Gear list?

Hi friendly pack rafters!

New to packrafting, hoping to sight one near Canberra, prior to the big purchase (of two!). Being 6’3", and keen for the multi day trips, I think I will get a couple of Explorers…not overkill?

While having a heap of whitewater kayaking gear, I am not sure that all of it is appropriate for packrafting ideals (eg low weight; bushwalking/paddling crossover).

For example, what shoes do you wear, especially if you think you will be hopping in and out of the raft (eg low water), but also particulalry if you are having to do a good walk-in first (or last). A pair of walking boots only…and walk with wet feet (not great in cold weather or for blisters)…or harden up and carry a pair of specific rafting booties?

What about the bottom half (I figure a dry top for the top half). Do you carry in, and then wear, a wetsuit? Or pull out the wallet and buy a full dry suit. Obviously it’s weather/climate dependent…but I would be interested to hear, for example, what the Tooma RIver trip folk wore…and what their comfort levels were.

I note also, that Alpaka talk about putting a thermarest in as well…anyone do that?

Happy for any info…and also if anyone if is in/visiting Canberra, I would be happy to buy you coffe/lunch/beer while I check out your packraft! Thanks already to the gentlemen offerring a look at this packraft in Bega. I will be trying to make this happen, but a bit trough to get away at the moment.



I sent you a PM as I will be in Canberra this week.

It really does depend on what kind of trips you are doing, I have a whole bunch of different gear but have generally converted over to ultra light backpacking gear as the raft/paddle/safety-warm gear can add up to 4kg+ to your pack weight. I also do every thing from one day trips (like the Tooma) to 5-6 day trips (and everything in between) so it is a real 'piece of string" thing. I have a few backpack options also, the Gobi waterproof pack being the better rafting pack IMHO but once again it depends on the trip.

I have a few footwear combos, I usually wear my walking boots (Vasque) for longer walk ins and take boat footwear in my pack. In the boat I vary a bit depending on the trip:
Dunlop Vollies (with neoprene surf sock option) if I am portaging a bit on slippery rocks
Neoprene booties (with a thick sole) if I am not walking or portaging and just paddling rivers or flat water with no portages
Reef walkers (with neoprene socks option) for estuary / sand stuff.

I usually just wear thermals and shorts in warmer weather (warm + sun protection but good to swim in), a 3-season wetsuit in colder paddles (Mountain trips like Tooma) I did have a few swims on that trip and was not really cold, although I would love a full dry suit if I had the dollars to spend for winter paddles. We are organising a few snowmelt paddles this coming spring, should be a good year for it I think, I think I may need to refine my cold water gear a bit if I am going to paddle year round.