• Combining backpacking and river floating, packrafting is an increasingly popular way to explore the wilderness. Photo by Bill Cunningham

    Lightweight packrafts provide adventure on Sun River

    Story and photos by BILL CUNNINGHAM

    It happened in a microsecond.

    Sable, my co-adventurer Jerad White’s black lab, flipped his tiny raft by jumping out in the midst of a swirling whitewater rapid.

    Jared was thrown into the watery mess as I, in an even smaller raft, came bearing down on top of him.

    After the near collision I scooped up floating gear while Jared and Sable swam to shore.

    This was only the beginning of our maiden packrafting voyage.

    Combining backpacking with river floating, packrafting is an increasingly popular way to explore the wilderness.

    Packrafts are incredibly light, durable and packable. My little butt boat comes in at a mere four pounds. Jared has a sleeker model that weighs only a few more pounds.

    Skilled paddlers can handle serious rapids in a packraft. But I’m fairly new to the sport.

    Still, Jared and I were set on making our first trek in packrafts on Sun River.

     

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