Search found 105 matches

by Hig
Thu Jul 03, 2014 5:35 pm
Forum: Tips & Technique
Topic: BackPack bow tiedown setups???
Replies: 3
Views: 5283

Re: BackPack bow tiedown setups???

I don't have a good photo handy, but we put a string between the two front loops, a second string between the two loops behind that, and put a strap with a clip between the strings. You drop your pack on, clip the clip, and crank it down tight. Need to have a strong clip, and it may need to be repla...
by Hig
Thu Jul 03, 2014 5:30 pm
Forum: Tips & Technique
Topic: A packrafter rescue experiment.
Replies: 6
Views: 3815

Re: A packrafter rescue experiment.

On packraft rescue: We use a very similar position for ferrying people across rivers, except usually with the person face up instead of down (minor difference.) It's pretty stable, but obviously with a pack on front you'd have difficulty, and I haven't tried getting into this position while in chall...
by Hig
Thu Jul 03, 2014 5:25 pm
Forum: Packrafting Gear
Topic: Lightweight PFD
Replies: 18
Views: 16970

Re: Lightweight PFD

One additional factor to consider is the degree to which a vest will help/hinder re-entry, especially on very large rivers or open water. I haven't systematically experimented with this, but my sense is that buoyancy helps because you have less distance to lift your weight, but bulk in front will be...
by Hig
Sat Feb 08, 2014 2:25 am
Forum: General Discussion
Topic: Packraft as a bathtub?
Replies: 13
Views: 8760

Re: Packraft as a bathtub?

We bathed our kids in a packraft tub during our time on Malaspina Glacier, using water heated on a stove. It was less than ideal conditions, but worked. We've also had them out in the yard as kiddie-pools. I wouldn't worry too much about damaging them with hot water. I've even considered (but never ...
by Hig
Sat Feb 08, 2014 2:18 am
Forum: Tips & Technique
Topic: Seawater: wash or not?
Replies: 4
Views: 3055

Re: Seawater: wash or not?

We've never worried much about it - and often have left saltwater on boats for long periods. The only thing that may be a problem related to that is that some of our old boats are a little hard to glue to. It may be that the salt somehow alters the chemical composition of the fabric.
by Hig
Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:17 am
Forum: Southeast
Topic: Life on Ice
Replies: 0
Views: 826

Life on Ice

We're headed off in a few days for 2 months exploring Malaspina Glacier with our two little kids: http://www.groundtruthtrekking.org/Journeys/LifeOnIce.html We'll be using our big red double duck to paddle some rivers that are only recently emerging from under ice, so I think we can claim to be the ...
by Hig
Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:13 am
Forum: Tips & Technique
Topic: Bikerafting
Replies: 34
Views: 25435

Re: Bikerafting

I've never tried this with a bike, but it's for this purpose that we first experimented with something like Alpacka's packtach. For open water (where re-entry is sort of required) we'd set up a cord that went from the raft, through a loop on the pack, to the paddle. Sometimes would use a wrist loop ...
by Hig
Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:04 am
Forum: General Discussion
Topic: Packraft adventure documentary premiering in Anchorage
Replies: 4
Views: 1615

Re: Packraft adventure documentary premiering in Anchorage

And there will be another showing! The movie did awesome in the Anchorage International Film Festival, and was voted "Best in Fest" so it'll be showing at the Bear Tooth on Weds. at 8:00 pm.
by Hig
Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:03 pm
Forum: Design & Do-It-Yourself
Topic: Seal Sealing
Replies: 5
Views: 2473

Re: Seal Sealing

The inflation bags are sil-nylon, just like a lot of tents... Sil Net will work fine on them.

That said, the air-leakage around the seams doesn't seem to make much difference. I've used them with pinkie-sized holes in them even.
by Hig
Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:01 pm
Forum: General Discussion
Topic: Packraft adventure documentary premiering in Anchorage
Replies: 4
Views: 1615

Re: Packraft adventure documentary premiering in Anchorage

One thing that's fun about a small, relatively cheap, durable video camera is that it seems like a good idea to pull it out when, say, you're engulfed in stinging wet sand that sticks to everything...

