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Thread: Raft and Equipment Rental Experiences

  1. #1

    Default Raft and Equipment Rental Experiences

    Can anyone share their experiences, good or bad, with raft and equipment rental companies they have used on fly out trips? I'm looking to do one next summer and like to know what you're experiences have been with the different companies offering these services. Thanks for the information.

    Gary

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    where are you basing out of? Fairbanks or anchorage? there are a few in anchorage with good reputations and Blue Moose rafting here in fairbanks...

    I have not rented from Moose, but have been in his shop while rentals are going out and can say he takes care of folks, as he did my own equipment.

    also there are some outfitters/ planners that will set up raft trips with all the equipment.. to fit your needs... contact our own Michael Strahan.. or look up larry Bartlet of Pristine adventures.. to get you started...
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

  3. #3

    Default Rentals

    We would be in the Bethel/ Dillingham area for this trip.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    okay so you will be starting from Anchorage... ( you will...land there from lower 48) not sure who or if any one is based out of Dilliy, but i am fairly certian no one is based out of bethal.. you will end up shipping to your location from anchorage or having the outfitter/ planner/ rental co.. set that up for you... get with Strahan in a pm he will point you in the correct direction.
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

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    Member jeff p's Avatar
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    I would think http://www.pbadventures.com/ out of Bethel would be your 1 stop shop for what you are looking for. He comes with a great reputation, local knowledge & rentals.

    Have fun.

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    Default Ideas

    Gary give me a call I have used a few places out of Dillingham and had a blast. 907-351-2978.
    Mike
    www.coffmancoveak.com
    Prince of Wales Island

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ohio Steelheader View Post
    We would be in the Bethel/ Dillingham area for this trip.
    There are several good companies in that area that do both bush flights and/or raft rentals. I have used PBA, their rafts were functional, and they have some conveniences in that they have a lodge with beds for reasonable charge, taxi to the lodge from the airport, and storage facilities for items shipped in advance (which many people do).

    There is another pilot/outfitter in that area (wade renfro). His rafts I believe are newer and a bit narrower (an advantage for some things), and when I checked he charged somewhat less, and includes a cooler with the raft (PBA charges for the cooler separately as an accessory). Contact and other info is on his website is http://tikchikadventures.com/.

    The aircraft they have differ, and may be a factor depending on your group size, cargo needs. And you may need a different bushpilot for the pickup depending on location or schedule.

    I took a grumman goose with freshwater adventures out of dillingham a long time ago but it has changed owners and pay structure since then. I liked their catarafts, which they still use I believe.

    There are differences in flight issues depending on whether you start in Bethel vs. Dillingham, and where you are going; mainly involving weather and effects on low ceiling/visibility.

    I have not experienced any significant problems myself. Be sure to get a current quote as some of the stuff on the internet is old and prices vary with fuel/other costs.

  8. #8
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Differences involving low ceiling/visibility...

    Quote Originally Posted by stevesch View Post
    ...There are differences in flight issues depending on whether you start in Bethel vs. Dillingham, and where you are going; mainly involving weather and effects on low ceiling/visibility...
    Stevesch,
    Interesting point you made on choosing an air charter company. This past August, after flying from ANC to DLG in fine weather, we were stranded the following morning due to very low cloud cover, looking at the possibility of another day before starting our float, plus we needed two flights.

    Do you mean differences involving low ceiling/visibility for differences in aircraft type? I guess that some airframes are capable of flying higher or lower which gives them more flexibility when weather limits visibility?

    OHSteelheader,
    Don't know how large your group/cargo package is, but Stevesh also makes a good point about weight/cargo needs for planning a float (also see, http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=58613). If you need more than one plane for example, one way to look at the cost of a Grumman Goose if you have 1,900 lbs of gear+rafters, is to first add up the cost of a Beaver (1,200 lbs, though sometimes less) + Cessna 185 (700 lbs for one outfit out of DLG); which in 2009 say totalled $4,655. A Goose, which prob has ample capacity to carry all 1,900lbs in one flight, might even cost a little more, but there would be the advantage of getting all crew/gear out in one weather window vs the possibility of having half stranded in DLG or BET, waiting for minimums to improve. We're still newbies after our first flyout in 2009, but planning for our cargo needs based on aircraft capacity is something we'll do first from now on.

    Good thread for winter planners. Best wishes on your upcoming trip.

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    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    What all are you needing? If it's just rafts/frames/oars, Dan (works at Penn Air but gets to Freshwater frequently) has them ready to go. If you are flying with Freshwater, there are a few things that can make your life easier.

    Which river are you floating?
    ><((((>.`..`.. ><((((>`..`.><((((>

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  10. #10

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    We'll be renting the raft or catacraft, all the campng and cooking gear, and we'll need to hire an air taxi service.

    As far as the rivers, we have narrowed it down to the following: Kwethluk, Kisaralik, Holitna, Arolik, American Creek, or Goodnews. We haven't decided whether to take the trip in July to target Kinks and Sockeyes with trout, or August for Silvers and trout.

    I'd be very interested in any recommendations and suggenstions.

    Thanks- Gary

  11. #11
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Tikchik Airventures...

    was first class op, true to all the advice from danattherock, who's flown with them too. Sounds like you'll be on the phone a lot researching a supplier for gear. TA rents rafts, not sure about the rest. Rick Grant is a gifted pilot. We found the whole operation terrific; every detail handled well. Oh, bear spray: TA advised us that if we return they'd lend us some of the supply that others leave behind. Bear spray was a spendy purchase in DLG.

    Could depend on the size of your group/cargo though. Freshwater Adventures out of DLG has a Goose.

    Good luck.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    You have got lots of great advice from very knowledgable folks. I will just chime in on a few observations I have...


    Quote Originally Posted by Ohio Steelheader View Post
    As far as the rivers, we have narrowed it down to the following: Kwethluk, Kisaralik, Holitna, Arolik, American Creek, or Goodnews. We haven't decided whether to take the trip in July to target Kinks and Sockeyes with trout, or August for Silvers and trout.
    Gary

    Gary, you got your cart in front of your horse man


    Pick the river first. I would give some serious consideration to a July 4th trip on the Goodnews for kings. Not sure how the "kink" fishing is, but the Goodnews is a lovely float and is very well suited for a first float trip. Should I have time off, I may see you there. July 1-10 would be my trip timing given the choice.


    After you pick the river, pick the pilot. Secure this sooner than later. At that time, discuss number of folks in your group, body weight, # of flights required, etc.. Talk with them and see if they rent gear, many do. It is likely you could secure a flight with an outfit that will supply everything you need. Ask them to pick up fuel for the stove ahead of time. Be sure to ask about extra oars and repair kits for the rafts. Calculate your total gear and body weight, affirm the exact raft model and size that would be rented, then post a question in the rafting forum if suitability is in question. Don't trust the person you are renting the raft from to do this for you. It is your responsibility of course.




    Check out the websites for the following folks...

    Tikchik Airventures
    http://www.tikchikairventures.com/

    Papa Bear
    http://www.pbadventures.com/

    Aniak Air Guides
    http://www.aniakairguides.com/




    Shoot me a PM if I can be of any help. I always have time to talk float trips.


    Just reading this post got me excited


    -Dan





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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff p View Post
    I would think http://www.pbadventures.com/ out of Bethel would be your 1 stop shop for what you are looking for. He comes with a great reputation, local knowledge & rentals.

    Have fun.
    I've heard nothing but good about them
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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