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New Whitewater Packraft ... Thoughts?

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March 21, 2013
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March 27, 2013 - 11:05 am
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Alpacka is developing a whitewater Packraft that is getting to the final stages of testing. I was lucky enough to travel down to New Zealand and do some of this testing. I wanted start a discussion about the potential the boat offers and also the dangers it may present by getting people into places over their head. Attending college in Baltimore I invested in a packraft so I could to store it in my dorm room and haven’t done much hard shelling since. They have their place and wanted to hear peoples thoughts on if they should enter this scene.

The Video from the trip can be found at:

A full write of the trip can be found at:

Deerfield, NH

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April 22, 2007
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April 10, 2013 - 8:41 pm
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[quote author=wyattroscoe]…They have their place and wanted to hear peoples thoughts on if they should enter this scene..
Absolutely! People are going to find a way to get in over their head no matter what equipment is provided so might as well develop it to their best advantage.

Thanks for the video! I am anxious to see the details and specs on the WW version. I was going to buy a packraft last time I was a couple dollars ahead but I did not know if I would be able to make it WW friendly enough. I decided to wait for the dedicated version to consider the options.

I definately plan on getting some type of packraft before I go back home. There are a lot of rivers I used to hike up as a kid to go fishing. After I discovered WW boating it dawned on me those same rivers might be fun to descend also. Packrafting would make such a trip feasible.

Gray hair, blue boat, rusty vehicle, brown beer, red solo cup. Avatar is camping at Northern Waters during the muddy season.


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April 11, 2013 - 8:47 am
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That looks like a mighty fine, fun tool.



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April 11, 2013 - 10:06 am
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Great website with some fantastic pics. I was very doubtful about the whole packrafting thing, figuring inflatable boats were for n00bs, but tagging the summit of Mt. Whitney on a multi-day boating trip seems to prove otherwise (for those that don’t know, that’s something like 6000′ of vertical, over 15 miles, at 14,000 feet, then throw in another 15 or so miles downhill 6,000 vertical feet… that hike has been done with loaded creek boats, but it probably wasn’t much fun).


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April 11, 2013 - 11:06 am
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Looks sweet. Clearly, in the hands of experienced boaters this looks like a sick alternative to hiking the ol’ creeker in. I like the green potential of it too – eliminating shuttle, helicopter, etc. I’d definately use one given the opportunity or trip requirments…



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April 30, 2010
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April 11, 2013 - 12:16 pm
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Haven’t seen the new generation of packrafts. I started packrafting years ago, when I worked in Alaska – mainly as a way to get out of the mountains after climbing expeditions since in many parts of AK you either travel by air or by river.

I knew little about paddling back then. This was how I got into paddling and I definitely had some close calls in big water that is ice cold being glacial melt, with strainers, and with grizzly bears. In retrospect these trips were amazing experiences and I have no regrets. Now I creek boat and playboat and haven’t inflated my packraft in years. But I do miss it and it adds a whole other dimension to a hiking, climbing or ski trip by doing a river component, that I can’t say enough about.

I do have friends in AK who have been rolling their packrafts with thigh straps for a couple of years now. So that may make things a bit safer….

The new boats in that video look more like a hybrid between the old packrafts and an inflatable kayak. Pretty cool. Also looks like there’s more boat aft of the paddler to help prevent the infamous packraft backflip in an unloaded boat???

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