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Any thoughts on the pack raft?

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  • Any thoughts on the pack raft?

    I'm thinking about selling my 9 foot fish cat and getting a pack raft, those 5 lbs one man boats. They are kind of like a kayak raft combo but I can actually take it places, I can't do that with the bigger boat and they, according to people I have talked to, will go the same places.

    Any thoughts on these things?

    Anyone use them?
    River Runnin

  • #2
    Alpacka Rafts

    Alpacka pack Rafts have a loyal group of users that have used them for all kinds of adventures. Here are a few links.

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...hlight=alpacka
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...hlight=alpacka
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...hlight=alpacka

    Good Luck

    Steve
    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"

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    • #3
      I absolutely LOVE my Alpacka and plan on using it a lot this coming summer. I only got out a few times last year (my first year of ownership), but I was impressed in every way. Look at the forums on www.alpackaraft.com for a realistic view of what they can be used for. Also, consider reading Packrafting! by Roman Dial. He is a packrafting pioneer and expert, and this is the only book devoted to the topic.

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      • #4
        I bought mine the same time as Brian M. My wife and I used them several times throughout last summer and am also very impressed with how well they do. I am using mine this summer on a 95 mile trek on a sheep hunting expedition into an area that would be a 20-25 mile hump in and then will be able to float back out. Opens up a lot of possiblities as for as backpacking and backpack hunting goes. Takes a little getting used to vs. a kayak, but not that much. Can't wait for summer to get it out again!!

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        • #5
          NRS Pack Boat

          Mr. River Runnin,

          The pack style of boats are great, for a number of uses. Here at Alaska Raft and Kayak we offer a four chamber 6 pound NRS made pack boat for mountain hunting, to access those waters off the road system, and to make use of the small spaces in the back of planes/trains/automobiles.

          However some boaters find the pack boats to be a bit cramped, and a bit less directional than a well designed inflatable kayak. If you have any concern about a pack style of boat you might consider a one person inflatable kayak. The NRS Bandit I is a 17 pound inflatable kayak that offers a bit better directional control than some of the pack style of boats, and considerable more room for gear.

          If you want to compare the two boats come on down to the store. We will be happy to set one of each up so you can compare the two different styles of boats.

          Good luck in your search,

          Tracey Harmon
          Alaska Raft and Kayak
          1.800.606-5950
          http://www.traceyharmon.com

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          • #6
            Tracy,
            How long have you been carrying these nrs packrafts?
            Are they available for viewing on your website?
            Thanks, abel6wt

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            • #7
              NRS Pack Rafts

              Mr. abel6wt,

              We have had these boats for less than a year. We sld a number of them last fall to a variety of users; hunters, fisherpersons, adventure seekers.....you know.....Alaskans! They are not on our web site.....yet. They will be soon though. In the meantime, we have one in the store for all to look at. We might even be talked into letting a fellow "play" with it for an afternoon!

              Tracey
              http://www.traceyharmon.com

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              • #8
                I am a big guy but I will be in the market for a pack raft later this year. My friends are all running Alpacka rafts but I would be interested in taking that NRS out and putting it head to head with several of the alpacka rafts. While it would be interesting to run 6 mile I think perhaps a run down upper eagle river would be a more moderate test. It would be very interesting to swap from raft to raft and do a group comparo.....wheels turning in head......

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by LuJon View Post
                  I am a big guy but I will be in the market for a pack raft later this year. My friends are all running Alpacka rafts but I would be interested in taking that NRS out and putting it head to head with several of the alpacka rafts. While it would be interesting to run 6 mile I think perhaps a run down upper eagle river would be a more moderate test. It would be very interesting to swap from raft to raft and do a group comparo.....wheels turning in head......
                  The upper 15 miles from nature center to the briggs?? bridge is where my wife and I took our rafts on their maiden voyage. Its SUPER mellow and a good place to get the feel for things. It could be a lot of fun though to put something like a NRS packraft and Alpacka Raft comparison for members interested in testing out these rafts.

