Sceptical Swimmers try Packrafting for the first time!
Got a day out planned for the last few days of sun? Water lover looking for your next adventure? We have the perfect piece of kit to show you.
It’s called packrafting and it’s going to open up so many ideas for your outdoor adventures.
It’s an incredibly lightweight raft (the lightest are less than 2kg) that can be packed down really small in a rucksack.
What does that mean? It means you can carry it with you really easily on hiking and biking trips meaning you can now combine hiking / camping / biking with some water activity!
Or keep it simple and throw it in your bag to take on a day trip with you.
You can get out on the water without having to lug a huge heavy kayak or large inflatable with you.
It's fairly new here in the UK and at Tri Wetsuit Hire we are proud to be hiring these amazing rafts so that water enthusiasts (and those not so enthusiastic) get a chance to try paddling.
I thought I'd put it to the test with my "swim family" on a recent trip to Hythe in Kent.
So, off we set in a Mini with 3 single and one tandem kayak - yes, in a Mini! I'm sure my friends thought I was joking but these rafts pack down so neatly that there was still room on the back seat for the paddles and a couple of rucksacks ready for our adventure.
We decided on an entry point on the Royal Military Canal and made sure we had the correct license to be on the water.
The "family" were surprised how light the bags were and when we reached the water edge they asked where the pump was.
“What pump?" I said.
They looked at me blankly and even looked shocked when I produced the inflation bag!
"How the hell do we blow that kayak up with that - have you gone mad?”
After attaching the bag to the raft, we wafted the bag around to catch the air inside before rolling it down and pressing the air into the raft. Everyone commented how easy and quick it was!
Then was the topping up phase with the mouthpiece which had us in fits as it sounded like we were wheezing. Again, this process was actually very easy - even for a group of 50+ year old open water swimmers.
So, all inflated (the rafts that is!), we donned our Baltic buoyancy aids and grabbed our paddles…
The temptation to push someone in was quite strong but remembering we needed to be safe, we carefully helped one another into the rafts.
And off we went, down the canal.
It really was that easy. Even those who hadn't paddled before were talking about hiring them again and going on adventures elsewhere in the UK.
Here's what they said:
Had the best afternoon on the water on one of these Packrafts. They are lightweight to carry and very easy to inflate using the bag. I was able to inflate this raft in just a few minutes.
The extra width makes them nice and stable to get in and out of the water.
We had lots of fun cruising down the water, they are so easy to control and comfortable to stay in for a longer paddle. I loved the inflatable back rest.
They are slightly wider than a normal Kayak so I found I did need to hold the paddle wider than normal.
Definitely want to use one of these again.
If you are interested in hiring one for your water adventure HIRE NOW!
Sporting Regards, Ali