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Packrafting the Wood River (British Columbia)


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Home Forums Campfire Editor’s Roundtable Packrafting the Wood River (British Columbia)

Viewing 13 posts - 26 through 38 (of 38 total)
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  • #3386925
    Ben Brochu
    BPL Member

    @crooked_creek-2-2

    Locale: Hinterland Outdoors

    I’d be curious what Luke thinks, Eric, but with the set-up we had neither of us got our insulation wet while hiking/camping; it was while our packs were swimming the whitewater without us. Better waterproofing (or not losing two boats/packs down the river in the the first place) would have made the difference. Still, I think we both had no idea how wet the rainforest can be. The wetness came from all sides and was relentless. We didn’t even know there would be a rainforest at all (because the gorges largely created it and we didn’t know the extent of the gorges) or we would have prepared better for it. With lots of shelter space though (we each had our own 2 person shelters) I’d still use a (treated) down quilt again in those conditions. My 10 degree EE quilt weighs so much less than any comparable synthetic, it’s still warmer operating at 20% less efficiency while damp. With bulky packrafting gear, space is at a premium. That’s said, I’ve picked up a Patagonia Nanopuff pullover and a Rab Strata hoody and at least one of those will be on our next expedition. The weight penalty of a synthetic mid layer or puffy is much less, and it’s more likely to get wet, so worth trying for me. Quick dry base layers are the way to go for sure though, and I wear fleece rather than down pants for many reasons.

    #3386970
    Luke Schmidt
    BPL Member

    @cameron

    Locale: Alaska

    I’m generally in agreement with Ben. We did get moist hiking in the rain forest. Quick dry clothes are a no brainer. If I needed insulation during the day I’d use a fleece for sure. However we kept pretty warm by moving so our insulation was mostly for in camp. I think for that a synthetic puffy is the best compromise. For my night without a sleeping bag a synthetic puffy would have been nice. I could have worn it while we set up camp to warm myself up before the temperatures dropped.

    A synthetic quilt is nice (I’ve used them before) but the added weight and bulk make it hard to justify on most trips. Also I’m getting a new raft with a cargo zipper on it. I don’t think I’ll have a problem keeping my down quilt dry inside that even if I do take a swim.

    I had good quality dry bags and my stuff was still wet when we found the raft. I think this was because of the amount of time the pack was under fast moving water. I think in a normal situation my stuff would have been fine.

    One thing to remember in all this is that Ben and I both used dry suits. If you did a trip without a dry suit things like fleeces and synthetic quilts would make a lot more sense because you’re getting wetter and you aren’t carrying the dry suit weight/bulk.

    #3386986
    James holden
    BPL Member

    @bearbreeder-2

    ben and luke thanks for your responses

    did you have any moisture or condensation in the down in that environment (gradual loft degradation), or were you able to dry things out pretty well during the day?

    i do apologize if youve covered it before, but im going off the comments and intro … i actually am too cheap to buy a subscription!!!

    ;)

    #3386996
    Luke Schmidt
    BPL Member

    @cameron

    Locale: Alaska

    Some moisture for me. I used a bivy. Ben did better by not using one.  I tried to dry things whenever I got a chance.

    #3387009
    Ben Brochu
    BPL Member

    @crooked_creek-2-2

    Locale: Hinterland Outdoors

    My down stayed dry, as far I I remember Eric. In conditions like that (just above freezing with very moist air), using any bivy will result in condensation. I think I had one along but didn’t use it when it was damp out as it was much to cold at night for bugs anyways. I pitched the BT-2 high (canopy style) in the rain forest and it worked great. It rained pretty much every day at some point, but there was a couple times we could dry stuff out. I was careful to always have one dry base layer and insulation layer at all times. My Gore-Tex drysuit also breathed better than Luke’s and I’m not much of a sweater.

    I used to be cheap, but have a subscription now. I think it’s worth it. To get the rest of the story you can also read it on my Facebook Albums (Wood River Expedition, Part 1 and 2) or watch it here: http://youtube.com/c/MountainSpringsBen. I’m uploading a couple hours of footage from the trip in episodes and am on Episode 6 now. There will also be a short film out soon.

     

    #3387229
    James holden
    BPL Member

    @bearbreeder-2

    thanks for the answers

    sounds like you both had DWR down bags? … do you think it made the difference for the damp conditions?

    as a side note, a simple bedsheet used over the bag does quite a bit to prevent dampness in the bag and even helps with some external condensation over multi days of non stop rain … it isnt exactly UL, but IMO its way more useful than a bivy (which are designed totally wrong IMO) in those conditions … microfiber works best but even simple cotton works if used smartly

    ;)

    #3387495
    Brad Branan
    Spectator

    @bbranan1

    Locale: Northern California

    Thanks for the replies, Luke and Ben. I don’t know the Kokopelli rafts. Just seems strange that two would go down on one trip.

