Packrafting

Mickldo

Ray Mears
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Who has played with packrafts? I have only just discovered packrafts and I reckon I am going to have to get one and give them a go.

What are packrafts? You know those dinky little blow up rubber dinghies you play with in the pool? Well these look similar but they are a lot stronger and lighter. They are specialized watercraft designed for backpacking. They weigh less than 2 kgs yet they will happily float you and your pack across any water that gets in your way. In fact they are so good that some adventurers are deliberately picking routes that take advantage of water ways. One trip I saw was of some guys that packrafted 4000kms from Seattle to the Aleutian Islands, hiking, rafting and even using the rafts as sleds across ice and snow.

I reckon they will be perfect for exploring along the creeks all around the Great Sandy Straits. There are a lot of Mangrove Jack and Grunter in the upper reaches of Wathumba Creek on Fraser Island and some of Fraser's creeks even have Jungle Perch apparently. I could hike/ wade the shallow sections and drag the raft behind me and then float the deeper pools.
 

Tas

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I have also looked into pack rafts there seems to be rafts to suit all situations
And definitely a good bit of gear for tassie
 

Thrud

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They look great fun, and some, like the scout are very lightweight...but the cost!
 

Mickldo

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Thanks for the replies guys.

A tyre tube would definitely be a way cheaper (and wetter) option but the problem would be inflating it. The proper packrafts have a cool inflation bag technique that takes almost no time to inflate.

The Alpackas are definitely king of the heap but also expensive. That being said I spent more on my kayak and didn't blink at its price. I have been looking at other alternatives to see if there is anything else that might be suitable but cheaper.

Tassie would be great and I'd love to get there one day but I love the SEQ area for all of its waterways. There are dozens of treks I'd love to do just within an hour or two from home.
 

Tas

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I agree mate, the inflating system is ideal for that purpose and nothing cheaper offers the same options, I know a few dedicated fly fishermen/ hikers who have the alpaca pack rafts here In tas and NSW and they swear by them , get one and give us a review on the Mary !
 

wameron36

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Got pretty excited about them not long ago also, but was then put off for now by the price. I'm sure it's worth the money, unfortunately I just don't have it spare...

This video here first got me interested:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFtAEOhnQPo

Still interested in buying something cheap just for a bit of a play on, experimenting with multiday hiking/rafting trips. Can be done if you're careful!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFtAEOhnQPo
 

Mickldo

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I agree mate, the inflating system is ideal for that purpose and nothing cheaper offers the same options, I know a few dedicated fly fishermen/ hikers who have the alpaca pack rafts here In tas and NSW and they swear by them , get one and give us a review on the Mary !
Do you know if they bought them locally or imported them? Does anyone in Oz sell them?

I fly fish too so that is one thing I want to try out in a packraft as well.
 

Mickldo

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Got pretty excited about them not long ago also, but was then put off for now by the price. I'm sure it's worth the money, unfortunately I just don't have it spare...

This video here first got me interested:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFtAEOhnQPo

Still interested in buying something cheap just for a bit of a play on, experimenting with multiday hiking/rafting trips. Can be done if you're careful!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFtAEOhnQPo
Thanks for the vid. Hadn't seen that one before.

I'm seriously thinking about biting the bullet on an Alpacka but I reckon I will probably get a cheapy first give it a try before I spend a motza.
 

Mickldo

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Mick - here is a review of a cheaper packraft http://bushwalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=16474
Thanks for the link Simon. I'd heard of these on Pinterest too. I reckon these might suit me better than the alpacka as it is half the weight and a fifth of the price. I won't be doing any mega rapids or dragging it sled like across snow and ice so I don't think the less durable material will be as big a problem as for other people.

And cheers Tas.
 

Blake

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My mate has an alpaca and used it on a 5 day trip down the Nymboida river he tackled class 4 rapids in it pretty damn comfortably. The trip report is here. The river was a bit low at time and there were alot of sharp rocks which we were running over. After 5 days of being absolutely smashed it had not a single mark or scratch. I wouldn't hesitate for one second buying an Alpaca. They are slower on the flat than a yak and if you are doing big rapids you will get wet unless you have the skirt attachment and they are probably a bit harder to roll but ive seen people roll them believe it or not.

For taking on steady moving aussie streams and rivers they are the bomb.
 
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Mickldo

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My mate has an alpaca and used it on a 5 day trip down the Nymboida river he tackled class 4 rapids in it pretty damn comfortably. The trip report is here. The river was a bit low at time and there were alot of sharp rocks which we were running over. After 5 days of being absolutely smashed it had not a single mark or scratch. I wouldn't hesitate for one second buying an Alpaca. They are slower on the flat than a yak and if you are doing big rapids you will get wet unless you have the skirt attachment and they are probably a bit harder to roll but ive seen people roll them believe it or not.

For taking on steady moving aussie streams and rivers they are the bomb.
Thanks Blake,

I forgot about that thread. Good stuff.
 
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