Small water rafting

Based on my extensive experience locally, and more limited experience elsewhere, in the wilderness there are a lot of waterways which have more than enough to packraft, but not enough water to be consistently free of wood.  In a place like Alaska, which generally lacks human-built trails, the calculus is different.  But in the lower 48 the efficiency of these streams and rivers is often questionable at best, at least in terms of time from A to B.  Over a long trip floating is often more fun, and with proper terrain reading and efficient technique what seems like slow floating with frequent portaging can still be at least as fast as hiking the parallel trail.

The only way to cultivate this is of course to get out and practice, which is both fun and frustrating.


7 responses to “Small water rafting”

  1. so very tempting- certainly looks fun :)

    1. If you want to come up this summer and (f or example) run a good chunk of the North Fork (perfect for newbs), let me know. You’d be welcome to borrow my gear.

  2. Thanks Dave, I just might take you up on that offer.


  3. Hey Dave, have you looked at or tried the Klymit LWD? It’s cheap and light and could help my wife and I dip our toes (yes, I did) into packrafting. Couldn’t find a mention of it by searching, so I thought this to be the most appropriate place to ask.

    1. I haven’t paddled one, but in person the design is exceedingly underwhelming. I think it’d be a wet and spongy ride.

      1. Thanks for the reply, I’ll look for something else.

  4. […] Fork of the Blackfoot (upstream from the confluence with the East Fork is the sort of scrappy but eminently floatable creek that will never be popular.  The grade is gentler, but the flows required and the brush and […]

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