That said, there is so much video we should have taken, but didn't...
by Hig
Mon Nov 15, 2010 12:15 am
Forum: General Discussion
Topic: Packraft adventure documentary premiering in Anchorage
Replies: 4
Views: 1615

Packraft adventure documentary premiering in Anchorage

As some of you know, my wife and I took a yearlong packraft trip from Seattle to the first Aleutian Island a few years ago. We carried a video camera, and now that video has become a full-on feature length documentary, that will be showing for the first time on Dec. 6th, in Anchorage (7:45 pm, One N...
by Hig
Sun Nov 14, 2010 11:56 pm
Forum: Europe
Topic: Iceland video
Replies: 5
Views: 2035

Re: Iceland video

Very nice work. I love the photo of the nose sticking out of the hotspring on your site... Many other good ones in there too.
http://www.alastairhumphreys.com/advent ... nsiceland/

What video camera did you use? We're looking at updating our old-school 2007 tech for our next expedition.
by Hig
Sun Nov 14, 2010 11:42 pm
Forum: Design & Do-It-Yourself
Topic: DIY raft
Replies: 35
Views: 22286

Re: DIY raft

Seems like the trick, if you don't have a full floor, is to replace the shear strength and tension provided by the floor. Sounds like your frame mod might achieve that? It sounds like the sort of thing that would have a really rough rough draft... :)
by Hig
Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:07 am
Forum: Tips & Technique
Topic: Packraft Surfing
Replies: 16
Views: 7779

Re: Packraft Surfing

Hull speed is less of an issue once you're on the foam, and doesn't apply if the boat is planing. I've also had fun out on the olympic coast, though on one visit a friend of mine almost died. Life jacket is key unless you have a really good way to stay associated with your raft. He got caught in a b...
by Hig
Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:00 am
Forum: Packrafting Gear
Topic: Broken Aqua Bound Paddle...Uh oh
Replies: 9
Views: 2905

Re: Broken Aqua Bound Paddle...Uh oh

I also had a good experience with Aqua Bound replacing broken blades for free. Not that that's much consolation when you're still a week from civilization, but nobody builds a totally flawless product.
by Hig
Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:57 pm
Forum: Packrafting Gear
Topic: Alpacka Inflation Bag
Replies: 11
Views: 4658

Re: Alpacka Inflation Bag

On occasion I've lost or broken sticks and had to use the bag without... I didn't like it nearly as well, though it's certainly possible. I don't know why just removing the sticks when not in use didn't occur to me. Good idea. I'll go with my sliding sticks thing for a while and see if I like that b...
by Hig
Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:49 pm
Forum: Australia / New Zealand
Topic: Hello and a few questions ! :)
Replies: 5
Views: 1425

Re: Hello and a few questions ! :)

To put in a good word for flatwater... True, I'd rather paddle another craft in open flat water, but... The failure to track well seems to me to be purely a psychological barrier. It's easy to go in a straight line, your bow just wiggles. As soon as you throw in a handfull of portages between paddle...
by Hig
Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:43 pm
Forum: Tips & Technique
Topic: Bikerafting
Replies: 34
Views: 25435

Re: Bikerafting

You might be able to just make a buoy (maybe using a dry bag?) that would float the bike if you had to ditch it for a bit. For a sense of size... 3 gallons is about 24 lbs flotation (ie exactly equal to displacement... the weight of 3 gallons of water.) Given the bike has some displacement, then you...
by Hig
Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:50 am
Forum: Packrafting Gear
Topic: Air Mattress Flooring
Replies: 12
Views: 5279

Re: Air Mattress Flooring

I've tried several approaches, and found none easy. Initially I unsealed the heat-seal, cut the thermarest, removed a bit of foam, and then re-heat-sealed them. Then I sealed leaks with Aquaseal. This worked ok, but the leaks that did happen were really difficult to seal and tended to come open in t...
by Hig
Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:38 am
Forum: General Discussion
Topic: Can I damage raft by rolling or folding too tight?
Replies: 3
Views: 1351

Re: Can I damage raft by rolling or folding too tight?

