Pacradomus: some experiments with a packraft as a mini-house

Hello packrafters,

For a while I have been pondering how one might live a self-powered, mobile, healthy and acceptably comfortable life; and how this might work on a societal scale.

After acquiring a packraft this has gone from speculation to a little experimentation. This is my particular take at ‘lightweight travel with packraft’, featuring a big duffel bag on the bow to keep all your stuff, and simple tricks to make the packraft into a mini-tent with minimal extra gear (the whole thing floats, too).

Don’t expect an account of 5 years on the (watery) road. These are just first attempts.

A few fellow packrafters seemed to like it, and as I aim to contribute to this sort of thing I wrote up a detailed account. With pictures. Since this is my first post here I cannot post an off-site URL; but go to veminra dot net, hover over the lichen on the right and click “Seahorse noocracy: the pacradomus”.

I will post a parallel message at backpackinglight dot com, as I’ve been told it might get juices flowing there.

I hope this is useful. Comments welcome. Keep the groove,


I am a homeless packrafter. I havent used a packraft for shelter, but I have used it as a bed, a warm water bathtub, and as a form of transportation in conjunction with a bike or mass transit, especially on the Wasatch Front in Utah. My shlter consists of a childrens bike trailer with all but the chassis and wheels removed. I then strapped a 30 cubic foot canvass patio box to it, which I waterproofed. This I use not only as storage but as a shelter with my foam mattress, pillow, and sleeping bag inside. I store my belongings in plastic boxes that I remove when I sleep. I even have three months of food storage in one of my boxes. Additionally, I carry a microwave because I can park it at an electrical outlet infront of any Walmart for power. I find that I save lots of money just buying microwavable food from the store, then to eat out whenever I get the craving for hot food. I also charge my samsung tablet by extending the cord through the bottom of my trailer shelter for charging at those outlets. In addition, I carry a small blender with me so that I can make smoothies from dandilions, clovers, watercress, fruit from peoples yards and orchards, raw eggs, sugar, and ice from ten lb bags which I fill a cooler with to also use as my water storage. I pull this trailer behind my Hase Lepus recumbent trike which seems to be the most comfortable way to pull this heavy trailer around. When I need to stay in the city, I usually stay at parks, schools, churches, and at Walmart. Walmart is the only place where the cops havent given me the boot however

My only bills are a storage unit. Ive forgone my phone, car, housing. I live off of disability from the VA which is a pretty substantial amount, but I have found that not working can leave my life feeling empty of purpose so anything even simple which has a benefit to society or nature counteracts this. For example, I had spent the last fee months picking up roadside aluminum cans while accepting can and money donations from others. When I go to picnic areas and campgrounds up in popular nature destinations, I have found that most of that income made from recycling actually comes through donations (it helps to dress like a homeless hippie though) I talk to alot of people living this way. Im always sure to tell them about packrafting when I do. I also get a fair amount of publicity through passerbyes while riding or paddling down the local creeking runs, taking pictures and videos of me on their smart phones.

So if you want to live more simply and off the grid, here is one way to do it.