Monday 5th to Sunday 11th of June 2023 at the Soca River in Slovenia.
The Annual Packrafting Meet up was created as a way for the European and International packrafting community to come together to share their passion for the sport. To share safety knowledge and to help protect the rivers we all love. 2023 will be the 6th edition.
The Packrafting Meet up is 100% volunteer run, by packrafters, for packrafters. All monies raised through the event are donated to river conservation.
Check our blog post from the 2022 meet-up to find out more!
Registration & Donation
We kindly ask that anyone who is interested in attending the Meet Up to please go ahead and follow the steps below to register for the event which includes a non-refundable donation to help support river conservation in Europe!
This annual event has already helped and contributed to protecting many rivers in Europe, however the vast majority of rivers and river systems are still facing existential threats. We encourage everyone to give and do what they can to help protect our most valuable resources – fresh water, biodiversity and habitat for nature.
Registration is in 3 parts.
1st: Complete the registration form here or go to: https://seoncl.typeform.com/to/QRafynBW
2nd: Make a NON refundable donation (amount of your choice) to either Balkan River Defence or the “Save the Blue Heart of Europe” campaign to help protect the rivers of Europe. PLEASE remember to write “PACKRAFT” in the section titled your message.
3rd: Book your accommodation! If you choose to join us at the campground please reserve your camping spot directly: Kamp Liza, Bovec, Slovenia | https://www.camp-liza.com/en/camp/ | +386 (5) 38 96 370 | INFO@CAMP-LIZA.COM | Let them know you are attending the EU Packrafting Meetup.
Registration for the event will close on May 10th 2023. This is also the deadline for reserving your campspot!
Only participants who have completed the registration form AND made a donation can participate in workshops, training, presentations and group paddling.
Completing the registration process before the deadline only secures your place at the event and does NOT include any associated costs such as: Camping fee’s, River passes, Food or meals, transport, etc. You are responsible for you own associated costs while at the event.
We recommend to sign up to our packrafting newsletter at the bottom of this page to get updates about the event and follow our social media channels (Packraft Europe Facebook & Instagram ).
The European Packrafting Meet-up has always had the core elements of River Conservation combined with Packraft Safety and Technique Training.
Every day starts with a short 9AM morning briefing. The program for the day will depend on which volunteers are available and the needs of the participants on that day. After the briefing, groups will get together to go paddling or start workshops.
Workshops typically include River Safety, Whitewater rescue, Paddle Skills, Expedition planning, Bikerafting, repair etc. Workshops are optional and free to attend, with limited places available.
On all days there will be opportunities for paddlers to get together in small groups to paddle and explore the surrounding rivers and natural beauty of the area.
All updates and additional information will be written down on the Event Whiteboard where the morning meetings take place. In some cases we may send an email update when necessary.
Packraft Testival: YES there will be also be packrafts and gear available for demo. There is also a chance to meet the awesome guides and instructors from various Packrafting Schools and Expedition companies.
The European Packrafting Meet-up is organized by and run by volunteers! 100% of all monies raised are donated to help support the NGO’s fighting to protect Europe’s Rivers. The “Save the Blue Heart of Europe” campaign, Balkan River Defence, and River Film Fest EU.
If you would like to help support this event (guide, rescue training, workshops, presentations, first aid, travel reports, demo gear, ideas) please let us know at the morning briefing.
We typically need volunteers every day to join less experienced paddlers on the river.
Some other tasks where we would need somebody to help out is:
- Provide and set up a beamer for movie night on Friday evening.
- Be in charge of lighting the fire at the communal fire pit in the evenings and help bringing firewood to the event.
- Help setting up the group shelters in the days before the event.
As packrafters we have a unique opportunity. We have an amazing tool that allows us to explore nature in ways most can only dream of. We know first hand what a pristine river tastes like, what the fleeting shadow of a river trout looks like as it darts for cover as we silently float downstream. The silhouettes of mountains forever burned into our memories. And who could forget the crackle of the camp fire under a blanket of stars as we cook our evening meal beside the river. Sometimes we take these things for granted, we accept them as a normal part of our life. Yet we are truly privileged.
Anyone who lives by a river, knows it value. Just look at the major cities and towns around the world that exist because they are located on the banks of a river.
