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Old 12-01-2014   #11
Old Guy in a PFD
Tucson, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1967
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,022
A gas leaf blower does indeed do the job for about $120 and should still fit in a rocket box, along with the usual repair bits and tools. You can buy a quart of premix gas in a metal bottle that is ethanol free or upgrade the plastic fuel lines; Those little gas engines run just fine otherwise. The ethanol free premixed gas is stunningly expensive, but one could justify the cost with "yeah, but you get a nifty metal bottle along with the gas and it's premixed".

"Mighty Blow" is noisy, stinky, and demands gentle treatment, but for blowing up several boats (or deflating if you fabricate a suck attachment) they cannot be beat. One quart of gas can keep a fleet of leaky pontoons stiff for an entire Grand trip. I know this from experience. Battery blowers might work, but I'd be worried about a dead battery and/or a lack of spirit from the thing as the battery runs down.

I have heard, but never verified, that those gas engines will run, for a bit, on camp gas and will require cleaning afterwards, another point in their favor if true. I mean, if they will indeed run on camp gas in an emergency, maybe they will also run on everclear?

Someone needs to investigate............

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Old 12-02-2014   #12
Walla Walla, Washington
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 144
I have been using a gas leaf blower for years. It works great and you can use it in the fall for leafs too, crazy!
I like to stick with gas, you can see when you are going to run out of juice and quickly fill it up. Batteries not so much. Plus its great to pull the cord and see everyone at the put-in look at you like a wild maniac.
I don't think I spent over $75 for mine. Well worth the money. After using a barrel pump and being exhausted even before I got on the river i said enough. I even use it on my IKs. You could probably get a good after fall Christmas deal right now.

In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is strength, in water there is bacteria.
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Old 12-03-2014   #13
sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 148
I have been using one of these airhead pumps for years. It is exactly like the one Aire sells for 89.00. just a different color of plastic. I take my 12 volt jump box for jump starting your car and am completely mobile to walk around my raft. Will do a few rafts, and still jump your car. : AIRHEAD AHP-12HP High Pressure Air Pump 12 Volt : Boating Water Pressure Pumps : Sports & Outdoors
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Old 12-03-2014   #14
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,409
Early on in my rafting career I asked my more experienced rafter buds about using my gas powered leaf blower to blow up my Aire raft. Their advice was do not use them due to vapors from the gas reacting with the plastic in the rafts. This makes some sense to me as when I use my gas powered leaf blower I end up with gas smell on hands and clothing no matter if I use ethanol or pure gas.

For my rafts, I use both hand and battery powered pumps. And, have had no problems with keeping track of battery charge.

I would be interested in the opinions of the Mt Buzz community.

For me tho, I am going to stick with my hand and battery powered raft pumps. Easier for me to carry, store and less of a greasy film on what ever the leaf blower touches.
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Old 12-03-2014   #15
2kanzam's Avatar
Charleston, West Virginny
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 461
Wow all this and no one mentions that a coleman bed pump that usually comes free with the bed does the job fine with a little top off at the end?

At the ramp: Coleman plug in and run off of my car battery or deep cycle with a inverter.

At river camp if necessary: Coleman battery powered pump

At home: shopvac

My backup is a cheap $2 mini shop vac.
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Old 12-03-2014   #16
south lake tahoe, California
Paddling Since: 1974
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 95
Oreck mini vac and a hand pump work for me
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Old 12-03-2014   #17
RASIL's Avatar
Everett, Washington
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 21
I find a NRS barrel pump and a couple 12-15 year olds work really well.

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Old 12-03-2014   #18
Boston Mountains, Arkansas
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 92
Most of the rafting crew around here use the rechargable Coleman pumps. A fully charged one will fill 2 Super Pumas. Still have to top off some. Eventually the battery will quit taking a charge but for $30 and 3 or 4 years of use, not bad.
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Old 12-03-2014   #19
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,911
I use a NRS Blast pump and a Bravo II (?) foot pump for topping off. Y'all may be overthinking this a bit. And the notion of using a gas powered blower just seems like serious overkill (not to mention stink and noise) if you've got a 12V battery nearby.
Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 12-03-2014   #20
East of the Pine beatle, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,363
I had an Airhead and wound up frying it because I left the truck running while using the pump. It won't tolerate the voltage for long- otherwise it was a decent solution. Now I keep my boats inflated on the trailer and just top off with a DRE barrel pump.

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