
Race report, gear and food, and, for the really ambitious, pointers for entering a wilderness race. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Expeditions
Members Only Across Iceland by Packraft
by Alastair Humphreys
Encountering waterfalls, glaciers, mountains, rivers, volcanoes, and boiling hot springs during a difficult but delightful Icelandic summer. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Fast and Light Winter Travel
by Luc Mehl
Insights from the Alaska Mountain Wilderness Ski Classic. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Commentary
2010 Backpacking Light Staff Picks
by BackpackingLight.com Staff
Backpacking Light staff pick their favorite gear/cool dealio/place of 2010. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Rapids, Wolves, and Winter
by Forrest McCarthy, photos by Moe Witschard
With amazingly light loads that included skis, packrafts, dry suits, winter camping gear, and a week’s worth of food, we set out to visit the Frank Church Wilderness in winter to prove a point. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only MYOG: The Poddle
by Dan Baker
Hiking poles + paddle blades = the Poddle, the ultimate multi-tool for hiking and packrafting or kayaking! Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Photo Essay: A Traverse of the Bob Marshall Wilderness by Foot and Packraft
by Ryan Jordan
We entered at Benchmark (on the South Fork Sun), exited at Silvertip (on the Spotted Bear), and had the time of our lives over a few relaxing days while making long miles in a packraft on the South Fork. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Podcasts
Wilderness Cred for the Packrafting Noobs
by Addie Bedford, video by Rob Bedford
I was perfectly content to let others do all the lightweight lifting, but at the first chance of a packrafting class (learning to play without buying the gear!), I jumped... and pulled my husband, Rob, with me. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Alpacka Ultralight Paddle Review
by Ryan Jordan
A packrafting paddle is not a particularly special thing. It’s simply a kayak paddle, capable of being broken down into two or four pieces for easy stowage while inside or attached to a pack. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
GoPro Wide Helmet Cam Review
by Ryan Jordan
Practical application review on using the helmet cam in the backcountry... essentially, how does it do? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Gear Lists
Two in One Boat: Sharing a Packraft on a River Trip
by Ryan Jordan
With 40 lbs from skin out for both father and son, would our contingency plan of "snuggling for warmth" come into play? Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Two in One Boat: A Photo and Video Essay from Montana's Jefferson River
by Ryan Jordan
Father and son float trip in the lowlands. Experience Ryan Jordan's wild ride through skeeters and heat exhaustion, including running low on key supplies. Or... not. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Packrafting Utah's Escalante River in Late March
by Bill Stadwiser; photos by Bill Stadwiser and Andy Heath
At 1.6 cfs in the Escalante, would there be more packrafting or raft-packing for our intrepid explorers? Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Packraft Wet Reentry Photo Demo
by Matt Hage (photos) and Roman Dial (text)
Foot entrapment among submerged rocks is the leading killer of whitewater boaters. Think about it: the most common way to die while boating is by doing something OUTSIDE your boat! Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Podcasts
Video: Packraft Wet Reentry
by Carol Crooker
Wet reentry is one of the most common rescues you'll perform while packrafting. Be sure to work the kinks out of your technique ahead of time so this self-rescue tool will be honed when you need it. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Podcasts
Podcast: Packrafting Safety Tips from the Experts Part 3
by Carol Crooker
Seven packrafters with a total of over thirty-five years of experience under their bums share the safety gear they won't be without, skills that have kept them coming back for more, common - and dangerous - mistakes, and real life rescue stories. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Podcasts
Podcast: Packrafting Safety Tips from the Experts Part 2
by Carol Crooker
Seven packrafters with a total of over thirty-five years of experience under their bums share the safety gear they won't be without, skills that have kept them coming back for more, common - and dangerous - mistakes, and real life rescue stories. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Podcasts
Podcast: Packrafting Safety Tips from the Experts Part 1
by Carol Crooker
Seven packrafters with a total of over thirty-five years of experience under their bums share the safety gear they won't be without, skills that have kept them coming back for more, common - and dangerous - mistakes, and real life rescue stories. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Podcasts
Video: Have Fun and Avoid Drowning - A How-To for Packrafters
by Carol Crooker
Highlights from the April 2008 Rescue 3 International Whitewater Rescue Technician course for packrafters held in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Podcasts
Podcast: Alpacka Packraft Safety Design Features
by Carol Crooker
Designer Sheri Tingey talks about the history of safety design in Alpacka packrafts and the latest tweaks she's made to the boats to improve whitewater performance and safety. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Commentary
2008 Backpacking Light Staff Picks
by BackpackingLight.com Staff
Backpacking Light staff pick their favorite gear of 2008. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only An Ultralighter Paddles on the Dark Side: Packrafting a Remote Canyon "Heavy" Style
by Carol Crooker
Packrafters need to limit their gear so it fits on the bow of their six-foot-long craft. This means dehydrated food for dinner, sleeping under a tarp and wearing wet clothes dry. What is river running like when big rafts haul the food and gear...Can an ultralight packrafter be enticed to the dark side? Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Packraft Rating (PR) System
by Roman Dial
Roman Dial demystifies whitewater for the packrafter wanting to understand the natural progression of learning to packraft in the context of increasingly difficult whitewater. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Notes from the Field
Members Only Packrafting the Bear Trap Canyon
by Bill Stadwiser
Bill Stadwiser shares his notes on packrafting Bear Trap Canyon with Ryan Jordan. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Podcasts
Packraft Trekking in Montana's Bear Trap Canyon (Videocast)
by Ryan Jordan and Bill Stadwiser
Ryan Jordan and Bill Stadwiser explore the Bear Trap Canyon Wilderness (the nation's first BLM-managed Wilderness Area) by foot and packraft. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Packrafting the Grand Canyon
by Roman Dial
Roman Dial leads first legal (permitted) packrafting trek in the Grand Canyon. Read More...
ARTICLES People Podcasts
Podcast: The Fight to Permit Packrafting in the Grand Canyon
by Roman Dial and Carol Crooker
Carol Crooker interviews Roman Dial about his experience with the NPS for securing a permit to packraft the Grand Canyon. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Ultralight Packrafting in Cataract Canyon
by Forrest McCarthy
A river explorer takes on the Colorado River in a packraft. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Gear Lists
Packrafting Gear List
by Ryan Jordan
Read More...

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