Bikerafting is when you incorporate a bike onto a packraft like an Alpacka Raft. While navigating rivers and other bodies of water shouldn’t be taken with a grain of salt and if you don’t have whitewater experience, you should seek out proper training before embarking on a packraft or bikerafting trip. Once you’ve done that, buy this book for inspiration. The Bikeraft Guide is a 325 page book, packed with stories, instructional how-tos, illustrations, and more. It was compiled by Lizzy and Doom of Four Corners Guides and is a great companion for those bikeraft curious. Let’s take a quick look below…
With my partner Cari’s birthday always falling on the Summer Solstice, it’s usually up to her to decide how we spend the longest day of the year. This year, with temps in the 90s here in Santa Fe, we were excited to get out on the river in our Alpacka rafts with our friends Doom and Lizzy from Four Corners Guides, where we spent our Solstice evening on the San Miguel river…
We hope everyone got out and camped under the stars with their friends, both new and old for the Swift Campout! We’ve got some stories to share next week but we just wanted to extend a huge thanks to our friends Doom and Lizzy at Four Corners Guides for taking us out on a river overnighter. It’s not often we get to campout on the river, so this made for a truly unique experience…
Don’t forget to email us your Swift Campout stories!
Remember all those wild Reportage reports from bikerafting in Colorado and Utah with Four Courners Guides we’ve posted over the years? Well, Doom and Lizzy have launched a fantastic project born from those endeavors and more:
“We launched the IndieGoGo Campaign December 21st (soft, unofficial for all our fans and followers). You can start pre-ordering the book now through January 29! What is The Bikeraft Guide? It’s a community multi-media storytelling project that will ultimately result in a comprehensive book on bikerafting. It will be the definitive guide on the sport, and includes a comprehensive history section, “The Pirates of Bikerafting” Anthology (a collection of stories from 15 of the world’s best bikerafters) and a how-to section, mostly by Steve “Doom” Fassbinder, but also including interviews with various experts. It will also have a safety section by the “packraft safety guy” and author of the Packraft Handbook, Luc Mehl, a repairs section by Alpacka Raft repairs manager, Ben Phillips, and a Positive Impact Ethos section contributed by Bikepacking Roots.
In addition, this project includes our new The Bikeraft Guide Podcast, and short films in the The Bikeraft Guide enewsletter, on the IndieGoGo Campaign page, on @TheBikeraftGuide Instagram page and on the Four Corners Guides blog.
Our goal with the IndieGoGo Campaign is to raise $20-$30K through pre-sales of the book and “Perks” donated by our sponsors. This will pay for printing, distribution, contributors and editing. We’re really relying on you – aspiring bikerafters and people who love great adventure stories – to help us make this dream a reality.”
Head to the IndieGoGo to support this project!
‘Forgotten Highways’ is a film of documenting self-supported travel bike bicycle and cultural discovery set in the Whanganui District of New Zealand. The film is a journey through a challenging landscape following the historical trails to and from one of NZ’s most significant rivers (or Awa).
For anyone as uninitiated as myself in Minnesotan lore and legend, the Boundary Waters is a immaculate sprawling maze of lakes in Northern Minnesota that share a border with Canada. I can’t remember who, but someone a few beers deep around a campfire eulogized about the boundary waters for quite some time, since then its hung in the back of my mind to check it out if the chance ever arose.
To fill in the gaps between normal, group-ride-oriented bicycle stories, we’re featuring a few rides from the staff over here at the Radavist, beginning with Spencer’s Orbea Loki.
When it was finally time for me to accept that my fatbike just wasn’t that good of a trail bike, I looked to the next best thing, a plus bike. I finagled my way into Interbike a few years back and made it my mission to ride all the plus bikes at the dirt demo. Turns out they were damn fun, the Advocate (now Esker) Hayduke was the winner of the day in my eyes, right in front of the newly updated Karate Monkey. At the time I worked for a guide company that had a fleet or Orbea’s bikes, and they sent our company a closeout list with some discounted bikes at cost. I saw a swoopy aluminum 27.5+ hardtail that looked like it might just be the ticket. I figured I could fit an XL and hopefully, that would give me the most framebag space since I planned to use this as that ever-fleeting idea of a quiver killer.
In the summer of 2019, Bjørn Olson and Kim McNett completed a fat-bike and packraft route, entirely above the Arctic Circle of Alaska – Kotzebue to Point Hope. Enjoy the trailer for the upcoming film about this human-powered expedition.
When Alpacka Raft approached me about shooting a trip to New York, my mind started running with places upstate I had heard so much about in the past. But, that was quickly tempered as I inquired further to find out that they intended to raft the East River between Manhattan and Brooklyn.
The latest video from Bjørn Olson is not to be missed!
“Alaska’s Seward Peninsula lies just below the Arctic Circle. The protuberant peninsula is the millennia old home to the Inupiat Eskimo, situated in the northwest of Alaska – a land that stirs the adventurer’s spirit and kindles the insatiable. Visions of paleo-Arctic ancestors, sweeping tundra, rugged mountains, winding rivers, compacted beaches, intact ecosystems, and a land before contemporary time excite the Iglaak – the traveler, stranger, and visitor.
This three-minute film is a snapshot of a fat-bike and packraft tour through the Imuruk Basin, the villages of Mary’s Igloo, Brevig Mission, Teller, and Nome.”
Fluid Trails follows a group of friends as they navigate New Zealand’s Kahurangi National Park, via mountain bikes and packrafts. The landscape is one of immense awe and inspiration with a rich history and a rich cache of biodiversity.
Already into Episode 32 of documenting his journey bikepacking from Alaska to Argentina and around the world, Iohan Gueorguiev shares a rather intimate look at Chile, from the mountains to the coast. Watch the rest of Iohan’s episodes at his Youtube Channel.
Paddles n’ Puppies: A Visit to Alpacka Raft HQ
Words and photos by Spencer Harding
I’ve been fawning over Alpacka rafts for years but have yet to obtain one. I have used the shitty Klymit one, which resulted in my raft flipping while holding my camera at the end of a rapid. I learned the hard way that there is only one true name in the packrafting game: Alpacka Raft.
Last year my friend Molly (see our last trip for more cute photos of her and Sprocket) got a job working at Alpacka Raft HQ in Mancos, Colorado. Mancos is a quaint town nestled right between the full-on Rocky Mountains and the eastern edge of the Colorado Plateau. Ever since she got the job I had been waiting for an excuse to stop by and check out the factory. Turns out Mancos is not even close to being on the way from Salt Lake City to Denver (to meet up for this year’s DFL the Divide trip) but was well worth the detour.
The Colorado River is where Joey likes to play in his free time. On this trip, it’s home to a solo packrafting excursion.
Five people set off into the wilds of New Zealand over the course of 6 days for a 300km unsupported trek using bikepacking and packrafting to assist on their journey. If you’re looking for views for days, the backcountry in New Zealand is the place to go!
Three riders set off on a bikepacking journey in New Zealand using their packrafts. What will they encounter?