So, today after putting on my drysuit, I turned around to see what I thought was a safely parked packraft (I swear!) instead was making pretty good progress on starting a true solo run without me, only foiled by having run aground on some rocks 20 feet out. Got me thinking, seeing how I was pelted by sleet hiking the mountains yesterday that the rafting season (up here anyway) is drawing to a close, that it might be entertaining fodder for the winter to hear some good packrafting stories of embarrassment. Intent is more for the funny stuff, not the near-drowning things, but whatever, I’m not king of the forum. Anybody? Chasing wayward packrafts? Three day hikes in to discover paddles left at car?
I know Hig and Erin have a good one about chasing a windblown packraft across a iceberg filled lake but I’ll let them share that.
I had an interesting one where I got to the the river (class I-II) with a couple of friends who had never been packrafting and discovered that while I had brought two boats, I had only brought 1.5 paddles. So I gave one of them the half paddle and told him to use it like a canoe paddle. After 50 meters or so he decided he was going too fast and tried to slow down by grabbing onto a passing tree root. This of course flipped the boat, dumped him in the water, and then the upside down boat started to take off down the river at a pretty fast pace. Having no interest in losing the boat I sprinted along the river as fast as I could and when I realized the boat was going to get away I took a flying leap onto the boat from shore. Now with no paddle and on an upside down boat I just had to hug the boat and ride the bumps until it came to calm water and I could doggie paddle the boat to shore.