Archive for October 8th, 2009

October 8, 2009

Packrafting in the UK?

by backpackingbongos

For a while now I have fancied using a canoe for an overnight backpacking trip in the Scottish Highlands.  I have romantic visions of paddling across a remote loch and setting up camp on the other side, or even spending the night on a small island.  All very well and good but there are the practicalities to deal with, transporting and storing a canoe plus getting it onto the loch or your choice.  I started googling inflatable canoes and saw there are a wide variety and options, but they are still on the heavy side to carry to remote lochs.  This was when Alpacka Raft caught my eye.  Imagine an inflatable that is light enough to actually backpack with and is designed to carry you and your gear across a wide variety of water.  I then noticed the prices and my heart sank, damn they are expensive!

It was Phil and Martins response to my post, ‘My most expensive ever gear purchase‘ that has got me dreaming again.  Is this something that could happily be done whilst backpacking in the UK?  For example look at the Inverpolly nature reserve above Ullapool, there are loads of lochs joined together.  Image exploring that by boat and setting up remote wild camps, the possibilities could be endless.  The packability means that if you live near a river or canal you could paddle downstream and then jump on a bus back to your start.  Thats something you definitely could not do with a canoe!  Martin recommended Roman Dials book and it is something that I am going to track down.

Youtube has loads of packrafting videos, I have picked out a couple that give an impression of what it is all about.  Any one out there doing it in the UK?