After speaking with Jason from Tirio I was recommended to take part in the Packraft Paddlers course.
Tirio offer a great range of packrafting courses and adventures.
|Packraft Paddler||4 days||£395|
|Packraft Foundation Paddler||2 days||£210|
|Packraft Expedition Paddler||5 days||£500|
|White Water Packrafter||2 days||£210|
|White Water Developer – Packraft||2 days||£240|
|PACKRAFT SPECIFIC White Water Safety & Rescue||2 days||£190|
|First Aid for Packrafters||2 days||£150|
Tirio is run by Jason and Marianne Taylor around the beautiful area of Snowdonia.
Jason is what you could call an outdoorsman. With a passion for climbing, outdoor adventure and travel, canoeing, packrafting and wilderness living skills.
A keen and experienced Open Canoe Leader and Packrafter, he’s usually to be found on the water
After a stint exploring and climbing across several continents, his skills led him to become a full time Mountain Rescue Leader and Team Medic for many years followed by several operational roles as an Officer in the British Military.
Marianne, takes part in the course but also will probably be the person the you speak with first. Being born and brought up in the area.
Marianne has lots of interesting facts and information about the places you’ll visit as well as some funny childhood tales which she’ll tell you if pressed!
The Tirio packraft paddlers course is a 4 day course offering some really great learning and skills development.
The Course follows a full syllabus of skills.
Core Skills, different types of packrafts, repair / maintenance, developing paddling skills, trim, self and paddler rescues, planning, safety and sailing to name a few.
Introduction to White Water Day Breaking in and out of Flow, S and C Turns & Ferries, Hydrology, Water features and Hazards.
Packrafting Journey on suitable water (at Grade 1 – 2) Students spend time planning a route taking into account tides, winds, lay of the land access and egress and then paddle the route in a group (under supervision).
Taking part in this course had a few benefits for me, one being that my friend I’m spending 2 weeks in Sweden with in June lives just around the corner so we both decided to do the course and 2, I really wanted to develop my paddling skills.
Coming from Suffolk the rivers we have around here are very slow moving and as I’ve never paddled white water it was a environment I wanted to get some experience with.
The one thing to mention about this course is it gives you and ‘insight’ into white water paddling.
Yes you spend a day paddling white water but you won’t leave this course as a person with a great deal of experience paddling white water.
I would then recommend enrolling onto the white water course to gain more knowledge and experience.
Day One of the packrafting course with Tirio.
Meeting at Capel Garmon village hall, we had an introduction to the team. Looking at different types of packrafts, the good points and their bad points. We discussed paddles, PFD’s, repairs and ancillary equipment.
We then packed our bags with the equipment list given to use (if your missing gear or don’t own a packraft yet then Tirio has a great supply of loan gear).
The afternoon was spent on a lake practicing skills such as self / paddler rescues, paddling skills and much more.
The morning starts with a little more classroom learning, looking into planning. Planning cover such a wide aspect of things you need to think about: wind, tides, distance and topography.
We spent time planning our route for a final day adventure which hopefully was going to be a estuary paddle.
We also spent a good amount of time discussing white water paddling.
The afternoon was spent learning to sail a packraft. This was a huge valuable skill I took away from the course. Ive never thought of this and can safely say an umbrella is now in my PFD pocket.
Introduction to White Water
This was my first time ever in white water, so it was a completely alien environment to me. The instruction we had was great and I learnt a huge amount.
I enjoyed paddling the white water but soon realised that I need plenty more tuition and experience before I safely go off and paddle with a group unsupervised.
Yes, I took a swim but I learnt from that.
We where paddling a section of the River Dee, what a beautiful place. I really enjoyed this.
Our final day, we all met early in the morning and got our gear sorted, inflated our packrafts and entered the river Conwy.
As we had spent some time planning we had chosen an early start so that we where with the tide. We had also had to think about the wind as it was forecast to get up.
The Conwy was a great paddle and it was great to allow the tide to assist us down the river.
So, final bits of paperwork done and it was a 5 hour drive home.
Many people will buy packrafts who come from a canoeing or kayaking background and just head out with them.
One of the things I took away from this course is the need for instruction and supervision whilst learning the necessary skills for packrafting.
The cost of the packrafting course with Tirio is currently £395 and the next available date is the 5th – 8th of August.
Give the guys a shout and jump on the Packraft Paddlers Course!
Video of the packrafting course with Tirio.