Learn 101

What is Packrafting ?

History of Packrafting ?

Where is packrafting NOW ? Luc Mehl Show Up and Blow  up


Scouting ?


List of Resources for Alaska Boating


  • “Fast and Cold,” by Andrew Embick
  • “Alaska Whitewater; a Guide to Rivers and Creeks in the Last Frontier,” by Tim Johnson

The internet:


  • Rafting and packraft guiding companies are a great source of local information and may offer shuttle service depending on the company.
  • Ask around and see if anyone has done the same trip as you, usually people are very open and willing to provide beta.
  • Local paddling clubs can be a great place to meet other boaters.


List of Equipment you should bring with you for cold-water boating

  • Packraft
  • Paddle plus spare
  • Appropriate PFD, whistle and knife
  • Appropriate Helmet
  • Skirt
  • Inflation bag
  • Optional dry bags to stow inside your boat or dry bags for your gear if strapping it to the outside of your boat, clean rigging on your boat (no loops, dangling lines, non-locking carabiners, or anything you can get entrapped in)
  • Patch/repair kit (know how to use it)
  • Med Kit
  • Dry suit
  • Gloves/Poggies
  • Appropriate Footwear
  • Throw Rope
  • Appropriate river clothing
  • Communications

Depending on the trip:

  • Pin Kit
  • Leash, perimeter line
  • Day dry bag
  • Pus all your normal backpacking gear

Carry on your person: Plan to lose your boat.

  • Map and compass with a signaling mirror
  • Two-way satellite communication
  • Space blanket
  • Warm clothes (under your dry suit)
  • Skull Cap
  • Iodine tablets
  • Matches and firestarter
  • Extra calories
  • Knife
  • Headlamp if it gets dark at night

Here is a tool to help you think about what river may be appropriate for your team. Green signifies a lower risk, whereas red would mean higher risk in that category. I left “low runnable and average” in a lighter green because it depends on the river. Some rivers a low flow might actually be more dangerous than high flow.