EUROPEAN PACKRAFTING MEET-UP

European Packrafting MeetUp - Packrafting the Soca River

 

Welcome to the 5th Annual European Packrafting Meet-up and Packraft Testival!

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. It is organized and run by packrafters, for packrafters!

Date & Place

The 2022 event takes place from Monday, June 13th til Sunday the 19th of June at the Soca River in Slovenia.

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 inludes 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 for the event will open on February 1st, 2022 and close on May 30th 2022. We recommend to sign up to our packrafting newsletter on our starting page to get a reminder when registration starts.

Registration is in 2 parts.

1st: Complete the registration form (link will be online on February 1st). Please note that you will not receive a confirmation email (the system is not set up for this).

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.

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 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.

COVID

COVID: Please refer to this page for any updates or COVID related changes and the event safety protocol for attending the event. 

Program

The European Packrafting Meet-up has always had the core elements of River Conservation combined with Packraft Safety and Technique Training.

The first few days will be without programm and just a come-togehter for those who stay the full week.

On Wednesday we will start with a welcome, introductions and River & Safety info, as well as information about the workshops.

On Thursday and Friday there will be safety, whitewater rescue and skills training workshops that participants can join if they wish (Workshops are free and optional with limited places available) and the remaining days are for relaxed social paddling and exploring the area. 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.

Testival

Packraft Testival: YES there will be also be packrafts and gear available for demo plus a chance to meet the awesome guides and instructors from various Packrafting Schools and Expedition companies.

Volunteers

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 contact us.

We are still looking for volunteers to help run packrafting workshops and to do group packrafting trips with less experienced paddlers. The more volunteers we have, the more enjoyable it is for everybody, since the group size will be smaller!

Conservation

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.

The 2018 Annual Packrafting Meetup at the Soca raised and donated €463, and the 2019 Packrafting Meetup raised and donated €2687, and the 2020 Packrafting Meet Up raised and donated more than €3000 to help protect the rivers of the Balkans. The meet up 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.

Thanks for coming along!  If you have any questions or ideas, please feel free to contact us.

You can also sign up to the Packraft Europe newsletter, to receive updates.

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 :

  • Packraft
  • 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.

Local information

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.

We have booked camping space for everybody so you don’t need to make a reservation. But you have to pay for your stay.

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

River info

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. Price is 3EUR/day or 16EUR/week or 30EUR/season.

Weather

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.

More Info

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 packrafting blog with blog posts from the previous packrafting Meet-ups:

2021 Packrafting Meet-up (Soca River)

2020 Packrafting Meet-up (Salza River)

2019 Packrafting Meet-up (Soca River)

2018 Packrafting Meet-up (Soca River)

See you on the river!

Seon & Michaela Crockford-Laserer

Packraft Europe Founders

 

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