Alpacka pack-raft 2.1lbs

At the Expedition Idaho Adventure Race, Director Dave Adlard was surprised (and impressed) to hear that Team GearJunkie/YogaSlackers carried a pack-raft:

… For Idaho, we got more serious about our “flotation devices,” and we brought pack-rafts from Alpacka. The company makes a line of small, packable rafts that weigh as little as 3.5 pounds. But for Idaho, Alpacka built our team prototype rafts that were even smaller and lighter. The one-off “Ghost” model pack-rafts weighed an incredible 2.1 pounds each, and they rolled up small. …

Ultimate Gear Test: 7-Day Adventure Race

Here’s how Pack-rafts inflate, are carried … and what happens when you get dumped into the river.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

NOW … If I only had the money to buy a 2lb Pack-raft. That one — when released — is likely to cost about $1000.

Expedition Idaho Race wrap-up

by site editor Rick McCharles

Race Director Dave Adlard impressed one and all with his passion and tireless effort to make the inaugural ExpID a success.

Check out his wrap-up post for results and highlights – Expedition Idaho: The FINAL Update!.

The top teams transported themselves over 500mi of rugged north Idaho and Montana. Here’s a vastly simplified map of the route.

Mostly on foot, mountain bike and paddle, Dave added dozens of other challenges. Personally I liked “build a raft” and “light a fire” (without matches).

It’s hard on the body. My friends took significant damage moving constantly for 6 days.

Andy Tucker
Jeni McNeal

… but talk about a life altering experience. Expedition Adventure Racing makes Ironman look trivial.

Winners Thule from Europe just might be the team to beat at Worlds in Tasmania.

I was responsible for the race blog and social media:

» Team Photos | Photos | Videos | Twitter

Though I’m personally not a fan of Twitter, it was our best mode of communication during this race. Multiple people logged in to our account to update from the mountains by mobile phone.

The SPOT devices were almost more trouble than they were worth, working semi-reasonably perhaps 30% of the time. Multiple points of failure: human error, SPOT failure, battery failure, weather interference. The satellite network is unreliable too, it seems.

The one time we really needed SPOT to work, it didn’t. The team needed to climb to elevation to use a mobile phone to call 911 for air evacuation after a bike fall.

My $9.50 Trakfone was far more reliable in the wild than SPOT.

Here’s my favourite photo from the week, nighttime navigation – Team Bones.

Out There AS-1 Backpack

The Gear Junkie:

Mike Kloser, a Vail, Colo., athlete and a former world-champion mountain biker, is something of a god in the sport of adventure racing. As the captain of Team Nike, Kloser dominated AR for years, including multiple world-champ titles and victories at banner events like the Eco Challenge and Primal Quest under his belt.

Last year, Kloser launched a gear company, Out There USA, and he designed a backpack. After years of racing — as well as living a consummate outdoors existence working and training in Colorado — Kloser put his knowledge toward making his company’s AS-1 Pack something of an ultimate multi-sport tool. …

Out There USA’s AS-1 Pack

details – Ultimate AR Backpack

Adventure Sports Week LOOMS

I’m looking forward to the second annual ASW. Will you be there?

2010 Dates June 4-13

Each June in Northern Idaho, Adventure Sports Week offers 10 days of racing, training, clinics, gear demos and more. ASW features triathlons, mountain biking, trail running, adventure racing, open water kayaking and swimming.

Our venue is located on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille at Farragut State Park.

home page

• Schedule of Races

• Registration

• Venue

Adventure Sports Week June 4-13, 2010

by site editor Rick McCharles

Each June in Northern Idaho, Adventure Sports Week offers 10 days of racing, training, clinics, gear demos and more. ASW features triathlons, mountain biking, trail running, adventure racing, open water kayaking and swimming.

2009 was our inaugural year and we’re gearing up for 2010. One of the best new adventure sport races in the U.S.A.

details and registration is available at

What do rollercoasters, a great rappel, fantastic scenery, a first class event and “10-24-1” have in common?

Adventure Sports Week 2009

Hosted at beautiful Farragut State Park in Bayview, Idaho (just north of Coeur d Alene), ASW 2010 is promising to be one of the top festivals in the USA this year.

• official event home page

Team Adventure Sports Week blog

Grizzly Man Adventure Race

Shout out to my Adventure Racing team, prepping for the Griz next weekend.

Good Luck Team Adventure Sports Week.

The GrizzlyMan Adventure Race is a USARA sanctioned sprint level adventure race that takes place every April in Western Montana.

In order to do well (or even finish), racers will need to be proficient in a variety of outdoor disciplines (i.e. mountain biking, trail running, paddling, map reading and navigation).

Racers will be given a map/passport for the course and will be required to travel to certain checkpoints plotted on the map. By using what will be supplied at each checkpoint, racers will mark a designated spot on their map/passport to prove that they visited each location. This map/passport will then be turned in to race officials upon completion of the course. Finish time as well as proper checkpoint completion will determine ranking and success. …

official website – Grizzly Man Race

What’s my excuse for not being there, this time?

Alaska-Yukon Expedition – Andrew Skurka

Andrew Skurka is the greatest hiker of all time. His 6,875-mile Great Western Loop was only one of many fantastic hiking accomplishments.

What could he do to top the Great Western Loop?

4,700 miles in 7 months via skis, foot, and a packraft

official Alaska-Yukon Expedition home page

… On Saturday, March 13, a small plane will land early morning in Kotzebue, Alaska. Andy Skurka will get off the airplane, put on his headlamp in the pre-dawn darkness, pull on some clothes in the zero degree temperature, and start skiing. He would ski for 12 hours straight, and do at least that every day for the next month and a half. Then he’ll hike and packraft 16 hours every day for the next 5 months.

He’s circumnavigating the entire state, crossing the entire Alaska Range, Brooks Range, and parts of the Yukon. An estimated 4,720 miles, in hopefully 6 1/2 months. Almost all off-trail. Plenty of bears, brush, snow, raging rivers, glaciers (and mosquitos). …

read more from Buzz on the Adventure Running Blog)

Baja Adventure

by site editor Rick McCharles

Have you seen the Baja Adventure Book?

The classic has not been updated since 1998, but it was a great inspiration for me. I recall reading it in a library many, many years ago.

I write from Loreto, Baja. Just arrived after a road trip of 3450km (2143mi) over 5 days. I’m here on holiday with my parents, but plan to get out for some serious hiking, biking and kayaking.

If you’ve got advice for me on the best Baja Adventures, please leave a comment.

still shopping for an inflatable kayak

The Adventure Blog:

… found an interesting article over at WideWorld in which the British online magazine lists their top picks for the 10 best inflatable canoes and kayaks with some interesting recommendations for those that don’t have the space to store a hard shell or a rack for the roof of their car. …

read more – Ten Best Inflatable Canoes and Kayaks

The Best Budget Model jumped out at me:

Rugged enough to traverse the entire length of the Amazon river twice, Sevylor’s classic Tahiti K79 two-person inflatable canoe comes in bright yellow. Produced since 1963, it features an I-beam floor for extra buoyancy, drain hole with plug, Boston valves, bow and stern spray decks, and specially designed inflatable seats with back support.



Length overall (LOA): 10 feet, 7 inches
Beam: 2 feet, 7 inches
Weight: 25 pounds
Capacity: 2 persons
Weight capacity: 400 pounds


Only $100, … but 25lbs is too heavy for a solo trip.

This BOAT would be good for a 2 person paddle + hike adventure, though.

Leave a comment if you have a solo kayak model you recommend. Lighter than 25lbs.

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