Want to Plan a Packraft Trip?

Discussion in 'Camping, Hiking, Cooking' started by JesseC, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. Anyone have interest in planning out a 4 day hike/packraft/fish trip sometime this spring - I'm thinking may, june, or later in sept, oct.

    The idea would be to hike in at least a dozen miles, then raft back through some water that doesn't get a ton of pressure.

    If you've got legs - might as well use them while you can :)

    I'm not dead set on a particular location, but wouldn't mind dropping some coin on a quick flight to CO (black canyon), MT (John Day), or ID (?).

  2. You think too much...what are you DOING, that is the question.
  3. I'd be down. But my 12' cataraft is a bitch to hike with
  4. Until I clicked on it, I thought this was going to be a backpacking with raft kind of trip. After reading your post Jesse, I'm not sure what kind of trip you're talking about. You mention hiking at least a dozen miles and then floating out, but your examples are rivers with drive to access at the top and bottom ends of float trips. The only raft I'm hiking any distance with is my Curtis, and would barely carry me with my backpack in it and isn't intended for river float trips. At the other end is Evan's cataraft.

    I was looking at an interesting float up north, but it would result in floating into the Pacific Ocean with no simple shuttle back to the car; plus I have no idea if the river is navigable.

    Black Canyon has some Class IV from what I read, so that's probably outa' my league. John Day is a wonderful float and camping trip according to everyone I've talked to, but hotter than Hades in the summer, and fishing for spiny rays isn't my highest priority.

    Gotta' come up with something tho. With the rivers punched, I spent yesterday afternoon exploring maps and day dreaming about fishing trips to Mexico and British Columbia.

  5. I have my lottery permit in for a MF of the Salmon trip in July....
  6. You lucky dog!!!!!!
  7. I don't know what rivers - I'm open to just about all the ideas. Here's the dream;

    -2 days of backpacking into/up a river out of road reach.
    -3 days of floating that river
    -2 days of deleting all my pictures of the virgin trout I've defiled with loving hands.

    That last part kind of creeps me out, but it's what I want to do. I'm going to be scouring some maps looking for potential spots; rivers without roads - heinous tangles of blue lines waiting to be explored.

    Figured I'd just get the conversation started and see where it'd take me. Big things have humble beginnings right? :)
  8. Jesse,

    We need some kind of understanding here. What's your idea of an acceptable pack weight?

    I've been upgraded my packbacking gear over the past decade. The pack I carry is rated for 30# max. I'm likin' the ultra-light stuff and have no intention of ever going expidition style again.

    My Curtis raft weighs two pounds. My WM weighs about 30#, but is suitable for a multi-day float trip. Most rafts made for river use begin at above 50#, without rowing frames or oars. Not intended for packpacking by anybody I know. The closest to what you're describing can probably be achieved with an Alpacka inflatable raft, but that's about it.

  9. Sg

    The alpacka Denali is exactly what I had in mind.
  10. To elaborate a little more - I figure if I pack with some discernment - I could get my pack down to 35lbs WITH the alpacka and oars. Have you seen those crafts loaded up? They look pretty stable. I wouldn't want to be fishing out of one on the move, but it seems like the perfect vehicle for moving to sweet spots - getting out and fishing - then moving on down.

    I'd also be down for a watermaster trip. I have the older silvertip model which is a bit lighter than the new beef boats. Mumbles and I did a two day trip on eastern washington and the boats performed great loaded up with an extra 35lbs of gear.

  11. Jesse, how much does your smaller silvertip weight, fully packed for rolling down a trail? With your minimal gear how much do you think you'd have on your back and how far do you really plan to hike in? I'd be up for a hike in, float to an extraction point trip. Problem is that the water master weight, despite a great craft, is a bit much for a trip of much distance. I know you are way more fit than I am, how far do you think you could go with that on your back...plus whatever else you need for the trip?
  12. Shit. I think with a watermaster (70lb easy) stuffed with some overnight gear- that's at least 90lbs. Unreal. I could probably do about 4 miles with a hundred pound pack, but that's just self imposed misery. The watermaster pack would dig into the shoulders pretty well - that's for sure.

