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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 11:00 pm 
Has anyone on this board tried putting touring gear into a Puffin 12' or Puffin Swift? I have a dream of flying to exotic lands, putting the kayak on my back with all my supplies for the trip, and hiking to remote rivers, where I then put together my kayak and float on non-whitewater rivers and lakes to places that others would have a hard time seeing.

So, given that... I've had ideas of storing drinking water in a large floating container which I would drag behind me in the water either via rope or a rigid pole of some kind, to keep it out of the boat. Otherwise, food, clothing, and survival gear would be in the boat with me. The water could be too, but at 8.3lbs/gallon, it would add up fast and potentially change handling characteristics a lot.

The Puffin 12' appeals to me because of the light weight (23 lbs), but I wonder if the Swift may be a better choice even though it is a few pounds heavier (26 lbs)? Keep in mind the goal is to carry the kayak and all gear on my back for normal hiking mileage. I would use ultralite hiking principles to keep the weight to a minimum.

I am 6'0'' and weigh 160lbs, and am a pretty strong male hiker. I can carry around 50lbs for long distances. The Swift appeals to me since it should have more room for my legs and gear in front of my legs, but then I wonder if the 12' is better because it is wider and might therefore hold baggage better?

Any thoughts/ideas from people who own or have used PakBoats?

Thanks!
Jason


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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 12:55 am 
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I have a dream of flying to exotic lands, putting the kayak on my back with all my supplies for the trip, and hiking to remote rivers, where I then put together my kayak and float on non-whitewater rivers and lakes to places that others would have a hard time seeing.

Had a similar dream, only without flying. Bought 17 lbs inflatable kayak, hiked with it plus other day-hike gear 1500 meters (4500 ft) to a mountain lake, paddled an hour or so, descended back to the car and put the kayak on sale. 17 lbs was a real weight, btw, while most folding kayaks weigh more than advertised. In a nutshell - boats that you can carry you can't use for long or remote trips. Also, places that others (i.e. those without boats) have hard time seeing, are often a) not worth seeing, or b) way too remote for lightweight short-touring boats, or c) don't have campable sites (i.e. accessible from water and flat enough for a tent). Often such places can be accessed by power boats, and then you find a crowd of boaters with kids, dogs, music etc in some destination that took you several days to reach. (And then its sightseeing worth drops, to me, anyway, so we're back to the case of "a").

The only thing that I found to be a reliable fresh water storage (and compact at the same time) is MSR Dromedary bag, and it should be under deck if you don't want to lose it and die of dehydration. On rivers and lakes there is no need to carry a lot of fresh water - I am not a fresh-water paddler, but there are plenty of filters that you can use on a river (very often it is also enough to boil the water). On seas you have to carry MSR bags and refill them whenever possible (my preference), or use PUR-35 desalinator, which is not my preference - see Exumas trip, section Gear at the bottom of the page http://alexm221100.googlepages.com/bagamasapr2008


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 12:02 pm 
faltbootemeister
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Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 11:41 am
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Location: Stockholm, Sweden
I've had a Puffin Swift, and a Gumotex Safari, and an Advanced Elements, and am now waiting for a Feathercraft Kahuna ,and my view is: If you want to transport further than just a few hundred meters from car/bus/plane etc, you need to go for something considerably lighter, like an Alpacka Raft. They seems to be popular for hiking & paddling combo tours. Weight is only half the issue, these folding kayaks makes up a pretty big package when packed, like a larger backpack or a hockey-trunk. Adding a full set of hiking and camping gear, food and water on top of that and it would not be manageble. Ok, UL gear would make a big difference but with that approach an Alpacka (or perhaps the new BayLee from Feathercraft?) makes even more sense. Everything you need should be properly secured inside or above the kayak/raft. I've taken the Puffin Swift for touring trips up to a couple of days and with compact/UL style gear the storage room inside it have been sufficient. A full week is probably doable as well. Not that suitable for open waters though, better for streams/lakes/sheltered seas.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 1:06 pm 
Whoa, the PackRafts from Alpacka look awesome... thanks for bringing my attention to those! I have been looking and looking and this is the first I saw of those. Their heaviest craft is seriously 10lbs with oars and seat and all.

