With people looking for more ways to experience adventure in their lives, packrafting has become an exciting thought. The thing is: If you don’t know much about packrafting, you probably have no idea what you need to bring with you.

So, in this article, I wanted to give you some insight into the essential packrafting kit you shouldn’t leave your house without. Let’s take a look. 

#1 Excellent Footwear

When you’re packrafting, one thing you need to consider is that you’re not restricted to the waterways, which means you’re almost guaranteed to find yourself hiking at some point. 

So what does this mean in terms of footwear?

Because you will be navigating water and land, you need to find flexible and comfortable footwear for both land and water. When choosing footwear, you need to consider how much hiking you will do. If you’re going to spend a large part of your journey on land, it’s best if you bring a decent pair of hiking boots and a separate pair of paddling shoes.

#2 Bring A Waterproof Jacket

Obviously, when you’re on the water, you need to expect to get wet at some point. And having a waterproof top layer can really help to make your life more manageable.

Now, you have two options:

  1. Dry cags
  2. Waterproof jackets

While dry cags are made explicitly for paddle sports, they aren’t great for hiking, so you’ll probably be better suited to a more traditional waterproof jacket.

A waterproof jacket can function well on and off the river, which is essential when you’re packrafting. You will need to ensure you can paddle comfortably, so when testing out your jacket move your arms in the paddling motion and ensure that the jacket doesn’t ride up and make you uncomfortable. 

Some features to look out for when choosing a jacket are closures around the wrist to prevent water from running up your arm and an elasticated hem to provide a good seal.

#3 Sun Protection

Being out on the water during sunny days feels excellent, but it’s not great for your body, so you need to consider sun protection… and we’re not just talking about sun cream!

A baseball cap provides excellent protection from the sun and can prevent up to 50% of UV radiation from hitting your eyes.

And adding a decent pair of polarized sunglasses can further this while reducing the glare from the water.

You can also find rashguards with UV protection that can greatly reduce the chances of sunburn and, more importantly, skin cancer.

#4 Cord & Carabiners

No packrafting kit is complete without a selection of cords and carabiners; they can come in super handy, and here’s why:

You can use the cord and carabiners to secure your backpack to the packraft, so you don’t have to worry about it floating off if you hit some rapids.

Or, you can use it to secure your water bottle so it’s always within reach, and if it does bounce into the water, you can easily pull it back.

Ideally, look at about 5 meters of 3mm cord and about four or five carabiners. Ensure that you buy locking carabiners as these are safer to use in water, this ensures you can’t accidentally get yourself clipped into a carabiner when trying to leave your packraft.

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