Intro to Packrafting


Packrafts are amazing tools for adventure. They can take you far off the beaten path, or just be a fun tool for exploring rivers and lakes in your backyard. This course will introduce participants to all things packrafting and give you the tools and skills to get out on whatever adventures you can imagine. 
By the end of this course, participants will: 
  1. Know the ins and outs of packrafting gear, considerations for different kinds of trips and more
  2. Learn the basics of river reading – how to identify hazards, how to scout a rapid and pick a line
  3. Know a range of paddle strokes and when/where to use them on the river
  4. Be able to scout, and at appropriate levels, run up to Class III whitewater (comfort of the participant dependent but the goal is to get everyone to run a few Class III rapids)
  5. Be able to self rescue in moving water
  6. Be comfortable with basic companion swiftwater rescue techniques and scenarios
  7. Have a sense of how to plan a packrafting trip, and where to look for beta
  8. Be ready to jump into their own packrafting trips!
No prior paddling experience is necessary and all skill levels are welcome!
Please visit the store or call 604-846-1984 to register!


Location: TBD (dependant on water levels) Cost: $150.00 + GST


A detailed itinerary will be emailed out by the instructor upon registration for the course

Please visit the store or call 604-846-1984 to register!


  • Whitewater Capable Packraft
    • Packrafts can be rented from Backcountry Packrafts and from Cap’s Bicycles in New Westminster. They will be mailed to you in time for your start date and sent with a return label. If you’re looking to buy one, come visit Mt. Waddington’s Outdoors to see our selection
    • For paddling colder rivers, like the ones we have here in BC, one with a whitewater deck and a spray skirt is ideal (self bailers also work, but can be cold and standard rafts [no deck, no self bailer] are ok, but you’ll need to stop and dump out water)
    • We’ll be rigging our rafts to flip so if yours doesn’t have it, please bring:
    • 2 meters of 5-6mm polypropylene or accessory cord
    • 2 x 6m meters of floating heaving line (instructor can supply some)
  • Class III or V PFD
    • These can also be rented from Packraft America, as well as local paddle shops.
    • Your PFD should have a whistle on it.
  • Break Down Paddle
    • At least a 2 piece breakdown (it splits in half), but a 4 piece is ideal for packrafting. The paddle should be sized for your height. Paddles can also be rented from Packraft America, or a local paddle shop.
  • Throwbag (at least 15 feet long)
    • Instructor will have some extras
  • Drysuit
    • These are available for rent from Rescue Canada
    • If you can’t get a drysuit, a wetsuit or wetsuit/drytop combo also works
  • Neoprene Gloves
    • Depending on how cold it is you may want gloves, if it’s really cold (or you get really cold easily) get 3 mm or thicker
  • Shoes
    • Running shoes work really well, if you have something you can walk and raft in, that’s even better. I use old trail runners. Whatever the case, the shoes should be lace-up, no sandals.
  • Backpack (that fits your boat)
    • For almost all rafts, a 50L bag will work well. This backpack will get wet.
  • Dry Bag
    • At least one for your lunch and any dry clothes, phone, etc… you want to take on the river
  • Helmet
    • Ideally, this should be a whitewater specific helmet. These can also be rented from Rescue Canada
  • Food
  • Hot drink in a thermos (if you get cold)
  • Dry Clothes & a Towel
  • Warm clothes to change into
  • Water bottle
  • Ten Essentials

If you have any questions about gear, come visit our store or give us a call at 604-846-1984