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Adventures in Packrafting!

The desert Southwest is a myriad of canyons, rambling rivers and adventure. If you’ve ever hiked into Grand Canyon you that feeling of “what’s around the next bend of the trail… and the next… and the next until you come upon the mighty Colorado River. The cold (around 45 degrees) water flows swiftly from 8,000 to 25,000 cfs.  This is not the river you can or should attempt crossing with a backpack in tow. So, how do you continue your wanderlust hike in Grand Canyon? How do you complete a trans-canyon hike if you’re not crossing the historic bridge to Phantom Ranch or driving across Navajo Bridge in Marble Canyon? After all, there are approximately 2,000 square miles of beauty to behold and only two bridges crossing it. Packraft!

For thousands of years, our ancestors have crafted small rafts from wood, bone, hide or bark to cross rivers safely. We can consider these ancient crafts as the ancestors of modern day kayaks, canoes and packrafts. The first full-fledged “packraft” we know of was a small rubber boat carried by the Jefferson Arctic Expedition.  Reputedly, this craft can still be viewed in a museum in Nova Scotia.  This boat is believed to have been used to explore the Franklin river of Tasmania.  Another packrafter recently revealed to our community a picture of Japanese reconnaissance units in WWII using single-man rubber rafts to stealthily move across water. Other light, simple rafts were developed as aviator survivor boats in the Second World War, and subsequently played a pivotal role in the birth of postwar packrafting.

These days, most canyoneers use packrafts to help them navigate the twisting and turning river channels within the depths of canyons. Packrafting requires a knowledge of water and a packrafter should feel confident in his or her boating skills before attempting to raft across any swiftwater! While packrafts are little and manueverable, they are NOT indestructable and neither are you!

Ceiba Adventure’s is proud to add a brand new Alpacka Raft to our fleet of shiny boats. Our packraft is manufactured by the Alpackaraft company, one of the first makers of quality packrafts. Alpacka packrafts are rugged, hand-built wilderness boats. Whether used for fishing a remote alpine lake, descending whitewater, or just exploring a little wetland on the side of the road, they make wilderness boating accessible.

The Yukon Yak is a mid-size expeditionary / multi-purpose boat.  With whitewater & cargo-carrying hull features, the Yak is the most popular model for adventurers and backcountry river-runners.

The Yukon Yak is a good, high-performance fit for paddlers who range between 5 feet 8 inches (1.73 meters) and 6 feet(1.83 meters) tall, and lets smaller paddlers carry large loads.  If you’re between 5’8″ and 6′,and looking for an all-purpose boat or the best whitewater performance,the Yak is probably the right size for you.

This raft weighs 4 pounds and folds into the size of a two-person backpacking tent. It comes with a basic repair kit, stuff sack and inflation bag. It has a removable seat & seat-back, 2 stern grab loops, 4 bow grab loops. We’ll send you out with a lifejacket and a 4 piece fiberglass shaft Manta-Ray paddle, the best in the biz for this kind of boating.

So, are you in for an epic adventure in backpacking and boating? If so, give us a call. We’ll make sure you are ready to raft!PK1


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