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                  • #10
                    I thought about offering to take it on a 95 mile sheep hunt adventure comparison with the Alpacka and the promise of video taping it and letting them show it in the store but then figured that a strait up member comparo on ER would probably be more realistic...

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by LuJon View Post
                      I thought about offering to take it on a 95 mile sheep hunt adventure comparison with the Alpacka and the promise of video taping it and letting them show it in the store but then figured that a strait up member comparo on ER would probably be more realistic...
                      Well there is that, plus the fact that it would cost a lot to ship the NRS raft to Egypt (where I sheep hunt.)

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                      • #12
                        I would love to have one shipped out here it would make for a neat pic of me fishing in one of the local Baghdad lakes!

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                        • #13
                          ...ship the NRS raft to Egypt (where I sheep hunt.)
                          That's funny. I certainly look forward to hearing about your epic adventure this fall.

                          So I feel I am being tempted by another hobby. A couple of questions for you owners of Alpacka rafts:

                          1) What sort of day/weekend trips are you guys doing with them?
                          2) Any pictures of them in action in Alaska?
                          3) How easy is the transition to rafting in such a small, well raft? I have many hours of canoeing under my belt, but only a few kayaking and whitewater rafting, and no time in a small inflatable.

                          Bryan

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                          • #14
                            a great tool

                            Over the years I have used a wide variety of personal fishing craft. Float tubes, one man cats,water master etc. Last year my better half got us Alpacka rafts. The Denali Llama for me & the Yukon Yak for her. For fishing the one man cats are definitely much easier to fish out of also much easier to get in and out of when making frequent stops to fish. What you gain is an ultra lightweight raft you can fit in your daypack. (don't forget the paddle though) and float out with. We took ours down the Kenai (sportsman's to Jim's) I missed not being able to fish as I was floating to the next stop. On the plus side, I was very impressed with the way these boats handled on upper Eagle River when we did Crow Pass last 4th of July. I also found it great when I hiked into the upper part of certain Parks hwy streams and floated out. They are a great tool for accessing remote streams and they open up so much more country to the person willing to make the extra effort. However,they are expensive, but like anything you get what you pay for. That being said I think they are a great piece of equipment. If you plan on doing much whitewater I would definitely spend the extra $200 for the spray skirt. I would also order a couple extra loops attatched for lashing down rod&reel cases. I'm already chompin' at the bit to get out and do more with them this summer! Have fun!
                            I am no longer surprised at what I am no longer surprised at ---Bill Whittle

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mtn Wx View Post
                              1) What sort of day/weekend trips are you guys doing with them?
                              2) Any pictures of them in action in Alaska?
                              3) How easy is the transition to rafting in such a small, well raft? I have many hours of canoeing under my belt, but only a few kayaking and whitewater rafting, and no time in a small inflatable.

                              Bryan
                              Bryan -

                              1) A few of the "classic" short trips in Southcentral are hiking over Winner Creek Pass from Girdwood and floating out 20 Mile River to the road, Hiking over Crow Pass from Girdwood and floating out Eagle River to Echo Bend, then hiking the last 3 miles to the nature center, hiking the Albert Loop trail from the E.R. nature center and floating down to either the Mile 7 E.R. Road boat launch or further to highway bridge. There are tons of other options, though. I'll be floating the Russian River from the falls down to the Kenai confluence on June 10th so as to avoid fishermen, and I think I'm going to try a float my friend did two years ago - hike over Kesugi Ridge and float back to the Parks Highway on the Susitna River. :eek: I'm also planning a fall brown bear/moose hunt in a non-motorized area.

                              2) No pictures yet from me, but there are lots of them (and videos) on the Alpacka website.

                              3) I'm not super experienced in other watercraft, but the learning curve in these boats is very short. They're really easy to maneuver, and once you figure out how they respond to simple paddle strokes and whitewater, you'll feel very secure and comfortable in one.

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