    On another note, the cargo storage is definitely the way to go. I was stunned at how much easier it was to maneuver my Alpacka once the bag was off the front. I just hope the Kokopelli version has more storage. I can’t get everything in the cargo of my raft.

    #3387504
    Ben Brochu
    BPL Member

    @crooked_creek-2-2

    Locale: Hinterland Outdoors

    Eric, I think my bag would have been fine even it it wasn’t DWR; I didn’t get any water on it. But don’t most bags have DWR these days? I’ve heard about the bedsheet trick, but haven’t tried it. I think big tarps are the ticket for rainforest, as it’s rarely windy.

    Brad, it wasn’t the boat’s fault. You can pop any inflatable with the proper technique :) I think the Nirvana XL should have lots of storage. Do you use the little drybags Alpacka has or just stuff things in?

     

    #3387508
    Luke Schmidt
    BPL Member

    @cameron

    Locale: Alaska

    Eric I was using an old Golite Quilt from the pre-water resistant down days. I don’t know about Ben’s. On the sheet idea, I have a thin cotton sleeping bag liner, maybe I should try that over my down quilt sometime. I basically brought the bivy to control drafts and keep bugs out. If I put a bug net on the cotton liner and use it line a bivy that would be an idea. I’ve also thought about adding a big vent to the bottom of my bivy.

    Brad I’m glad to hear that the cargo fly was a good investment (I haven’t got it in the mail yet). I think lowering the center of gravity will help. Also I like the better visibility. I noticed I felt better running tricky things with an empty boat because I could see better in that split second before I hit a drop, hole or whatever.

    My understanding is the Kokepellis won’t have any kind of inner bags like Alpackas do. You’ll just put your stuff in and go. At the APA Packraft Roundup Moe told us he’s thrown stuff inside his Alpacka that way and it moves around but doesn’t bother him.

     

    #3388010
    Ian
    BPL Member

    @10-7

    Well Luke, when you decide to epic, you certainly don’t mess around.

    Well done.

    You may want to take a look at Blizzard Bags.  They aren’t too big in their original packaging and typically compared to a VHS tape with the predictable “whatsa VHS tape?” jokes.  I haven’t had a chance to thoroughly test mine out yet to see how low I can comfortably take it, but it’s nice having something that is small and light enough to carry on your person in a waist bag and waterproof.

     

    #3423186
    Luke Schmidt
    BPL Member

    @cameron

    Locale: Alaska

    Here’s a bit of an update to the whole insulation discussion. Ben and I both bought Enlightened Equipment quilts with water resistant down. I sized up to a bigger quilt and left the bivy behind. I had less condensation except on rainy nights or nights where I was forced to sleep on wet grassy spots. When I did get condensation the down seemed to stay much more lofty compared to my old Golite quilt. A few times I had no choice but to pack up damp. In those cases I think I lost a bit of loft but not as much as before. So I like the new water resistant down. I think its a good compromise between down and synthetic.

    Also after the video was published we heard from some people in the area. Turns out the “Bridge to Nowhere” was part of a trail project in the 1990s. Apparently funding ran out work stopped about where we found the bridge. Its unlikely there was much left of the trail but when we crossed the bridge Ben and I went to the wrong side of the river. The trail was on the north side below the bridge, we went down the south side.

    #3423198
    Ben Brochu
    BPL Member

    @crooked_creek-2-2

    Locale: Hinterland Outdoors

    Trail was attempted in 1993. It is not only unlikely, but guaranteed that there is no useful remains of a trail. Just in case someone is tempted to try and find it.

    Of interest is this quote from Facebook of one of the few people who have been in there:

    “Yep, if you work out the feet per mile, view the aerial or satellite photos, and heaven forbid fly the route or talk to locals who have, you will know that this route is truly hell on earth, and by no means passable by boat, let alone penetrable on foot with anything approaching reason. Hopefully, there is a genuine feeling of having been lucky enough to survive what is easily a killer stretch of canyons. Last folks I helped out of there had run out of food many days previous and had nothing but tattered rags left for clothing. Remote and wild is not an adequate description.”

    #3423324
    James holden
    BPL Member

    @bearbreeder-2

    luke … thanks for the update

    bivies in BC IMO are just asking for condensation … for climbers out for a day or two at most it makes sense …. for folks out longer its just asking for it especially if you cant dry out the bag

    DWR down is interesting … i havent used it in a bag so i cant venture too much about it

    ben

    theres a reason why BC and much of canada was explored through the waterways first … and even then much of BC is still quite rugged

    ;)

     

Viewing 13 posts - 26 through 38 (of 38 total)
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