Packrafting Is the Biggest Thing to Happen to White Water Rafting Since the Paddle

Easy-to-inflate kayaks let rafters go deep

August 18, 2016 9:00 am

In his essay, Self-Reliance, Ralph Waldo Emerson famously noted, “It’s the not the destination, it’s the journey.”

There may be no better illustration of his point than American Packrafting Association’s video on the suddenly trendy new form of white-water kayaking.

Essentially, packrafting is the act of going deep into the woods with nothing but your pack and a special, lightweight raft.

These sturdy, easy-to-stow inflatable kayaks, like the ones made by Kokopelli Packraft and Alpacka Raft, weight less than 5 pounds deflated and take three minutes to inflate. They have reinforced D-rings on the bow to keep your gear safe.

So when you’re hiking along and you come to a river, just stop and inflate. Alternatively, if you’re kayaking and get the urge to hike to that vista you see from the water, you deflate. It’s simple.

Seeing the world this way requires a bit of wilderness know-how and some planning. Disconnecting from it all, as Emerson noted, is the best means to achieve true personal growth.

At the very least, it ensures that you’ll experience a beauty seldom seen or trampled on by anyone else.


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