Before I experiment or am SOL the next time it happens, anybody have good tips for dealing with strong headwinds on rivers/creeks? I’ve had to wade for a few miles before when the winds greatly exceeded the current (even with paddling). Its not much fun. I didn’t think of it at the time but some ideas I have are:

  1. Moderate deflation to try and reduce profile.
  2. Adding rocks, logs, or even flooding the raft to increase the mass working with the current.
  3. Maybe even slightly flooding the air chamber.

Am I just completely missing something? Anybody?

I’ve heard of people using a sea anchor when floating the Yukon. I think it was Gordy Vernon who described filling a garbage bag with water and tying off to that. That wouldn’t work so well in a smaller stream though, one twig and it’s a goner. But if it’s mellow stuff, I think tying off to a log would work.

I doubt you’d get enough benefit for it to be worth it from partial deflation.

Flooding the air chamber is a really interesting idea… I hadn’t thought of that. Now I want to give it a try. :slight_smile:

If there are multiple people, you could go for a longboat: http://www.groundtruthtrekking.org/blog/?p=274.

Hi Guys,

This one makes me REALLY nervous. I think it is a very bad idea to fill the chamber with water. Not for how it might perform but for the reality of getting water in there. You are now creating a wet environment on the inside of your tubes and you will have a really horrendous time trying to dry it out. Left wet you are introducing the possibility of mold and rot forming at the worst, and a really sour boat at the best. Some of the old sherpas that I repaird in years past had unbelievable amounts of mould on the inside of them. This in my mind was due to the fact that the tubes were always being punctured or torn, allowing moisture in with regularity. Once in it is really hard to dry it out. That is my two cents on this one.

Cheers, Sheri

In normal use we’ve certainly had water inside the tubes, as well as gravel and leaf litter… Perhaps there’s some of that stuff in the Eddywinder that you now have Sheri. :slight_smile: Perhaps it’d even help clean it out to give it a good rinse?

Thanks Sheri for posting, didn’t think of the mold aspect. I’ll continue to ponder on this, I think if I’m donning a drysuit, not in whitewater, and probably better with my unskirted raft, next time I run into this I might try intentionally semi-flooding the raft to see if that helps “grab” the current more than the wind. As I’ve often had them unintentionally flooded in whitewater, I know they will still stay afloat, and even smooth out wave trains that way, although the handling as such resembles a 58 Chrysler. In mud.

Ok, off to Kodiak Island with the packrafts, rumors of runnable creeks in the wilds during spring.

One thing to remember is that by inflating by mouth to top off the raft will introduce enough moisture on it’s own to lead to the growth of mold and bacteria. Therma rest had this problem in the beginning and it leads to little star shaped crustys/casts/dried out mold growth that can perforate the mat. While I personally would not advocate flooding the tubes as a performance enhancer it might not be such a bad idea to rinse out the tubes after extended use. Particularly if it’s used in a warm climate. However, as Sheri has mentioned, drying it out after doing so could be tricky.