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Was: Grand Canyon Boulder Canyon - Now: Packrafts and Wind

Discussion in 'Archives - Yahoo Canyons Group' started by aj.outdoors, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. aj.outdoors

    aj.outdoors Guest

    I would also add, be very careful with packrafts in terms of wind. I left my packraft (one of Aaron's) for a quick hike up a canyon; and had put a medium sized (10-ish lb) round and polished rock in it, as well as all my river gear (paddle, life jacket, paddle gloves, helmet, etc.) While we were up canyon, the wind picked up (to 20-ish MPH) and I got back and my gear was all over the beach with no raft in sight. I was told that it flies quite well, and floats up river quite easily in that amount of wind.

    Thankfully, none of my gear was permanently lost, and we were able to retrieve the packraft from an eddy using our full sized rafts (it came back down most of the way.) (If you are on this board, thanks again Kelly!)

    Wouldn't have been as easy if it happened with only packrafts around. Big lesson learned. Deflate the raft, even if it's only for a short time...

    After playing in it, I'd recommend Aaron's rafts too. Quite the no frills and lightweight raft (but I have nowhere near the experience of comparison of Rich; so take it with a grain of salt...)

    Take care, A.J.

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "rich_rudow" <rich_rudow@...> wrote:
    Mike, the risk of a puncture while floating is practically zero (in Grand Canyon). I've never seen anyone get a puncture on water, even after hitting the rare rock just under the surface, although I would recommend you miss them :) The only time pack rafts get punctures are during portages. I've had small pin holes from cactus and cat claw in every raft I've owned. I usually carry a very small patch kit for emergencies, but I've never had to use it in the field. The ability to inflate the raft while floating allows you to not only deal with the air cooling in the raft from the cold river temps, but also to add air if you have a small leak. I own a Sevylor, a Fly Weight, and two of Aaron's rafts. I haven't used the Sevylor or Flyweight in years. Aaron has the only raft that allows inflation on the fly and it's the lightest boat available. It's quite a remarkable design.
    I've fixed pinholes at home with a dab of seam grip and it seems to last indefinitely. One caution with any raft - do not leave the raft on a beach in the hot sun without opening the valve. The air will expand enough to cause a potential seam failure. I made that mistake once, and while the seam didn't fail completely, I was sweating bullets getting downriver hoping it would hold. It was in Aaron's prototype boat and I was able to add air while floating so it all worked out fine. Fortunately, it was easy to repair at home with an iron since he uses a heat sealed process. My Sevylor or Flyweight would have been irreparable had the seam split.
    Rich >
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