Definitely will be following this lead.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:20 pm 
faltbootemeister
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Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 11:41 am
Posts: 108
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Lots of coverage on packrafting on BPL also; http://search.backpackinglight.com/?zoo ... ackrafting if you want to dig deeper into that. I'd love to have one myself but I think that they are a tad pricey in comparison to how little material and how simplistic they are. (Which is why they are so light and so popular of course :) )

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Kayak: Nautiraid Narak '11
Kayak sail rig: Kuvia Kayaksailor 1.6 '10
Sailboat: StorTriss MKII, 17.5 Feet, '75
Blog: jarladventures.blogspot.com


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:02 pm 
JasonInPDX wrote:
Whoa, the PackRafts from Alpacka look awesome... ....Their heaviest craft is seriously 10lbs with oars and seat and all.

Definitely will be following this lead.

Raft isn't a kayak, and you'll see the difference. Open water was mentioned - this is one, and another one is that in protected waters raft needs a substantial current (and no wind except for a straight tailwind), if you plan to cover some mileage. When I think of all the trips I've made in FC Kahuna, LH MK1, FC K1 (and some other folding and hardshell kayaks), I don't know which one of them I could accomplish in a raft - even in part. May be only a part of my local day-paddling route in Vancouver's fjord - a very short part at that (this fjord gets windy in afternoon, so it would have to be short). It's not that this vessel (raft) is useless - it just can't do what kayak or canoe can.

In a raft, the mere definition of "open water" becomes different. I didn't have a lot of open water crossings in any of my trips, - may be only a few passages when I was more than 7-8 miles away from the closest shore. In a raft it may become an "open water" already 500 meters offshore, - with wind and waves (or unfavorable currents) making your progress and control of the boat a problem.

And again, as it's been mentioned, for hiking part of itinerary weight isn't everything, - there is also a bulk (don't know how bulky is Alpacka, but with oars, seat and PFD there will be some bulk).


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 6:15 pm 
The Puffin 12 comes with a simple duffle bag about 36" long. To backpack this boat, you would have to repackage everything into a modern backpack of some kind, but the pack would have to have a compartment 36" long, which few do. Also, the Puffin requires a pump, which takes up space. Remember, you also have to carry a paddle, which is somewhat hard to pack, even if it is a 4-piece type (4 rigid things almost 2 ft long, 2 of them with big blades attached). I have considered doing this (only for a short hike), and think maybe an old external frame pack might be the best bet. However, you will have very little room for other equipment besides the boat. The only folding kayaks which really seem to have been designed to fit into decent backpacks are the Feathercrafts and the Chinese Atlatl, but there is no room in their packs for anything else. Incidentally, my Puffin tends to track not too well (probably due to rocker developed after I climb aboard), but carrying some water in the bow (and maybe stern also) would probably help correct this tendency.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 10:10 am 
Hi,
Anyone know anywhere in the UK I can buy an Alpacka Packraft?
Thank you,
Alastair
--
www.alastairhumphreys.com


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 5:44 am 
Quote:
The only thing that I found to be a reliable fresh water storage (and compact at the same time) is MSR Dromedary bag


How do you get the horrible taste out of the Dromedary bags. I have tried long bleach and vinegar soaks, separately, to no avail.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:31 am 
I use a Viet-Nam War era 2 or 3 quart canteen - plastic in a nylon bag with reliable closure and plenty of tie-downs. I probably paid less than 10 bucks for it on Ebay.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:22 am 
lord high faltbotmeister
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 4:55 am
Posts: 575
Location: Dumfries, SW Scotland
saleroso wrote:
How do you get the horrible taste out of the Dromedary bags.

You could try the stuff sold for sterilising babies' bottles. (In the UK, it's Milton Sterilising Tablets. I expect every country has its own version.)

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