Opening doors to adventure by Bike Rafting with the Alpacka Caribou.
Bike Rafting with the Alpacka Caribou! it’s what it was designed for.
I’d never heard of this as an adventure and wasn’t to sure whether it was my thing.
After giving it ago I can really see the advantages and it has also made me see just how much I need a packraft in my life!
As a packraft virgin I have no experience in bikerafting.
After watching the videos on the right from the Packraft Europe website. I could fully see the advantage of using a packraft like this.
I highly recommend attending a packrafting-specific instructional course (like what Packraft Europe offer) where you can learn from experienced instructors and gain an insight from other people how you are rigging your bikeraft.
Bike Rafting with the Alpacka Caribou: Rigging The Bike.
So after watching a few videos I had a dry run at home on rigging the bike on the raft. There are many ways of attaching your bike to raft from purpose made straps (like these voile straps) and some people just use lengths of paracord.
I myself made some straps with webbing and buckles specifically for my bike.
Before rigging your bike it is also worth just making sure that your raft is capable of supporting your bike.
The Alpacka Caribou is designed for bike rafting and with a larger supportive bow it can hold a total of 181kg.
Once happy with how the bike was attached to the raft, I had a look at how my bag would be attached to the bike.
I had chosen a very quiet river for my first paddle so I wan’t worried about fast water. My bag was attached to the bike using a couple of other straps I had made.
The backpack I carried the raft and all my gear is a dry bag so I wasn’t worried about anything getting wet if I accidentally went for a swim!
The Alpacka Caribou.
The great thing about the Alpacka Caribou I have been testing is the cargo fly on the stern which is basically a dry zip.
This allows access into the internal part of the tubes which is great for storing.
Just make sure that you don’t put any gear in there that you will need en-route or you will have to stop, open the zip, remove item and re-inflate the raft.
I would also recommend having a practice carrying the raft with the bike on it.
I was carrying the raft from where I inflated and setup the raft, holding on to the bike frame and carrying like that.
It is a little awkward to carry so I’d recommend setting up as close to your entry point as possible.
Paddling the bikeraft.
This I found very easy, you could definitely notice the weight on the bow but it wasn’t difficult to paddle.
Access and Egress.
The one thing I made sure was that nothing was hanging that I could get caught on in case I overturned.
The frame of the bike was over hanging where my feet where so I made sure I was happy how to get out of the raft if I capsized.
Bike Rafting with the Alpacka Caribou.
This test paddle of the Alpacka Caribou as a bikeraft has increased my thoughts over packrafting even more.
After my first couple of paddles I could really see the benefits of packrafting and how it opens so many doors to your adventures. After this paddle I am completely hooked!
Adventure is endless.
You can easily get to places you haven’t visited before, make routes easier whilst long distance hiking by crossing rivers to deep to ford or miss out boggy areas by paddling around.
You can design routes with your bike that you would never be able to do.
Utilising the bikeraft for certain sections of your route your adventure is almost endless.
For more information, packrafts, accessories and training please visit packrafteurope.com
Packraft Europe are based in Austria and offer Packraft training and rescue courses. There website is full of information on packrafting and also offer pretty much all the equipment you need to explore more.
From packrafts, paddles, P.F.D’s, tents, sleeping gear and packs.