2010-06-30

Day Boating

I've recently found fun and adrenaline, plus a great way to spend one day, in day boating with my packraft. Simply put, hike in and float out.
It allows me to go very light and minimalistic (no backpack necessary!), plan for current conditions (weather, water level & class), make a quick adventure, get on rivers and creeks not conducive to longer trips, and easily gain experience in the packraft (compared to trying to fit a long trip into a weekend).

Everything I bring can be carried on my PFD:
Packraft
Inflatable Floor
Inflation Bag
Ladder Lock Straps
Rain Jacket & Pants
First Aid Kit (tape & pills)
Matches & Firestarter
Food (candy bar ~300 calories)
1L Platypus
Camera & Tripod
River Knife
Boat Repair Kit (duct tape on paddle)
Sunscreen
Whistle
Paddle (in hand)
Throw Bag (optional)
Helmet (optional)
Headnet (optional)



The technique I use to get away with only bringing a candy bar and one liter of water for 10-20 miles of hiking and rafting is 'pre-eating' and 'pre-hydrating,' as I call them. On the way to the destination and immediately prior to leaving the car, I eat and hydrate as much as I can or, at least enough to stay plenty satiated and hydrated until about the time I put in to float, which is when I eat the candy bar and drink about half a liter of water. This leaves the other half liter for the float out. Since the car is not far away and is stocked with food and water, I can finish the hike & float empty.
If the weather turns bad or an injury occurs, I can put in early and float out. By following the waterway on the way in, I have the option of easy return to the vehicle, parked near the river or creek.

The next step is to incorporate my bike in order to cover more miles on the way in, to get a longer float out.
Strap the packraft on the bike then strap the bike on the packraft.
More to come on this topic as more rivers and creeks are checked off the 'butt-boating' list.

Check out Roman's write-up on the PFD carry system. (Tip #5)

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