    If it's a backpacking trip - I would much rather use the lightweight Alpacka and pack in about 12 miles for a nice long float the way back down.

    Ed - to your point though. There's a lot of guys with watermasters and I'm sure there's a lot of awesome floats that wouldn't require a long hiking haul with gear. I can't think of any off the top of my head, but it might be good to start a group of people that are interested in some 2-3 day float trips. What do you think?

    I think we've got two separate options;

    1) Backpacking long distances with Alpackas
    2) Weekend trips with WaterMasters
  13. With the Hoh, Yellowstone trip and a couple of long weekend trips a possibilty for me this summer I might be maxing out my fishing adventure points that are not a lake or beach nearby. I do want to do a multiple day float camping along the way. Even the Yakima where you put in in the upper canyon and float to the lower canyon is appealing. In considering float trip plans I've been given recommenations like the Salmon, Flathead, Grand Ronde, John Day, Yakima for trout above the dam, Yakima below the dam for smallies or the Rogue. I'm sure that there are so many options that I'm unaware of, but fishing for three or four days with only the gear you got dropped off with is very appealing. I've done that hiking type of trip before. Dropped a point A by a support vehicle (spouse glad to get rid of you for a few days) and exit at point B some time later and some distance away.
  14. you might consider having renting 2 horsemen and having them pack in your boats while you hike in your personal gear. should be easy to load a horse up with two WM, oars, and PFDs.
  15. or llamas!

    You know what - forget it. I'll just plan on backpacking without a boat. How about that...
  16. A really cool kind of trip is to take your gear and WM or raft to Dillingham, AK and then have a float plane service drop you off on a lake or pond near the headwaters of a river and float down for a week. Done that twice and would love to go again. Very much a wilderness experience, and the fishing's pretty darn good too.

  17. Trips that would meet your criteria include a trip on the South Fork Flathead (MT) from Youngs Creek Ford down to Mid-Creek takeout,

    Also, the Minam (OR) from Reds Horse Ranch to Minam would be good. You could also packraft the Wenaha (OR) from Elk Flats down to Troy.

    Not too difficult but you need to watch for log jams.

    Besides the various Alpaca type packrafts that are pretty good at doing some pretty hairy stuff, there are other ways to get quality expedition type boats to wilderness put-ins without the use of a plane or horse. I have taken my Aire IK and strapped a kayak wheel cart on it, taken my main and extra paddle and strapped it along either side up front, loaded it with my backpack gear and pulled it like a mormon hand cart on some several mile trips. Of course you need a regular trail for this, with minimal blowdown across the trail to make it not a total PITA
  18. Yeah, OK!
    But how are you going to get a licensed llama, (with it's handler, & llama chow), from Argentina, across all the borders & into Colorado?
    I'm thinking that from what you've been saying is that you're leaning towards doing a float tube/hiking trip. Just because of the weight factors involved, right? They must have shortened the WM's frame by halves to get such a small pack on that llama, lol!

    Out of curiosity though, .......
    What types of food stuff are, or would you be taking for a week/2week long trip? All at once? Or are you meeting the wife at predesignated stops to replenish your supplies? Or are you living off the land? Maybe you're planning on eating the fish you catch, berries & nuts, mushrooms, or root veggies you can find growing wild? I think the farmers might have some buckshot or the local County sheriff chasing you down if you decided to kill & eat one of his cattle that you'll see along the way.
  19. I think I've narrowed down some options;

    I've got my pack down to about 36-41 lbs depending upon the length of the trip and the amount of water that I'll need to take. This means that I'll be using the alpacka. I plan on hiking about 20 miles in, floating a couple nice sections away from the trail and some lakes that don't have any trails leading up to them. Should be a fun exploration trip.

    If you have access to a packraft, feel free to drop me a PM - already have one other buddy in on the idea. We are targeting mid June. Hopefully the snow pack cooperates. If not - it'll be a early September trip.
  20. Now that sounds like a great trip. I'd definitely be up for something like that.

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