Into the Raft

Résumé en français

Alterner le fun à pied et sur l’eau, le plein de nouvelles perspectives.

I went for 3 days into the Canadian wilderness (I don’t know if I want to call this bushcraft anymore but that’s another story). This time with a way to explore directly from within lakes which might be useful to gain some amount of time when there is no trail or to discover new places to set up camps in hardly accessible places. I wait for that inflatable boat about two months so it was definitely relieving to be able to try it before it gets too cold!

Despite the stress to try totally new gear and practice a new activity, it was really fun to be able to go there by hiking, inflate the raft, find a place and unload everything to be able to explore a bit lighter. I was surprised how slow it was though (compared to a canoe), something about two knots top if there is no wind against you! It might be easier on a river, I need to try that but probably next year with a bikeraft trip on the Red River.

One thing I tried is to use the raft as a mattress for sleeping at night, I’m not convinced of the overall result given that I slept quite badly the whole trip. That is something I need to iterate on. Weather conditions were not helping with temperatures dropping below freezing for the first time, quite brutal as always around here :-).

I underestimated my paddling abilities in terms of endurance when coming back to camp facing wind, something I have to work on during the winter season. Speaking about that, I hopefully didn’t chose to sleep on an island the last day otherwise I would have been stuck by the morning because of the wind.

I didn’t try to fish from the boat, being concerned about what would occur if my lure hits the inflatable parts. I think I need a folding net for this but I’m still considering options. I am not sure the speed would allow for casting, I have to try this too.

Being able to alternate hiking and paddling during a trip opens new perspective like portaging from lake to lake in places where a canoe won’t fit. Oh and finally, there is enough room for a child at the top of the raft \o/ (Alpacka Caribou).