Children and Packrafting

So we have a 1-year old daughter… a bit too young for packrafting yet. But by how much? I’m curious about the following two questions for those of you with children:

How young before you put them in the packraft at all (I’m thinking of a calm lake with a lifejacket)?
How long before they had their own raft?


I paddled a bit with my niece when she was 2. As you say - calm lake, wearing a PFD. She got bored quickly. She didn’t find the sights that interesting and wasn’t big enough to reach over and splash the water. I took her for another very short jaunt on a slow flowing shallow river a few months ago (she is 3). She enjoyed it but liked wading and splashing in the water better.

We took our 8 year old on a 10 day remote rafting trip last summer. We had a “big” raft and took our pack rafts. We put our daughter in the pack raft on the calmer white water with my husband. Pretty soon she was in my pack raft alone and tied to the big raft, then untied out on her own in fairly calm water. Since the trip, I have taken her when I do lake swims and she pack rafts in the lake to get practice maneuvering and I keep an eye on her as I swim. Now she wants one of her own!

I took my one year old daughter out on a calm lake in Minnesota, and she had a blast! I have also rafted clas two’s with my 7 year old daughter. Fun stuff.!!