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This is the last part of my four part article series on packrafting. See also part 1 about packrafting gear, part 2 about reasons to packraft and part 3 about essential packrafting skills This article is just a collection of resources, both online and offline, that you can use to learn about packrafting. I’ll include blogs, articles, videos, books and movies and intend to keep updating this article with a growing list of resources for learning packrafting.
A lot of the material here will already have been linked on part 3 of the series: Learning packrafting: The essential skills. In this article, instead of linking to individual pages of a site or to individual videos of a series, I will link to a the site or playlist, with the idea that all of the individual videos or article can be found via that one link. The essential skills article does an ok job of linking individual videos under their corresponding skills, so be sure to check that for a more detailed coverage.
As it stands, the name “Ultimate resource list” is maybe a little in the realm of over-promise, under-deliver but I promise to keep updating this page for years to come.
American Packrafting Association Not just for americans, there’s discussion here about packrafting all over the world.
Packrafting on Europe Facebook group Self explanatory
Packrafting in Sweden Facebook group Talk about packrafting in Sweden, but english is also often used so if you’re interested in packrafting in Sweden, just jump in. They also host great packraft gatherings, as documented e.g. in Inflatable People
Packrafting in Finland Facebook group Similiar group as Packrafting in Sweden but little less volume (less packrafters in Finland?). It’s a closed group but if you’re interested in packrafting Finnish rivers, I’m sure you will be accepted.
Packrafting Sell & Buy Facebook group A facebook group for buying and selling packrafting gear.
Blogs and articles
A brief history of the Packraft
Let’s start with some background information. Outside Online has an excellent brief history of the packraft, tracing the history back all the way to 1845.
Class IV Packrafting
This article by Luc Mehl (thingstolucat.com) is an excellent resource for going from easy grade I and II rapids to harder III and IV rapids.
Packraft Trip Planning on Wilderness Areas
Packraft Trip Planning on Wilderness Areas is the most comprehensive article on planning packrafting trips that I have yet to encounter. Reserve an hour, a large cup of coffee and enjoy.
Not only does Paddle Education have some of the best videos online, but their site is an excellent resource as well. Check paddleeducation.com on whitewater kayaking
Basic Paddling Skills (multiple videos)
Basic paddle stroke, turning stroke and draw stroke by SlipperyCreekKayak
Ferrying by expertvillage
Eddy turn / peel out by JacksonKayak
Paddling through waves by Michele Ramazza
Basic River Running
Basic River Running by Paddle Education: An excellent series of 13 videos
Packrafting 101 videoseries by Media Feliz
This is an excellent series on the basics of reading the river.
Books and movies
There are not very many books on packrafting, but many (whitewater) kayaking books can be applied directly into packrafting as well. Here are some that I’ve found to be good resources. All of the books here are ones that I’ve read. I’ll grow this list as I get my hands on more books and find the time to read them.
Journey on the Wild Coast
A movie by Erin McKittrick and Bretwood “Hig” Higman of their 4000 mile trip through the Alaskan coast, from Seattle to Aleutians prominently featuring packrafts. The movie can be found on Steep Edge or on Amazon
A Long Trek Home
Also available as book “A long trek home”. Both the book and the movie are highly recommended.
Packrafting! An Introduction and How-To Guide
Packrafting! An Introduction and How-To Guide is a book by Roman Dial, one of the most famous packrafters (and adventurers) of all time. The book is basically a must read since it’s one of the only books on packrafting out there, but I felt it is a bit short on actionable advice on getting started. Motivation (the whys for packrafting) and ideas for trip planning are maybe the stronger points of the book.
Kayak: The New Frontier: The Animated Manual of Intermediate an Advanced Whitewater Technique
For me, understanding the flow of a river and the how to maneuver in the rapids with a packraft are very much visual problems. What I loved about Kayak: The New Frontier: The Animated Manual of Intermediate and Advanced Whitewater Technique (what a mouthful of a title) is it’s clear illustrations of the hydrotopology concepts. For a lot of things (like paddling moves and other maneuvers), videos are the best ways to learn. But for understanding difficult concepts like the formation of different features on rapids, the illustrations on the book do an excellent job. And for stuff like rolls, a video doesn’t tell you much about what is happening underwater whereas the illustrations show you that. So, if you can get past the stupid font, then this is a gem of a book.