Packrafting deep into Tasmania's wilderness is a truly unforgettable experiance but can be a daunting task when you are standing in your living room wondering how this mountain of gear is going to be packed into a tiny boat. This article will hopefully provide info on gear that needs to be packed and how to fit it all in!
What to pack:
Spare paddle x1 Toilet paper, hand sanitiser, Roll of plastic bags,Toilet Trowel Stove MSR Wisperlite and MSR Dragonfly with pumps Shelite 2L in two bottles. Two large pots and lids Scour pad and soap Big spoon Tarps (big ones from Justin to sleep under, some cheap ones to sleep on) Cord for tarps First aid kit Spread-out Wrap Kit (I would like most people to have a prussic, carabiner, flip line and potentially a throw bag. One pully would also be good) Epirb/Inreach for communicating with boat Compass and Maps K-Pump Mini Patch Kit (PVC patch, glue, solvent wipes, tearaid) Drybags Rubbish bags – lots
Boat Paddle Lifejacket Helmet Shoes Wetsuit, Extra layers to go underneath. Drysuit if you can. Throw bag, flipline, prussic, pully if you have one. Sleeping Bag Mat Pillow? Bivibag if you have one Warm clothes for off river Raincoat Bowl, spork, cup Water bottle (at least 2-3L for the portage if not more) Headlamp and lots of batteries Small towel Off river shoes. (THESE WILL BE USED FOR THE WALK so feel free to bring boots and gators if you can put them inside your boat). Toiletries Patch kit if your boat isn’t PVC Drybags if you have them Pack big enough to fit all gear plus boat. (Otherwise, you will be stuck with a big club drybag)
Inside or outside, that is the big question. Where to put your gear depends on what type of trip you are running and I will break it into two catagories: Low water trips with frequent portaging or high water with big boogy!
If the trip is likely going to be scratchy with low amounts of water such as the Andrew, and is well within your paddling ability then putting the majority of your gear on the outside of your boat is the way to go! By putting bulky
Wether you are adding more attachment points, thigh straps or day bags it can be easy to get too excited and compromise the safety of your boat.
Shown below is an example of my latest method of attaching a day bag while packrafting.
As you can see I have attached the bag to the flood between my legs. This provides me with excelent access to my camera and lunch while I paddle and it also helps displace water from the large empty void between my legs for quicker bailing. While this may initially seem like a great idea, it was important that I remembered the "clean lines principle" to ensure I wasn't creating entrapment hazards in my boat and to test my wet exit to make sure I can still safely and easily exit my boat. In this case I make sure to clip down any handles and straps out of the way and leave the bag attachment to the floor a bit loose so that the bag can move slightly as I take my knees out without getting in the way.
I have seen custom modifications that have resulted in people getting trapped in their boats so it's always important to test test test and reachout to other people you paddle with for their ideas.
Hopefully you now feel prepared to come along to an epic multiday adventure!