I'm always a fan of a very tight roll to pack my boat away, and I've never seen signs of issues, even when rolling in subfreezing (rarely even subzero) conditions. I don't think you have anything to worry about. Has anyone seen the fabric on old boats crack for any reason? Like after long sun exposu...
by Hig
Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:03 am
Forum: Tips & Technique
Topic: Open Water Basics (Saltwater)
Replies: 3
Views: 3577

Re: Open Water Basics (Saltwater)

Nice post Andrew. A few thoughts: The paddle + current + wind equation is an important way to think about open water travel. Also, there's a big difference in the way wind and current affect your raft. One way of thinking about it is that current affects your velocity (speed and direction) while win...
by Hig
Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:13 pm
Forum: Packrafting Gear
Topic: Alpacka Inflation Bag
Replies: 11
Views: 4658

Re: Alpacka Inflation Bag

A note that is slightly tertiary here...

I just refurbished an old worn out bag. One change I made was to make the sleeve that holds the sticks at the top continuous so the sticks can slide. This way the sticks move around on their own and don't wear through the fabric as fast.
by Hig
Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:11 pm
Forum: Packrafting Gear
Topic: Packs
Replies: 21
Views: 15165

Re: Packs

Right now I'm using MLD's largest pack. Here's their site: http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com/shop/index.php?cPath=25 Overall I like it... but for use packrafting I think it's good to cut off the little plastic hooks that can grab hold of any string that might be about and become an entanglement h...
by Hig
Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:01 pm
Forum: Southwest
Topic: Alaska Peninsula, Kamishak Bay: Bruin Bay to Cape Douglas
Replies: 5
Views: 3296

Re: Alaska Peninsula, Kamishak Bay: Bruin Bay to Cape Dougla

Pixels... http://www.groundtruthtrekking.org/static/thumbs/uploads/photos/IMG_B006857.JPGaX08_D/_thumbs/__IMG_B006857_JPG_300x300_q85.jpg Geologists call the flat bedrock plane that appears at low tide in some places a "wave-cut platform." In Kamishak this phenomena is particularly dramatic, with va...
by Hig
Wed Jun 16, 2010 7:25 am
Forum: Packrafting Gear
Topic: Alpacka Inflation Bag
Replies: 11
Views: 4658

Re: Alpacka Inflation Bag

I've found you can inflate a boat with a mismatched fitting if you have a second person hold the nozzle in place. There's enough volume coming out of the inflation bag that even quite a bit of loss around the mismatched fittings is ok.
by Hig
Wed Jun 16, 2010 7:14 am
Forum: Tips & Technique
Topic: Tracking ideas for Yak
Replies: 1
Views: 1200

Re: Tracking ideas for Yak

Hi Mark, I've messed around a little with a primitive version of your option B, and never got anything to work. I think it has potential though... it'll just take a fair bit of tuning to get it to sit stably and do what you want. I think a 1.5 cm rod would be enough to have an effect, but only a mod...
by Hig
Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:40 am
Forum: General Discussion
Topic: Active Topics Button
Replies: 5
Views: 1053

Re: Active Topics Button

I'm not sure if yours is the same issue, but I use the "view unread posts" link, and after the migration the forums thought I hadn't read anything... I had to click the "Mark forums read" link on the main page and then things worked normally again. Maybe this will fix your issue too?
by Hig
Sat Mar 27, 2010 7:39 pm
Forum: General Discussion
Topic: On book tour near you?
Replies: 1
Views: 705

On book tour near you?

I should have let you all know about this much earlier... Erin and I are on a second book tour, and would love to have any of you come check out our presentation. We show lots of photos and a few videos, Erin does some readings from her book, and we show a selection of our gear. Gear includes Erin's...
by Hig
Sat Mar 27, 2010 7:31 pm
Forum: General Discussion
Topic: A Message from the Alpacka Designer: Mods & New Boat
Replies: 15
Views: 7996

Re: A Message from the Alpacka Designer: Mods & New Boat

I know nothing of entrapment or difficult whitewater, but I thought I'd provide a reflection on Sheri's original point that a hard-shell kayak will always serve better than an Alpacka in hard-core river-running. When we do presentations (which incidentally we are right now: http://www.groundtruthtre...
by Hig
Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:41 pm
Forum: Packrafting Gear
Topic: Air Mattress Flooring
Replies: 12
Views: 5279

Re: Air Mattress Flooring

When I've put Thermarests in, I just cram them really tight into the bottom and they seem to do pretty well. But that's not in big hydraulics.
by Hig
Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:40 pm
Forum: Design & Do-It-Yourself
Topic: Tie Downs and Strap Plates: Location, Location, Location
Replies: 1
Views: 1310

Re: Tie Downs and Strap Plates: Location, Location, Location

My take: I'd be hesitant to do this unless you're game to field-repair anything that goes wrong. Only do it if you feel like you could cut the part of the patch that overlaps the deck off, since that part is not going to be providing useful strength, and may be endangering the deck. You could take a...
by Hig
Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:17 pm
Forum: General Discussion
Topic: Alpacka Raft and Feathercraft
Replies: 19
Views: 14495

Re: Alpacka Raft and Feathercraft

Oddly they do not mention the word "packraft" anywhere in the post. I wonder if this is a deliberate decision?

