What to Bring on a Packrafting Day Trip
Packrafting opens up a world of exploration to adventurers of all varieties.
Perhaps you spotted a little stretch of water lazily zig-zagging near your house and you’re itching to paddle it. Maybe you’re longing for a coastal getaway, complete with cold Imperials and fresh fish tacos. No matter where you and your packraft are headed, there are a few necessary items you need to have in your pack to guarantee a good time.
Two Inflation Devices
Your Kokopelli packraft comes with a durable inflation bag. Plus, at less than 5 ounces in weight, this beauty fits into any backpack and easily traps the wind, helping you inflate your boat quickly and efficiently. In case something happens along the way - like going for a swim with your bag in tow — it’s important to bring a second inflation device. Our Feather Pump is ultralight, charges via USB, and can blow up 8-10 boats on one full charge. Option C — you can always use your lungs.
While our boats are built to last and extremely durable, accidents may occasionally happen. A tiny, pin-prick hole in the chamber or snag in the floor can be patched on the go if you have the proper tools with you. The kit included with your TPU-coated packraft includes self-adhesive, TPU patches. Our PVC boats come with an emergency patch kit that includes glue and material. Throw in some Tyvek tape as a backup repair option and you’ll be prepared for anything that comes your way.
Personal Flotation Device
It may seem obvious but it’s essential to wear a personal flotation device (PFD) when on the water. Even shallow, slow-moving water can be hazardous. Depending on the water’s speed, depth, and the length of your trip, there are a variety of life jackets out there that provide comfort, sun protection, and, most importantly, buoyancy if you take a swim.
You’re in the water, meaning you’re most likely going to get wet. For day trips, pack a spare change of clothes in a day bag and bring them with you on the water. Not only is this a safety precaution but you’ll also have something comfy to change into afterward. No one wants to hang out at a brewery in wet socks.
Even if you’re just planning a flatwater paddle in a lake or reservoir, it’s vital to bring along safety gear. A first aid kit, throw bag, and knife will offer basic protection against most things that come your way during a day-long paddling trip. Plus, your throw bag can double as a tow rope should your packrafting partner get lazy.
You don’t want to be up a creek without a paddle and while it may seem obvious, if you make it to the water’s edge without one of these, you’ll have to call the whole thing off. For light and fast travel, pack our adventure paddle — a lightweight, four-piece paddle that breaks down and fits into your backpack. When packrafting in lakes, reservoirs, and coastal waterways, you may find a larger, sturdier two-piece paddle better.
Each packrafter’s kit should have these items to ensure safety and comfort when getting on and off the water. However, depending on the destination, weather, water temperature, and season, you may need to add gear accordingly. For example, you’ll need to properly layer up in the colder weather and bring enough water when navigating desert terrain.