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  • Pack raft for 2...

    Alright gang... looking for a pack raft for myself and my son to use on a float trip.

    Does anyone make a large enough pack raft for 2 that you could put a caribou or into with a light camp?

    I've had a Pro Pioneer and it certainly fits 2 and camp and critter but it's a fair bit heavier than a pack raft. Alpackas seem to be big enough for two without any substantial gear and I doubt it makes the grade for hunting.

    Just looking at the options.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

  • #2
    Hodge,

    With the current packraft craze going on, you will probably find someone out there with a recommendation. But really? A packraft that will hold two people, a caribou and your gear? I think you're pushing the absolute limits on what these boats are designed to do... but that's just my opinion. You might check out Our Packraft Page for starters. We have nine of them listed, with their specs.

    Could you provide additional details, such as why a packraft is required?

    -Mike
    Michael Strahan
    Site Owner
    Alaska Hunt Consultant
    1 (907) 229-4501

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    • #3
      The "Big Rig" or PR-49 would just barely meets your requirements. Larry B had a couple new designs at the sport show that may be better suited for your task.

      In this photo, you can see not much room for gear. and for the record the way I had the rafts linked was an EPIC FAIL........ DO NOT TRY

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

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      • #4
        Originally posted by stid2677 View Post
        and for the record the way I had the rafts linked was an EPIC FAIL........ DO NOT TRY
        Please do explain Stid. I am curious what happened. Could save someone else from making the same mistake.

        Comment


        • #5
          I was in the same boat (tiny ass raft) a few years back. Looking for a solo boat for remote floats and a boat I could haul around the Upper Kenai in the back of a rental pick up truck. I looked at lots of small rafts, pack rafts, etc. I was able to pick up a Sotar 10' raft from Goo Vogt in Anchorage. We had bought our first, larger, Sotar from him a few years prior. Very durable boats to say the least. Anyway, this is the smallest raft I could imagine hauling two folks, gear, and a bou. My wife and I used ours a few times recently in NE Tennessee. My buddy and I took it out a few times as well. I was very impressed how well the boat handled with 600 lbs in it. Self bailing floor, 10' long, and about 65-70 lbs. We got a very basic breakdown frame and 3 piece sawyer pole cats for our 14.5' Sotar. Airline friendly. Had the frame maker provide shorter cross members and sawyer made shorter mid sections for oars so our frame and oars work with both the 10' and 14.5' rafts. Given your goals, I would get some oar saddles from Goo and call it a day. PM if you want more info. This is a very tough little boat! Taking mine to Upper Kenai for a week in Sept. Can't wait.


          Dan





          The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
            Please do explain Stid. I am curious what happened. Could save someone else from making the same mistake.
            Got sideways and hung on a midstream boulder, rafts started getting flooded. Lost my 400 dollar camera trying to free it. My thinking was the wife was inexperienced and would do better with me, but she did fine in the Alpaca with me hauling the load. Trailering worked great in the class I sections but I would not try again in swift water with obstacles.
            "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"

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            • #7
              Originally posted by stid2677 View Post
              Got sideways and hung on a midstream boulder, rafts started getting flooded. Lost my 400 dollar camera trying to free it. My thinking was the wife was inexperienced and would do better with me, but she did fine in the Alpaca with me hauling the load. Trailering worked great in the class I sections but I would not try again in swift water with obstacles.
              Ouch! Sounds like you got lucky.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Michael Strahan View Post
                But really? A packraft that will hold two people, a caribou and your gear? I think you're pushing the absolute limits on what these boats are designed to do...
                Could you provide additional details, such as why a packraft is required?

                -Mike
                Mike- I used the term "pack raft" inappropriately I believe. I should have said "lightweight raft". I'm looking at an area with my son that will require several longish portages. I can manage something heavier than a traditional pack raft but want something lighter and less bulky than a Pro Pioneer.

                Danattherock- that's a sweet looking setup and probably closer to what I'm looking for. How many pieces does the raft break down into?
                "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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                • #9
                  The Sotar 10' is one piece, minus two thwarts of course. I carry deflated raft in a tarp which is wrapped in a tic tac toe rope wrap. Easy to fly commercial or toss in back of a bush plane. About 70 lbs total. My frame is a custom Riverboat Works (Salida,Co) that breaks into four pieces. After posting pics for you here I actually called Goo myself about his oar saddle. If he still has them I am buying a pair for my 10'. Will make flying it up this Sept that much simpler, and cheaper. Hard to tell in the pic above I posted but his oar saddles break down and travel flat.

                  Basically, it will allow my current oar/frame bag to be under 50 lbs, and save me $100 in baggage fees. I will put three piece Sawyer pole cats and a PVC fly/Centerpin rod tube in a Burton youth snowboard bag which is only 129 cm (50"). That will be a $25 baggage fee rather than a $75 overweight fee. At any rate, you should at least go by Goo's and check out his ten footer. It's built like a brick shet house and is suited for rapids that I doubt either you or I will ever use the raft in. On Sotars site look at the 10' ST. Same raft as I recall. On Sotars site if you click raft frames, that blue boat up top is my larger boat. Wife standing beside it with two silver bullets.

