Pack Cats & Duckies: Boatpacking - Mountain Buzz

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Old 07-01-2007   #1
Chip's Avatar
SE, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,099
Pack Cats & Duckies: Boatpacking

I'm keen on adventurous small-boat runs and self-support, particularly outside the high-water season. So I'd like to put together a list of people with the same instincts, so we can be in touch and plan.

One of the best trips I've done was the Escalante River (Utah) in May '05– eight days in redrock heaven (see below) with my partner, Deb, and two Colorado boaters, Moose and Melanie Z.

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Putting it together meant keeping a watch on SNOTEL sites and studying hydrographs. But the reward was a perfect water level and great weather for a unique run.

Style-wise, it's backpacking with a boat. Low-volume 'yaks and teeny duckies are ruled out, since they can't hold enough supplies for multi-day trips. No beer barge, alas. But I don't seem to miss it.

There are some obscure and out-of-the way runs I'd like to do– maybe you have your own secret list. I'm also interested in fall, low-water runs on Deso, Lodore, etc. using small, self-supporting boats. I've got well-tested lightweight kitchen and river toilet gear, for parties of 4-6.

If this appeals to you, drop a PM with your contact info, type of boat and gear, and things you'd like to run. I'll distribute the list to all who respond.

yrs, Chip

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Old 07-02-2007   #2
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SE, Wyoming
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,099
This is the right thread. Can't figure out how to dump the other one.
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Old 07-02-2007   #3
God Amongst Men
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Phuoc My, Da Nang, THE 'NAM
Paddling Since: 1845
Join Date: May 2005
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i have a 8.5' creek company super sport cat that, while it wasnt designed to, i rigged up a system of carrying on my back. the tubes fold up really small and then its a simple matter of halfway taking apart the frame and then just lashing it all together and going. i dont take it far but it works for a few miles or so.

i usually go with duckies for hikeable but close places, never tried serious packing with one. pm me fomoinfo!

lots of errors this morning ha ha
"Don't f$&@ing eddy out, just run it! Whaddya doin??" -LMyers
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Old 07-02-2007   #4
Colorado Springs Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: May 2006
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This type of travel is what I have my compass set on also. I sent you a PM w/ more details.

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Old 07-11-2007   #5
Chip's Avatar
SE, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,099
Soft Machines

One last bump, to harvest a few more puff-boaters. I'll distribute the list of those who reply to all.

If you have a Jack's Pack Cat, and remain silent— the curse of Paco upon you!

yrs, Chip
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Old 07-12-2007   #6
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 245
I just picked up a very old thrill kat from custom inflatables in WV, it needs some mods to be fit, but it has tiedowns as if it wants to be packed...

I'm thinking of getting a frame pack to use as frame and carry device, the cat itself is light, less than thirty lbs for sure. I'd love to get out and try what you speak of!!

I've also considered canyoneering with it, but this is my first puff boat so I don't really have a good comparison...

pm with email forthcoming!!
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Old 07-12-2007   #7
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
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That's how I got into boating in the first place,3 day self support ducky trip on the Dolores,freakin'awesome i was hooked immediately,also did 3 night trip on Gila wilderness run and lots of 1 nighters Westwater,Gunny Gorge,etc.Havn't been doing many of those trips in recent years,would love a Dinosaur or Lodore trip if someone got a permit,4 day 3 night would probably be the maximum i could get away for this year.How long does Deso-Gray take?What other runs were you considering?My friend Kevin is really into that type of boating also,and has tons of experience at it.In other words I'D BE INTERESTED.
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Old 07-12-2007   #8
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Leadvillian, Colorado
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 381
just got a 9' raft and am planning to mimic another trip I went on a few months back horsepacking the boat into the river

we have lots of options for this kind've stuff down here in central america, so although I probably shouldn't be on the list (I don't get back enough) I just wanted you guys to keep that in mind if your planning a holiday

I'm in San Jose, Costa Rica and can help you plan just about any type of multi-day trip you can imagine as long as it involves tropical rainforests and not the desert - most those boats will fit in a suitcase as easy as on your back!!!
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Old 07-12-2007   #9
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
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hey Matt,

I travel down ther alot 2006 was the first year since 1999 that I couldn't afford it,13 trips from 11/99 to 4/03,Belizean girlfriend,took my boat a half dozen times or more.Hope to start up again this fall/winter going farther south,have paddled 12 rivers in BZ,Guat,Hond,and MEX.,but never an overnight.On our best expedition we made to the takeout just before dark,wasn't looking forward to sleeping in the jungle in a hefty bag!I usually take minimalist survival gear eg not sleeping bag ,tent ,or pad,it's just to much to lug around with boat,gear and regular clothes and toiletries.I like to travel light,kinda hard with a boat.Anyway ,are you an outfitter or could you supply camping stuff,do you do moderately difficult whitewater3/4,or just nature floats?What do you know about Rio San Juan or anything else in Nicaragua ,it's ripe for exploration now that it's been safe for several years?

i am rambling on,tell us about somethings you're interested in.
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Old 07-12-2007   #10
Hot Springs, Arkansas
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1
I have Aire Lynx II (12 ft), have done one self-support on Rio Chama (3 nites, @ 600 cfs), otherwise, several trips in Dinosaur NM and Lower Salmon semi-self-supported (personal gear only). Very interested in some of the types of trips your mentioned. Escalante probably too technical to suit me. I have also dreamed of doing the Rio Grande from Labotos Bridge to (sheep trail ??), take out is 400 ft pack out. Please put me on your contact list. I'm in Arkansas, and have a buddy in Montana with Maravia IK who has been interested in same type of "stealth" trip, as we call it. - Scott
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