To stay safe and dry during your next packrafting adventure, you’ll need to bring some equipment. The right equipment will help you stay safe, allowing you to enjoy your journey to the fullest. As you read through this list, keep in mind that the equipment will vary slightly depending on your destination and the time of year. For example, if you plan to go packrafting in a calm pool, you might not need a helmet. On the other hand, if you plan to tackle whitewater rapids, a helmet is essential for a safe trip. Before your next outdoor adventure, remember to bring all the essential packrafting equipment to help you stay safe and dry.

1. Packraft

The first item on the list is, of course, a packraft! Strong, lightweight, and durable packrafts are essential for a fun and safe adventure on the water. At Kokopelli Outdoors, you’ll find quality packrafts that can handle all types of conditions, from calm pools to Class IV river rapids. A quality packraft should be lightweight, strong, durable, and easy to pack and transport. When you shop for a packraft, keep these factors in mind.

2. Paddle

To control your packraft, you’ll need a lightweight paddle. There are all kinds of strong and lightweight paddles that you can easily disassemble and reassemble, fit inside a backpack, and carry to your destination. Choose a paddle that’s durable, lightweight, and easy to assemble for a fun and hassle-free experience. If you choose a paddle that is too heavy or too short, it can be difficult to control your packraft. However, with a paddle that is the right length and weight, you should have no problem controlling your packraft on the water.

3. Pump

In order to inflate your packraft when you reach your destination, you need to bring a pump. This pump should be small, lightweight, and easy to transport in your backpack. When you reach your destination, all you need to do is take out your pump and packraft, inflate it, and get out on the water. And for beginners, keep in mind that the pumping process can take some practice, but once you get the hang of it, it will become second nature to you. So don’t feel discouraged if you don’t inflate it on the very first try!

4. Repair Kit

You never know what you’ll run into on your packrafting trip. River bars, bedrock rapids, gravelly shoals, and rock gardens can damage or put a hole in your packraft. When this occurs, it’s helpful to have a packraft repair kit on hand. This kit should include essential items that you’ll need to patch up your packraft in case of an emergency. A few common items that you’ll find in a packraft repair kit are Tyvek tape, Aquaseal, Gorilla Tape, and a multitool.

5. Life Jacket

Even if you plan to packraft on a quiet lake or calm pool, you should still bring a life jacket, also known as a personal flotation device (PFD). You never know when you might need one, and it could save your life. Before you take a life vest out with you on the water, try it on first to ensure that it fits correctly. The vest should fit snuggly and comfortably without impeding your range of motion.

6. Helmet

Helmets are essential items to bring on a whitewater packrafting trip. They’ll protect your head from boulders, gravel, and driftwood that you’ll come across in the water. Even though helmets are not optional for whitewater rapids, you can leave them at home if you go packrafting on a calm lake or pool. Some people prefer to wear helmets at all times to stay safe; it’s all up to you. However, if you do encounter rapids, you should wear a helmet at all times to stay safe.

7. Backpack

To carry your packraft, paddle, life jacket, helmet, and other equipment, you’ll need a large, lightweight, and sturdy backpack. The backpack should sit comfortably against your back, and the straps should fit snugly over your shoulders. And remember—only bring items that you’ll need for your trip. A heavy backpack is not only difficult to carry, but it can cause back pain and soreness over time. Remember to pack light and enjoy the journey to your destination.

8. Dry Bags

Cell phones, food, extra changes of clothes, and other items need to stay dry during your trip on the water. To keep these items safe and dry, bring some dry bags. A dry bag is a waterproof bag that keeps your equipment dry on deck. A dry bag will keep your items safe and dry as you maneuver through even the most challenging rapids and rock gardens. You’ll never need to worry about splashing or dousing your gear in water when you use a dry bag to keep everything safe.

9. Drysuit and Attire

If you plan to go packrafting in cold and challenging rapids, then a drysuit is a must. But if you plan to stay in warm and calm waters, you can generally leave your drysuit at home. The attire you’ll need for your packrafting adventure will depend on your destination and the time of year. In warm summer months, wear clothing that will keep you cool and help protect you from the sun. During colder months, remember to wear a drysuit along with other layers of clothing to stay warm, dry, and safe.

Also, keep in mind that you need to wear closed-toe shoes in both warm and cold months. Sturdy, closed-toe shoes will stay on and protect your feet if you tip over into a river or lake. Additionally, if you plan to hike or bike to your location, closed-toe shoes will protect your feet from objects and obstacles you may encounter on the road.

10. River Knife

The last item on our list of essential packrafting equipment to help you stay safe and dry is a river knife. Outdoor enthusiasts use these knives for kayaking, packrafting, and other freshwater sports. With a river knife, you can free yourself from ropes or straps that can trap you underwater. Your river knife should be made of a corrosion-resistant material to prevent rust and decay over time.

Essential Packrafting Equipment To Help You Stay Safe & Dry
August 16, 2022 — Adrian Landia