Where my packrafters at?

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by JesseC, Aug 12, 2012.

  1. JesseC

    JesseC Active Member

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    I'm just getting into packrafting and am having a hell of a time getting my gear load down to a manageable bow weight. What do you guys recommend for a three day weekend jaunt?

    Also - lets just start a general pack rafting conversation....

    -Have any of you figured out a good way to transport a spey rod?
    -Anyone up for a long hike in and float down - hiked up 10mi of an OP river, pretty amazing.

    Just getting the conversation rolling. Haven't run into many packrafters here in WA.
     
  2. Grant Richie

    Grant Richie Member

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    What are you putting in there to have a heavy bow? And which packraft are you using? If you can pack the packraft and all your gear in 10 miles, it shouldn't be too heavy of a load for your bow. Or if it is, you may need a bigger packraft.

    When you say transport a spey rod do you mean set up so you can stop and use it easily, not just stuck in a rod tube? My last packrafting trip I had a 9 1/2' fly rod set up the whole time and at first I tried putting the reel up by my seat between my legs with it sticking over the front, resting on my dry bag. That was often in the way. I found it much better to put the reel up towards my feet, rod between my body and arm pointing out the back. I know it doesn't sound good, but that gave me the best range of motion to paddle and didn't bounce around and get in the way.

    I was using a Baylee 1 River Runner and you could easily strap a Scotty Rod holder with the float tube attachments. You would simply run the straps through the self bailing holes in the floor. Oh yes, it is a self-bailing packraft and yes, if you used it you would want to buy it. I actually bought three Baylee's to rent and sell out our raft rental business at Minam.

    I first bought an NRS packraft and tested it out on the Wenaha, then took it into Joseph Creek for some class III+ to Class 4 whitewater. I wont do that again and decided the NRS packraft was not good enough for what I wanted. After doing more research I had to get one of the Baylee River Runners. I haven't had them too long but have taken them on test trips down the Wallowa River, hiked in to the Eagle Cap Wilderness with them twice to run the Minam River. The first time with another guy down Moss Springs trailhead to Red's Horse Ranch and floated out to the Minam Store (about 23 miles or so), second trip was solo going in the Bearwallow trailhead to Standley, and then dropping down into the Minam several miles upriver from Red's Horse Ranch and floating out about 25 miles to the Minam Store.

    I am not up to driving to the coast where there is bound to be more people, but if you want to come to eastern Oregon you can certainly join me for a packrafting trip.
     
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  3. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Six piece 12' Spey rod. Pack only what you need.
     
  4. Brian Miller

    Brian Miller Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout

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    Wow, those Baylees look like GREAT boats.
    Jesse, what are you using for shelter? Bivvy, or better yet, hammock? Down bag or hammock quilts.
     
  5. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

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    Jesse, while I haven't packrafted per se, I have used my Scadden Escalade fishing IK for trips, including a 3 day hike/paddle/fishing trip into Ross Lake. My gear list was pretty small and fit into one medium dry bag. I took a Hennessey Hammock Ultralight and a light down bag for sleeping. Dehydrated food with a Ti stove, pot, and spork, a water filter straw and bottle made up the kitchen. I had the 10 essentials but kept it small and light. Clothing was also minimal and included one set of dry stuff for camp and one set of wet clothes for fishing and some stuff did double duty; for instance, my paddle jacket was also my camp rain jacket and I wore my felt-soled neoprene paddling booties for hiking and fishing. They weren't ideal for the 10 mile hike while creek fishing a tributary but when you are going light, you make sacrifices. My boat and paddling gear accounted for the vast majority of the load as for safety reasons, I don't skimp on boating gear no matter what. But my drybag of other gear was about 20 lbs including fishing stuff. If you have ultralight backpacking stuff, it shouldn't be too hard to get your bow weight down.
     
  6. fly-by

    fly-by Active Member

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    I'm up for a hike up/float down. Sent you a PM with contact info.
     
  7. JesseC

    JesseC Active Member

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    Grant - just checking in now that it's been about 4 years. How are those Baylee self bailing rafts holding up? They look like an attractive option from a design / function / weight perspective.

    Do you if the beast could hold two people- or is that asking for some trouble?

    I really wish someone would make one with an open floor for us fishermen types - but I think the impact on the structure is too much for a lightweight craft.
     
  8. Shapp

    Shapp Active Member

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    Bow mounted bags will soon be a thing of the past, 3 different brands now using water proof zippers so you can store your gear inside the boat, making lower center of gravity, and better for whitewater too. Also Aire is developing a longer packraft more akin to an inflatable kayak so you will be able to store your gear behind the seat like a traditional overnight IK setup.
     
  9. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

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    Jesse, I totally agree! I have talked to several of these companies, including Aire, about it but I don't think they think there is a market for it. I've been toying with doing my own mod. I've heard rumors that Larry Tullis may have cut up an Alpacka so you might try to contact him, ak thought that might be what inspired the UL Assault.


    While not as light, Google a Scadden Esclade. It was made in the early 2000's by Aire and is basically a packraft/kayak with an open floor and weighs 18lbs. There was also a Scadden Deschutes which was more of a hardcore whitewater pack raft/kayak/open floor boat. I have both. Outcast made a UL version with a PVC bottom and fabric top that I seem to recall weighs only 12 or 14 lbs. It had a full floor but the center section could be removed or flipped up for use with fins. It was called an Outcast Y2K.

    All of these boats have a urethane bladder and either inflatable or hard foam seats. They all have a big cargo deck in back and a little shelf in front, along with side cargo pockets. They are all meant to be used with a kayak paddle, just like a packraft. Unfortunately, none are as light as most Alpackas or the new Aire BAKraft.
     
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  10. Dan Nelson

    Dan Nelson Hiker, Fisher, Writer, Bum

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  11. JesseC

    JesseC Active Member

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    Sue have you had a chance to check out the p-49 pack raft in real life?
     
  12. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

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    No, but that one has always intrigued me for AK fly outs trips as it seems so bomber.
     
  13. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Just did my first packraft trip last week. I bought a used Alpacka packraft a couple years ago, but haven't practiced enough to feel confident with it in water that I'm completely comfortable in with my Watermaster. I need a different pack. My ultralight GoLite is enough for backpacking but doesn't hold the packraft, paddle, or fishing gear. I used my old North Face Burma Road, which is expedition sized and held everything, but it doesn't seem to fit me well any more, or needs other adjustments. My pack wouldn't fit in the dry bag, so I stacked and lashed the dry bag on top of the pack onto the bow of the packraft; not a perfect solution.

    And there is no good way to carry a Spey rod in a packraft; just the nature of the beast.

    Sg
     
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  14. golfman44

    golfman44 5-Time Puget Sound Steelhead Guide of the Year

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    AIRE's biggerbakraft should be out next year, it's ten ft long and roughly ten pounds. Could be an option for you Jesse to fit two people.

    They are self bailing and much more stable in water than Alpackas and what not. Self bailing = no skirt = easier transportation of rods. I went with the single person bakraft 'hybrid' as it is more portable (7 lbs!) and I have no ambition to packraft mandem.

    bakraft is the cream colored one in this vid



    @bhudda makes some sweet rod socks, also helps with transportation.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016
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  15. Shapp

    Shapp Active Member

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    My understanding is that Aire's bigger bakraft in current development is not for "2 people" It is for hauling gear for 1 person on multiday expeditions. Also I believe it will be in the 9' range. I actually gave them a call last year to see if they would build that same boat for me and Aire said it was already in development. Can't wait to see one and get one.