This is the permalink for the post mentioning their new "Baylee Inflatables":
http://fckayaks.wordpress.com/2010/01/2 ... hitewater/
by Hig
Tue Dec 22, 2009 2:36 am
Forum: Design & Do-It-Yourself
Topic: Paint or vinyl on Alpackas
Replies: 7
Views: 3832

Re: Paint or vinyl on Alpackas

We've also written on our boats with sharpie. No problems, except it does eventually fade or wear off...
by Hig
Tue Dec 22, 2009 2:33 am
Forum: Tips & Technique
Topic: Fixed length trekking pole attachment
Replies: 4
Views: 1770

Re: Fixed length trekking pole attachment

You can also just put the poles cross-wise way out on the bow. You have to get them way out there so they don't constrain your stroke, but it's quick and easy and requires no new loops. We've done it with skis, as well as with walking sticks collected along the way.
by Hig
Tue Dec 22, 2009 2:29 am
Forum: Tips & Technique
Topic: How to Eskimo Roll a Packraft
Replies: 13
Views: 10164

Re: How to Eskimo Roll a Packraft

Well... if the failure was simultaneous failure of the entire glue surface, then it would be exactly the surface area difference you're describing that was important. But that's probably fairly far from the case. In this case, and in many gear failures, the failure probably begins at a point. Once a...
by Hig
Tue Dec 22, 2009 2:16 am
Forum: General Discussion
Topic: Rolling an Alpacka brings up issues...
Replies: 17
Views: 3770

Re: Rolling an Alpacka brings up issues...

Esben, I expect that punching holes in your cookpot would do little to protect your neck from being broken by strong currents... I'm assuming the situation here is that your head is in the helmet, unlike the situation you described with the bucket. Your head + helmet has a little more surface area t...
by Hig
Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:10 pm
Forum: Partners & Logistics
Topic: Ketchikan/Misty Fjords?
Replies: 5
Views: 1426

Re: Ketchikan/Misty Fjords?

Overall, I think exploring in Misty Fjords is amongst the most exciting packrafting frontiers in Alaska. Between amazing ocean paddling, alpine hiking, and river running, the packraft opens up some really cool options. The Unuk was not particularly sketchy... we were going up it, so it was walking. ...
by Hig
Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:02 am
Forum: General Discussion
Topic: Pack raft seats uncomfortable for others???
Replies: 8
Views: 1481

Re: Pack raft seats uncomfortable for others???

Dave, I tried that... but for me over the last 10 years the fat just goes to my torso and avoids my butt... my youthful butt fat is sorely missed. For flatwater paddling where I'm not moving much, I do find the seat becomes uncomfortable after an hour or so. A little air out and some small shifting ...
by Hig
Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:12 am
Forum: General Discussion
Topic: Packraft Book tour
Replies: 0
Views: 698

Packraft Book tour

Erin finished her book! It's not quite as packraft-centric as Roman's book, but it tells the tale of our 4000 mile Seattle - Aleutians trip, which was fundamentally a packraft trip. So I'll call it a packraft book. :) And we're going on tour! We'll be through Homer, Kenai, Seward, and Anchorage in t...
by Hig
Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:17 am
Forum: Tips & Technique
Topic: Beginnner question on losing raft + gear
Replies: 6
Views: 3430

Re: Beginnner question on losing raft + gear

I'd be interested to see a picture. One thing I'd like to do is figure out a reliable breakaway point in a cord... Something that'd break under 50 lbs pressure or so. Maybe the fast-tack release is a better way to go though. One reason I like having a lanyard even in (moderate?) whitewater, is that ...
by Hig
Sat Aug 22, 2009 12:16 am
Forum: Tips & Technique
Topic: Tracking in open water
Replies: 9
Views: 4092