                  Wife and I are so impressed we are soon buying a third Sotar. This will be a bigger 15' self bailer for my wife and soon to be two small kids. Floating NE tenn and WV rivers with raft on a raft trailer. Great fly fishing. Not a boat that will ever make it up your way as it's like 137 lbs. Point is, Sotar makes a bombproof raft. Compare the material against other options. Goo has samples and actually mailed some to me here in NC. The Sotar fabric was 15-20x as thick as the others. Most the other small rafts out there are Chinese made junk and look like pool toys compared to a Sotar. At 6'6" 300 lbs, I wanted something a little better, while still being portable.


                  Dan
                  The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hodgeman, you might consider an Aire Traveler as a potential candidate as it rolls ups small for transport, easy for two guys to control and has decent load carrying capabilities. http://www.aire.com/aire/products/default.aspx?id=205

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by hodgeman View Post
                      Mike- I used the term "pack raft" inappropriately I believe. I should have said "lightweight raft". I'm looking at an area with my son that will require several longish portages. I can manage something heavier than a traditional pack raft but want something lighter and less bulky than a Pro Pioneer.

                      Danattherock- that's a sweet looking setup and probably closer to what I'm looking for. How many pieces does the raft break down into?
                      No problem, Hodge. The latest packraft craze has me a little apprehensive. We're bending the concept to the breaking point, and besides ending up with wet, spoiled game meat as a result (you can't really keep it dry in a packraft), we're seeing catastrophic tube failures from overloading / dragging. It's only a matter of time until we read about someone in the paper, too. It's a tragedy waiting to happen.

                      I think Dan's on the right track. Goo Voght is the SOTAR dealer for Alaska, and he tells me they will build whatever you want. I would give him a shout.

                      Your Pro Pioneer weighs 80# without the rigging. It's going to be hard to beat that for weight. The AIRE Traveler is 70# without rigging, so not a lot of difference there (though it slides MUCH BETTER over wet rocks). The downside to the SOTAR idea is that the material is stiff and does not fold up really tight like rubber does. If you're set on a canoe, you might look at the Grabner Adventure. It weighs 55# and claims to have a 992# capacity, though it would be a slug with that kind of weight in it.

                      I'm not a fan of the canoes or pack rafts, because of the meat care issue as well. Proper meat care is enough work already, but when you have to shoehorn it all into a small boat, it gets wet from sweating against the boat fabric and other meat bags, plus it almost always gets splash over from the river. River water and game meat have almost identical pH, which is ideal for the growth of spoilage-causing bacteria. You might review our Meat Care on the River section for additional insights on this topic.

                      One consideration might be a cataraft. I've portaged my AIRE Leopard many times, the longest portage being three miles, by carrying it one piece at a time. The tubes weigh 52# each, making it well within range for most folks. And with that boat, you have tons of other options besides floating the one area you are looking at.

                      Hope it helps!

                      -Mike
                      Michael Strahan
                      Site Owner
                      Alaska Hunt Consultant
                      1 (907) 229-4501

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Michael Strahan View Post
                        One consideration might be a cataraft. I've portaged my AIRE Leopard many times, the longest portage being three miles,

                        -Mike
                        Mike- I hadn't considered a cataraft but that is certainly an option since it breaks down to smaller pieces and carries a large load.
                        "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          here's the boat I designed for 1 guy, gear, and a moose: The LEGEND

                          12' length
                          45" wide
                          14" tubes tapered to 16" at bow and stern
                          self-bail convertible (screw cap lids)
                          Fabric: 30-oz PVC with extra 30-oz chafe guard on the bottom all around the boat
                          row capable (Oar Saddles) or paddle with 220cm kayak paddle like the PR-49
                          Weight = 46-lbs
                          Max Capacity: 1350-lbs with screw caps closed
                          Best max payload = 1200-lbs
                          COLOR: Hunter Green (2015 production)

                          currently sold out will have more inventory in mid winter. Have 8 ea used Green ones after season, will update website with this boat this fall. This yellow one is my personal rig for this fall!

                          Price = $2200 with boat, oar saddles, oars and two seats, repair kit and air pump
                          Price = $1700 with boat, repair kit, and two seats, repair kit and air pump

                          Click image for larger version

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                          https://pristineventures.com

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                          • #14
                            Is that a drop-stitch floor Larry?

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                            • #15
                              Yeah Strike, that's a 3" drop stitch and super lightweight. That floor is rigid and buoyant. I cannot wait to hunt moose with in 6 or 7 weeks.

                              Mike, I'd like to know your source of information about wet spoiled meat being a new trend related to packrafting. I interview many meat care shops and ask about spoilage and user trends. No one has mentioned a relation to wet spoiled meat and packrafting. Thanks.

                              larry
                              Attached Files
                              https://pristineventures.com

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