Ep 33. What is Packrafting?

In this episode, I was joined by Marianna Cevallos. Marianna, who is originally from Peru moved to Colorado in 2015 for college and fell in love with the outdoors. She lived in Avon and her friends would participate in a lot of outdoor activities, including floating in the river.

Unlike most of her friends, Marianna didn’t have a car or enough space to have kayaks or paddleboards and when she came across Pack rafting, she loved the idea of being able to pack the raft in her backpack and take a bus to go join her friends on the adventures.

She wanted to solve this pain point for everyone that doesn’t have storage or transportation and make the sport more accessible for all so she started her own Packrafting company with her partner Mike.

How did packrafting start?

  • Initially, Packrafting started with the need to access remote areas in the backcountry and want to do intense multi-day, multi-adventure trips.
  • Although it initially started with the need to access the backcountry, there are a lot of people in cities or in the front country that really benefits from having a Packraft.

How to get started with Packrafting?

  • Packrafting is just as easy to learn as kayaking, canoeing, or any other water sport.
  • If it is possible, take lessons for kayaking or other water sports so that you know how to paddle. Even though the paddling sports may be different, understanding the concepts of water bodies (rivers vs. lakes), weather, and safety preparation is the most important thing to learn.
  • To dig further into packrafting, The Packraft Handbook is a great resource for everyone, from beginners to advanced paddlers.
  • Tip: go through scenarios of getting in and out of your boat in water, and know how to get back in, in case you flip over.

How long does it take to inflate a Packraft?

Using the inflation sack, it only takes about 3 minutes to get the Packraft to about 90% inflation and then using your mouth, inflate to 100% with about 30 seconds of blowing.

What are your favorite places to go Packrafting?

  • Canyonlands National Park is a great place that we love to go to because it is mostly flat water with only a little bit of white water.
  • We love paddling the Colorado River in Grand Junction as the river runs right through town.
  • In Austin, TX we love going to Ladybird Lake
  • One of the coolest places we have ever gone to is Alaska, there are so many different places that you can go there but it is a bit more intense and backcountry focused.
  • Packrafting is also very popular in Europe and New Zealand as there are many places that you can’t access any other way.

Leave No Trace tips while Packrafting:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Pack out your poop! Wag bags are a great idea
  • Fire preparation: Skip making a fire in remote places if you can to minimize campfire impacts.





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