American Packrafting Association - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 12-18-2012   #1
 
travelling, around
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American Packrafting Association

Parallel with the latest developments in packraft design a new organization has emerged: the American Packrafting Association. It's independent of Alpacka or Feathercraft or any other manufacturer.

Its purpose, among others, is access to paddling: keeping it and gaining it, since packrafters can walk into places that have not yet had boating and can run waters now that they have not run in the past.


Please have a look at the organization and especially join if you feel that freedom to paddle on public waters is important.

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Old 12-18-2012   #2
 
Denver, Colorado
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How do the packrafting associations objectives differ from those of American Whitewater? At first glance they look so similar as to be almost the same (access, conservation etc). Whats the benefit of starting another organization vs. joinng forces with an existing one? Just curious.
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Old 12-18-2012   #3
 
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Why APA?

That's a really good question DeepSouth.

We started the Association because of the packraft's niche between boating and backpacking, the bridge if you will between river and trail.

Many public lands are both great walking and great boating -- the Grand Canyon being one of them. Many of us wanted to ensure access so that we can walk in, paddle, walk around, paddle, walk out, for instance.

So because packrafts offer unique opportunities and land managing agencies are also often recalcitrant to change, we wanted to have a voice.

Next, many packrafters are backpackers first and so AW may not be able to best educate safety protocols that are conditional on being able to carry everything in your pack.

Also, many of us maintain a certain identity that is not entirely boater, not entirely backpacker. That is, while we like both activities, their melding is unique and neither user group -- hiker nor boater -- would best serve our interests either alone or together.

Finally, the packrafting community is growing and some of us pioneers felt it was time to organize and share, so that's how we have come to this point.
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Old 12-18-2012   #4
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I'm going to start the United Federation of Duckie Enthusiasts. Anyone want to join? Membership dues are due by the end of December.
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Old 12-18-2012   #5
 
West By God, Wyoming
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I think its a great idea. I don't own a packraft (yet) but I'm intrigued by the unique opportunities that they provide. I have heard that certain forest managers are planning to implement a packrafting permitting system on wild and scenic rivers, so there is a need for an organization such as this.
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Old 12-19-2012   #6
 
Prescott, Arizona
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cold77 View Post
That's a really good question DeepSouth.

We started the Association because of the packraft's niche between boating and backpacking, the bridge if you will between river and trail.

Many public lands are both great walking and great boating -- the Grand Canyon being one of them. Many of us wanted to ensure access so that we can walk in, paddle, walk around, paddle, walk out, for instance.

So because packrafts offer unique opportunities and land managing agencies are also often recalcitrant to change, we wanted to have a voice.

Next, many packrafters are backpackers first and so AW may not be able to best educate safety protocols that are conditional on being able to carry everything in your pack.

Also, many of us maintain a certain identity that is not entirely boater, not entirely backpacker. That is, while we like both activities, their melding is unique and neither user group -- hiker nor boater -- would best serve our interests either alone or together.

Finally, the packrafting community is growing and some of us pioneers felt it was time to organize and share, so that's how we have come to this point.
It's really sucks when a friend of mine has to risk his life rescuing packrafters in the Grand Canyon who decided to run the river. You're right, many packrafters are backpackers first. Some aren't making the brightest choices when it comes to the paddling part. Especially in the Grand Canyon, where you need proper protective equipment even if your just crossing the river. Not to say nothing ever goes wrong with river trips, but they are more prepared for self rescue and to deal with the river than a backpacker packrafting.
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Old 12-19-2012   #7
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the grove, Oregon
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does this count as packrafting or pack ducky-ing?
riverlog: Wild and Scenic Chetco: Day 1

I think an organization for duckie lovers that love horses (not the Enumclaw type love) would be a great spin-off of the Horeman's Association. I have done climbing, boating, hiking, fossil and rock hunting, and probably drank too much alcohol on one trip, what should we call that group? People for Access to Adventures on 10-Step Program? What if I was LGBT? Would that be an additional organization?

American Whitewater is pretty all encompasing for paddlers, I bet they even allow LGBT Creature Craft rowers in
Your nitch is not even remotely new. People have been packing IKs and rafts into remote places for a very long time. Think about Robbins and crew humping hardshells into remote places in CA in the 1960s, outfitters have been packing boats into the SF Flathead for decades, long before a "packraft" was a twinkle in the eye. "Packrafts" are just increasingly lighter.
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Old 12-19-2012   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shappattack View Post
does this count as packrafting or pack ducky-ing?
riverlog: Wild and Scenic Chetco: Day 1

I think an organization for duckie lovers that love horses (not the Enumclaw type love) would be a great spin-off of the Horeman's Association. I have done climbing, boating, hiking, fossil and rock hunting, and probably drank too much alcohol on one trip, what should we call that group? People for Access to Adventures on 10-Step Program? What if I was LGBT? Would that be an additional organization?

American Whitewater is pretty all encompasing for paddlers, I bet they even allow LGBT Creature Craft rowers in
Your nitch is not even remotely new. People have been packing IKs and rafts into remote places for a very long time. Think about Robbins and crew humping hardshells into remote places in CA in the 1960s, outfitters have been packing boats into the SF Flathead for decades, long before a "packraft" was a twinkle in the eye. "Packrafts" are just increasingly lighter.
errr, I mean late 1970s for the beggingin of Robbins et al. shennigans.
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Old 12-19-2012   #9
 
travelling, around
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Originally Posted by shappattack View Post
errr, I mean late 1970s for the beggingin of Robbins et al. shennigans.
Yea, we are not claiming to be doing anything new. In fact, if you visit the site you'll get a bit deeper historical view there, ole' ShappaTack, than shlepping fiberglass boats in the dark ages.

APA is just a way for pansy asses like me who can't man up and huck and fuck like you badasses to keep your badass buddies from saving our drowning asses 'cause we can't save our own asses.

Also sometimes you just don't feel wanted, even if you do believe in the same god. Think protestants and catholicks, Or baptists and mormons -- or even suni and shiites.

So packrafters and hardshells/big boats/ creature features/whatever-- yea.
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Old 12-19-2012   #10
 
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Wow shapp, lots of hate there. And cold- your response isn't really enticing, bad pr for the group. Perhaps people aren't aware of the significant permit controversy pack rafters are working with in the grand canyon, but I'm guessing your group's charge is going to be quite different from AW.
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