Packrafting is an exciting new adventure that takes people over land and water on epic multi-day adventures.
And because you’ll be spending so much time on the water, there are a few must-have items for you to consider that will make your life more comfortable.
Some of these items you might already have, but it doesn’t harm to take a look:
#1 Dry Suit
Because you’ll be hiking over land and paddling in the water, keeping your clothes dry is essential. Walking in wet clothes is nearly unbearable, and with limited space in your boat, there are only so many dry clothes you can bring with you.
And this is why I like to wear a dry suit while I’m on the water. Dry suits like this allow you to wear your hiking clothes underneath without fearing them getting wet.
Another great thing about dry suits is you get to wear warm clothing underneath, so you’ll be warmer on the water than ever before.
They use a combination of latex and neoprene seals around the wrists, ankles, and neck, which stop water from seeping down through. While the breathable Nylon Shell helps you to regulate your body temperature.
When you’re done with the water, you can slip out of the dry suit and get straight onto your hike with minimal effort.
#2 PFD (Personal Floatation Device)
There are so many different styles of PFD for you to choose from, which can make life pretty difficult.
One of the first things you need to consider is the type of water you will be paddling. There are five types of PFD, and which one you’ll need depends on the water you’ll be paddling.
I’m not going to go into the types here, so you can check out this link if you want to learn more about them.
If you’re packrafting on white water where there’s a chance you need to be rescued quickly, you’re going to need a type V PFD.
Personally, I like the ASTRAL WILLIS 515; it’s extremely low profile, which makes it easier to paddle. It also features multiple adjustment points, so you can find the right fit for you with little effort.
At the front of the PFD, you’ll find a zip pouch that gives you quick access to any of your important items, such as your kayak knife.
And if you’re looking to save space, you can always check out some of the inflatable PFDs. They allow you to pack down the PFD when you’re not using it so it will save space in your backpack.
They take a little bit more maintenance; of course, you need to be careful not to puncture the material.
#3 Waterproof Gloves
You might think that having gloves won’t make much difference, but it really does. It can get tough on your hands when you’re rafting down ice-cold water for multiple days. And a good set of waterproof gloves makes life a lot more comfortable.
One of my favorite waterproof gloves is SEALSKINZ. They are built with a three-layer construction, providing warmth, durability, and, most importantly, waterproofing.
The fingers are pre-curved, which gives you greater control when you’re paddling, and the PU suede palm gives you more grip when you need it the most.