Outdoor educator and Macpac ambassador Dulkara Martig has been packrafting on expeditions around the world. Here’s what she packs on a typical river trip in New Zealand.
I always pack thin merino layers to wear against my skin. My favourite midweight layers include a Macpac Pisa jacket, Macpac Pulsar insulated jacket and a Patagonia Houdini. On cold packrafting trips, I wear a thin fleece onesie under my drysuit.
I use a Macpac Epic 400 sleeping bag on most summer trips, plus a lightweight liner bag. I’ve used lots of different inflatable mats, but the Sea to Summit air sprung mat is the only one that hasn’t delaminated.
I use an 85L Hyperlite Mountain Gear pack – the Porter 5400. It’s made of Dyneema which is super lightweight (1300g) and really durable. A key advantage on packrafting trips is that it rolls up and can be stuffed into the raft.
My Alpacka Raft Gnarwhal has a cargo fly, whitewater deck, thigh straps and outfitting designed for more technical rivers.
I don’t compromise on helmets and use the same kind I use for whitewater kayaking.
6. Personal floatation device
I use a reasonably lightweight Astral which has a knife and whistle.
A ‘pee rag’ is better for the environment than using toilet paper. I use a bandana, rinsing in streams regularly. Every woman should use one of these! We need to normalise them in New Zealand.
I’m a huge fan of the menstrual cup. They’re eco-friendly, easy to use, more cost-effective than other options and you don’t have any extra rubbish to carry out.
Compass, Suunto Core altimeter watch, map, iPhone.
My Hyperlite Mountain Gear UltaMid Pyramid Tent can be pitched with my paddle instead of a pole. The fly weighs just under 500g. On some trips, I use a mesh insert (additional 500g) to keep bugs out.
A Jetboil for short trips and an MSR WhisperLite for longer missions – I like getting more creative with cooking and eating real food instead of dehy.
My 500ml Nalgene bottle is one of my fave pieces of gear. It’s a great hot drink vessel and a hot water bottle. I also use a 4L MSR Dromedary bladder. It packs down to almost nothing and is perfect for alpine camps without a water source nearby.
12. Safety and Communication
PLB, Inreach or satellite phone, small first-aid kit. On longer trips, I bring an additional drug kit with some broad-spectrum antibiotics.