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Packrafting : Great Alternative To Whitewater Rafting And Kayaking

I received an email from one of my readers about my " Ski-Raft-aineering " I wrote some time before. He noticed in the video that those folks used spray skirts ( a piece of kayaking gear worn around the waist to keep water out of the boat ) on their rafts. Something unusual for "regular" cheap inflatable boats you can buy from WallMart.

It caught my attention, and after doing some research, I learned more about packrafting.

Packrafts are small, portable inflatable boats designed for use in all bodies of water, including technical whitewater, ocean bays and fjords...the entire package is designed to be light and compact enough for an individual to negotiate rough terrain while carrying the rafting equipment together with supplies, shelter, and other survival or backcountry equipment.
Weigh less than nine pounds they can carry a single passenger and all his gear!

So, why are they a great alternative to whitewater rafting and kayaking ?

For WW (whitewater) rafting you will need a big 6-8 passengers boat, gear up all the paddlers, have a guide to navigate the river, transport the boat and paddlers from and back to put in spot, make sure they are all safe...

For WW kayaking you will still need to transport your boat between put in and pull out spots, it's relatively heavy to carry around, and if you don't know how to roll,it might be hard to get out of the boat. Even if you are kayaking in an inflatable kayak, it's easier to bail out of it, but you won't be able to roll ( as they don't have spray skirts).

The only downside ( for me ) was the price of the boats. Averaging between $ 700-1000 they are less than WW rafts and more than some of the WW kayak.

Nowadays, you can find pretty much everything on Amazon, though NRS PackRaft doesn't look quite like other packrafts, it might still work.

Photo: You can see more awesome pics of packrafting and other epic adventures in Alaska at Ground Truth Trekking

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