Gear Hiking with Float Tubes

Questions about flyfishing gear, camping gear, whatever.


Active Member
While hiking up to [redacted] lake yesterday, I came to the realization that I didn't have a very good system or method for carrying my gear. My packing list includes a float tube, fins, waders, PFD, rod, net, etc - not too much weight to carry but many awkward, bulky items. While I do have backpack straps for my tube, I think I have too much pack weight to carry on the tube alone, in a fully inflated backpack mode.

A couple of ideas I came up with for discussion purposes:
  • Inflated float tube in backpack mode + chest pack for miscellaneous items and to balance out the weight distribution
  • Strap gear and float tube (inflated or deflated and rolled) to an external frame pack
How do you like to carry your gear when hiking into more remote locations? Any recommendations or general advice is appreciated, thanks!


Active Member
Buy an older external frame pack. Put your fins, pfd, waders and boots in the pack. Attach the float tube to the frame pack with bungy cords or straps. You may have to leave your float tube partly uninflated.

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I did that on a 2 1/2 mile hike into a lake in NE Oregon. Would have worked great, but there were a lot of large downed trees on the trail, so bushwhacking was a challenge. Before I do that again, I will have a lighter tube, waders, and fins.



WFF Supporter
Armed with my wilderness lite tube and an external frame pack, my issue is that my waders (Patagonia Swiftcurrent) are very heavy and bulky. I'm thinking about getting a cheap pair of lightweight waders for my rare backcountry trips. I'd appreciate any suggestions.


Active Member
I try to travel light too but it rarely works that way. Only once have I carried my waders in, I typically just wear them (probably wearing out the neoprene booties doing so).
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My buddy Jeff knows how to travel light and he uses a backpack - stuffs his waders in the backpack and hikes in sans waders do he doesn't get so sweaty (@bakerite rocks).
Exactly what I need for my Outcast tube. Which pack is this?


Active Member
It's one we picked up at a used gear store in Portland. I'm not home, will look when I get there, think it is a Jansport, but have used other packs we have around. The attachment is very simple. Will take pictures when home to post. I have a Wilderness Lite tube for longer hikes or lots of elevation. Most of the hiking on the east side of Oregon is more open so carrying tube inflated is no problem. Using frame pack is a little heavier than just straps on the back of the tube, but way more comfortable with belt etc.

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