The Balkan river systems are under threat. Over 2800 hydropower schemes are planned for the area. Many within national parks and areas of natural and ecological importance. Many that would not only destroy the endangered species that call these rivers home but would also threaten the local communities that rely on the river as apart of their daily lives.
“Save the Blue Heart of Europe” is a global campaign to help protect the last remaining free flowing rivers in Europe.
“Balkan River Defence” are grassroots on the ground activists that help empower and support the many local communites in their fight to protect wild rivers that are threatened by hydropower schemes within the Balkans.
Over the last 5 years the Annual European Packrafting Meetup has raised and donated over €10,000 to river protection! Through these donations the packrafting community has and continues to make a difference in protecting the rivers we all love. If you have any ideas on how to further raise awareness, funds or help protect these rivers please contact us.
“Balkan River Defence“
“Save the Blue Heart of Europe”.
You are responsible for your own safety!
This event has been organized as a chance for like-minded people to get together. You are responsible for your own safety on and off the water at all times. Having said that, there will be plenty of local and experienced packrafters who can provide support and share tips and ideas.
To participate in organized workshops and trainings on the river you must wear a CE approved Whitewater helmet (not a bike helmet) and a CE approved whitewater PFD.
What to bring:
Your personal packrafting kit. There will be a selection of packrafts and packrafting gear available for test. If you would like to rent gear for the entire event, you can contact the Packraft Explorers.
We recommend to bring the following gear :
- Paddle (2 or 4 piece breakdown paddle is best)
- * Whitewater helmet (not a bike helmet)
- * Approved whitewater PFD
- Throw bag and other paddling-specific safety/rescue kit that you normally bring on trips.
- Dry bags (or whatever waterproofing system you use).
- Hiking / packrafting shoes.
- Backpack that will fit all of your packrafting gear. Generally at least 60litres.
- Hiking clothes (remember we can get all seasons in one day so bring plenty of warm gear).
- Paddling clothes and a wetsuit or drysuit.
- Personal first-aid kit (what you would normally bring on a trip).
- Personal safety/ communication devices eg. PLB or satellite communication devices.
- Camp clothes, sleeping bag, Tent.
- Insect repellent, sunscreen, toiletries etc.
- Food and beverages for the weekend
- Guitar/musical instruments (optional)
* Required if you wish to participate in organized workshops.
Camp Liza has been an awesome location for the past years meetups and we are very happy to be returning. Located directly on the Koritnica River and 200m upstream from the confluence with the Soca River, with Bovec town center located 2kms away it is the ideal location.
NEW this year: please book your spot at Camp Liza yourself as they need to know exact arrival and departure days of everybody. Let them know you come for the Packraft Meet-up so they put you in the correct area.
Please check in and register at the campground office as soon as you arrive!
Accommodation and facilities:
Check in and arrival is possible until 2200hrs. When you arrive at Camp Liza you’ll be required to pay for on-site camping, directly to the camp site office.
There is also a limited number of rooms and glamping bungalows, please check the Camp Liza website for more information and reservation.
Camp Liza also rents tents if you don’t bring your own tent.
You can find more information here: www.camp-liza.com
Most of the nearby runs are Grade 1/2/ 3 with the occasional 4.
The Grade runs are typically bouldery and narrow and require the ability to assess and navigate hazards such as strainers and sieves. There will be some wood in the river.
Current river flow for the Soca can be found here:
A river pass is required to navigate the local rivers. River passes can be purchased onsite at Camp Liza or at the Bovec Tourist Office.
Come prepared for all seasons and with an open mind about what sections to paddle. Bring gear for all weather – we could have drizzle, heavy rain, cold temperatures or sunshine…or a combination of everything.
The Facebook group for the event can be found here.
Courses before the Meet-up
-> Packrafting Whitewater Safety and Rescue Training Courses!
There will be Rescue 3 Whitewater Rescue Technician courses being held before the meet up at Camp Liza at the Soca river. These will be run by Packraft Europe, the courses will be instructed by Seon Crockford-Laserer and Miha Mihelič. Click here for further info & booking.
Not sure what to expect?
Check our blog post from the 2022 meet-up to find out more!
See you on the river!
Seon & Michaela Crockford-Laserer
Founders of Packraft Europe