Gear and Competencies


Rivers are amazing places to play but they are also dangerous environments and with a range of hazards. With the Packraft Meetup
taking place in October – cold water and hypothermia is high on this
list. As such participants should have appropriate gear and competency for the rivers they intend to paddle.



Some suggestions for appropriate packrafting gear can be found in the links below:






When considering the river trips on offer please consider the following set of cumulative competencies for each grade below:


Understand and be prepared for hypothermia, ability to get back into boat or swim to shore and right boat, be aware and be able to avoid foot entrapment in river flora / weeds

Grade 1

Understand and follow river signals, recognise and be able to avoid river
hazards including strainers and foot entrapment, decent forward and back paddle strokes

Grade 2

Recognise river features including waves, holes, sieves and eddies; be able
to catch eddies in grade 2 water; ability to break out of eddies and ferry
glide in grade 2 water; able to self rescue in moving grade 2 water, proficient forward and back paddle strokes, proficient in understanding and giving river signals, competency rescuing others in grade 2 water (throwbagging, boat and person chasing etc).

Grade 3

Ability to catch eddies in grade 3 water; ability to exit eddies and ferry
glide in grade 3 water, reasonable brace stroke; ability to quickly self rescue
in grade 3 water; competency in rescuing others in grade 3 water.

Grade 4

Excellent brace, draw and boof strokes, able to surf out of holes in grade 4
water, proficient roll or ability to rapidly reenter boat with paddle;
excellent river reading skills; ability to catch all eddies in grade 4 water;
Advanced whitewater rescue and first aid abilities; Excellent whitewater
swimming ability.

Grade 5

Be a competent grade 5+ kayaker or equivalent

*Please note that this event is intended for packraft enthusiasts and is not
suitable for first time rafters. If you are currently a beginner, please
consider taking a packraft specific or kayaking course such as those offered by Paddle NSW, Paddle Tas, Paddle Victoria, Penrith Whitewater Stadium or other education providers. You can also start with some great online resources like:


b.) Media Feliz 101 packrafting series covering an intro, strokes and river