Re: Tracking in open water

The degree to which you track with a keel is far higher than what you get with a counterweight (even as large as a second person.) It really feels like a keeled boat... a kayak or whatever. It also depends on the size of the keel-pole. A thicker pole provides more resistance to turning. The first on...
by Hig
Sat Aug 15, 2009 4:12 pm
Forum: Tips & Technique
Topic: Tracking in open water
Replies: 9
Views: 4092

Re: Tracking in open water

The paddle in the water works particularly well when running with a strong wind. You can use it as a rudder and get a fair amount of control. If the boat isn't moving relative to the water though, it's not as useful, and regardless you do have to use one hand to keep it under control. The "sea ancho...
by Hig
Sat Aug 15, 2009 4:04 pm
Forum: General Discussion
Topic: Is Fjord Explorer fun to row ?
Replies: 7
Views: 1502

Re: Is Fjord Explorer fun to row ?

For someone who is quite practiced with the inflation bag, it only takes about 4 "poofs" to get the scout mostly full... probably 1 minute. I'd guess double or tripple that for an explorer. Then you have to top it off by breath, which will take another couple minutes. It takes practice to do it quic...
by Hig
Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:31 pm
Forum: Tips & Technique
Topic: Tracking in open water
Replies: 9
Views: 4092

Re: Tracking in open water

I've been meaning to try the single-boat pole for some time, but just haven't quite done it (I keep carrying straps with me and not getting around to it.) Also, there is a psychological component to "tracking" on flat water. When I first paddled an Alpacka on flat water, I found it awkward because o...
by Hig
Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:24 pm
Forum: General Discussion
Topic: How wide can a person be
Replies: 7
Views: 1402

Re: How wide can a person be

And the scout is a bit narrower than an Alpaca or Yak. I'm 5' 9.5", 173 lbs, and I find it fine for me, but Erin, who's 5'3" 130 lbs but has a woman's wider hips finds it a bit too tight (with the boat blown up as taught as we can get it.) I also prefer a smaller boat than Sheri suggests, as I like ...
by Hig
Tue Jul 28, 2009 2:23 pm
Forum: Design & Do-It-Yourself
Topic: What custom boat mods would you like?
Replies: 43
Views: 16504

Re: What custom boat mods would you like?

Brad, out of curiousity, have you tried putting the wineskin behind your butt instead of at your feet? It'd mess up the back-rest support, but it might allow you to lock your feet against the bow and also move your center of mass more to the center of the boat. (I'm 5' 9.5" and drive an Alpaca, whic...
by Hig
Sun Jul 26, 2009 8:57 pm
Forum: Packrafting Gear
Topic: In Search of A Dry Boat
Replies: 22
Views: 5995

Re: In Search of A Dry Boat

We found the velcro's life-span to be far shorter than the rest of the deck, so I'm hoping a zipper might do better. We also installed a clip at the end and corner of the velcro (2007 style decks) once the velcro got weaker. There are little tab-clips that are weak enough that they easily pop under ...
by Hig
Sun Jul 26, 2009 8:44 pm
Forum: Packrafting Gear
Topic: Helmets
Replies: 17
Views: 5822

Re: Helmets

Brad! You stole my idea! We generally go helmet-less... sticking to almost never swimming as protection for the head, but I've often founded myself wishing for that additional layer of protection, especially if it could double as foul-weather insulation and didn't add much weight. I look at our tita...
by Hig
Wed Jul 08, 2009 11:59 pm
Forum: Partners & Logistics
Topic: Anywhere in Alaska - mid-June through mid-August
Replies: 6
Views: 1996

Re: Anywhere in Alaska - mid-June through mid-August

The SPOT is good fun... we may well have to give that a try on our next big trip. Though the SPOT line suggests otherwise, he didn't actually do the Beluga-Hope paddle. It was blowing 30 down Turnagain when he got there, and would have been riding the tide up the bay. Not a good combo. I think he hi...
by Hig
Wed Jul 08, 2009 11:54 pm
Forum: General Discussion
Topic: Thanks for the repair
Replies: 4
Views: 1169

Re: Thanks for the repair

I've been happy with the valve on the stern of the scout... I like that you can stand the boat on end to use the mouth-valve.