Towing packraft on snow/ice

looking to tow my yak up a frozen river. will be either on foot/snowshoes or skis. flat terrain. any suggestions for a towing system?


Forgive me if I’m missing something, but what’s wrong with a “sled”.

I know that packrafts are extremely robust, but why drag one if you aren’t going to float out afterwards? Perhaps they are lighter than sleds? I don’t know.

I don’t think you’ll find many people on this site who want to drag one without wanting to float it as well, but perhaps I’m wrong…BUT, it’s great you have an Alpacka anyway!!!..

Andrew Allan

Living in Oz, where no river freezes…and they just don’t look like “sleds”, even though I’m in to “lateral thinking”. Please enlighten us all

i understand the confusion… yes a sled might be better, but there is a lake near our destination, not yet frozen over that may require some paddling across


Erin and Hig are the experts on this. Here’s a little bit of information and photos on their website:

They just used a piece of P-cord and a micro biner. Thats as complex as it got.

Yeah, you don’t need to get complicated about hooking up the boat… I like having a little shock-cord in there to damp the jerking. The boats do very well over irregular terrain, and usually don’t overturn. They are of course a pain if you’re traversing a steep slope, or through brush. It’s always great when you’re skiing a traverse above bushes and the raft tangles, yanking you backwards onto your ass… I don’t know if we ever got this maneuver on video, but you can probably imagine it.

We found that if there’s some soft snow, or smooth ice, the boat doesn’t show much wear from dragging. We’d typically pull 15-25 lbs. in the sled, and put the rest in our packs. Occasionally dragging the boat through brush or across a few rocks isn’t that big a deal (no more so than running into rocks while rafting.)

Alpackas also do fine breaking through thin ice.

On sharp ice (say, windblown rain on snow followed by a hard freeze), the boats do show wear. After pulling about 30 lbs. over 20 miles of icy snow like this, we had to patch several dime-sized holes through the bottom. Aquaseal worked well, but it’s tricky to get it to cure in sub-freezing conditions.