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KascadeFlat
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KascadeFlat
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PostSun Oct 02, 2022 5:42 pm 
I am partially finished with a DIY pack raft build and it's time to start thinking about picking up the required accessories. To those that pack raft - 1. What paddle are you using and what do you recommend? 2. Do you carry a PFD? If so, what kind? I will be pack rafting exclusively on nice, calm, alpine lakes. Most of these excursions will be overnights so I am *somewhat* worried about weight. There is no white water in my future.

For a good time call: 1-800-SLD-ALDR.
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Slim
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PostMon Oct 03, 2022 3:05 pm 
KascadeFlat wrote:
I am partially finished with a DIY pack raft build and it's time to start thinking about picking up the required accessories. To those that pack raft - 1. What paddle are you using and what do you recommend? 2. Do you carry a PFD? If so, what kind?
For paddles, I carve up corrugated political yard signs in a paddle shape and tether them together with nylon cord so you can't lose them. Kind of like strings on winter mittens. For added ridgidity, bamboo skewers are placed in a few of the hollow sections. It's a pretty ghetto setup but it's lightweight, and essentially free. For lakes, in place of a pfd, I use a neo air sleeping pad in the bottom of the boat. It provides extra buoyancy and keeps my butt off the wet bottom of the boat. And acts as a backup in case the main boat punctures. I have an Astral pfd for my whitewater Alpacka. ~Slim

"Lean mean money-making-machines serving fiends"

KascadeFlat
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Chief Joseph
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PostMon Oct 03, 2022 10:51 pm 
I like the paddles that came with my Curtis raft, they are like ping pong paddles only lighter. You might PM Brian Curtis here he might have more info on those. I also sometimes use a thermarest for the bottom, especially handy since the floor seems to always leak on my raft so keeps you dryer too. The Curtis raft had the option of a double floor or just double at the end so you could stand on it. Wish mine had the double floor as leakage has been an issue...back to patching again.

Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.

KascadeFlat
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Ski
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PostTue Oct 04, 2022 5:38 am 
did anybody mention packraft.org yet? wink.gif

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KascadeFlat
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KascadeFlat
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PostTue Oct 04, 2022 7:33 am 
I had not considered hand paddles - that is a brilliant suggestion! My only question is: Are they sufficient if the wind picks up? Can you get yourself out of harm's way in a pinch? The raft I'm building comes with an inflatable seat in two pieces - one on the floor and one as a backrest. I think I'll double those up as backup flotation per your suggestions. And if all three fail in the same trip, I'll give up building packrafts. Packraft.org has a great video on kitting up the packraft! Thank you for suggesting it. wink.gif

For a good time call: 1-800-SLD-ALDR.
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RichardJ
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PostTue Oct 04, 2022 8:21 am 
I left my Curtis raft paddles at Robin lakes some years ago and replaced them with paddle ball paddles from Fred Meyer. They were too big so I trimmed them a bit and painted them. Works perfectly. The paddles work great on very light rafts but I would not go too far from the lake edge in windy conditions. For PFD, I love the NRS Chinook for fly fishing and it doesn’t get shoved into my chin.

KascadeFlat
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Chief Joseph
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PostTue Oct 04, 2022 8:58 am 
I don't have an issue with mobility at all using the paddles, but I tend to stay close to shore, especially in windy conditions. Another benefit to a full length mattress pad is as well as a pad for the floor and emergency flotation device, if folded in half you then have a backrest, as well as a bit of a sail if the wind is blowing your way. One of my favorite lakes has a couple of submerged logs about 30 yards offshore, so in windy conditions I just tie up to it and fish from there. Once on a pretty windy day I floated a fly that way for about 40 minutes, then "Fish On"!....and repeat. I also keep my Curtis raft paddles on cordage attached to my raft so no worries about losing them or forgetting them. doh.gif I was backpacking with another Curtis raft owner once and he uses pieces of cedar bark as paddles to save weight...yea, dude is a bit strange. suuure.gif

Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.

KascadeFlat
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KascadeFlat
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PostTue Oct 04, 2022 10:25 am 
Cedar bark definitely wins the "upcycle" reward.

For a good time call: 1-800-SLD-ALDR.
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RichardJ
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PostTue Oct 04, 2022 12:14 pm 
Cedar bark worked for me on one trip I forget my paddles.😊

KascadeFlat
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bivouacjack
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PostFri Oct 07, 2022 10:30 am 
Here are the UL 4 piece paddles I use. No issues with them being too small yet and I dont worry about breaking them when pushing off from shore - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00YFPS7OC/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 If I'm headed out on big deep water, I bring this snorkel vest for my PFD. On small lakes, I dont worry about a PFD since I have an inflatable seat in my Alpacka Scout - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01FISQT6M/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

KascadeFlat
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forest gnome
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PostFri Oct 07, 2022 1:03 pm 
Take an empty med sized laundry soap plastic jug.. Cut in half lengthways .and then u also have a handle loop to slide your hand through ..and yes tie some line to them so u can just drop em when u catch a fish

KascadeFlat
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KascadeFlat
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PostSat Oct 08, 2022 6:37 pm 
bivouacjack wrote:
Here are the UL 4 piece paddles I use.
Oooh thank you! That looks like something I’d try for $50. I like the idea of a paddle option in case the trip plan calls for packs in boat and crossing an open lake. I am, however, worried about the scale on this product shot 🤣
Laundry detergent tub upcycle gets second place award!

For a good time call: 1-800-SLD-ALDR.

brokein2
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Chief Joseph
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Chief Joseph
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PostSat Oct 08, 2022 9:25 pm 
That's the same type of paddle that Wade63 used with his Alpacka raft when we fished together, not sure if it came with the raft or not? Another friend mentioned that Crocs also work as paddles and of course can be used as camp shoes and for water crossings.

Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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Chief Joseph
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PostSun Oct 09, 2022 11:06 am 
For those on a tight budget and want to do a bit of rafting, here is one for less than $15 bucks. It's weighs about 4 lbs, has an inflatable floor and is about the same size and shape as a Curtis raft. One could probably drop a half pound if you cut off the oar locks. I found one in the trash and put 3 patches on it and it hold air fine. Just received a new one in the mail, perfect for short hikes when weight is not a big issue. Inflation and deflation being a couple more drawbacks. Reminds me of the old Sevylor rafts. https://www.facebook.com/messenger_media/?thread_id=100069489473496&attachment_id=3251188361798048&message_id=mid.%24cAAAB8Al_a2uJ0frEEWDoLVd1F0PR

Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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bivouacjack
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PostMon Oct 10, 2022 6:47 am 
KascadeFlat, That picture is not to scale. Mine are about 7' long. I think you'll find them to work just fine for flatwater.

KascadeFlat
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