| ESSENTIAL gear |
PACKRAFT Alpacka Denali Llama
This is a serious piece of expedition equipment. Light enough to carry for hundreds of kilometres, yet suitable for paddling almost any river. One of the best pieces of expedition kit I’ve ever bought.
Worth every penny
BUOYANCY AID Bluewave 150N
automatic lifejacket £45/950 GRAMS It’s important to seek specialist advice before choosing a buoyancy aid. I use this inflatable model as it’s lightweight and packs down small. The Bluewave includes a D-ring for attaching a safety line. This lifejacket turns you upright when you’re in the water
THROW ROPE Palm 15-metre Bullet throwline £34/600 GRAMS A throw rope is a vital piece of safety equipment on rivers. This 15-metre rope is supplied in a bag for easy throwing. It has a 1,000-kilogram line strength
Alpacka Sawyer packrafting paddle
US companies dominate the multi-part-paddle market. This paddle is lightweight and versatile for a variety of water conditions. Buy it direct from Alpacka when you buy your boat and receive a ten per cent discount
Crossing Iceland via a combination of rafting and trekking requires a wide range of equipment, the choice of which involves plenty of compromises.
It’s important that the items – from cameras to clothing – are robust and water-resistant when rafting. Yet they must also be lightweight and easy to carry on the walking sections – the packraft in particular. Here is a selection of the gear the pair used on their cross-country trip
Don’t forget… …a water filter, such as MSR’s MiniWorks EX Microfilter, if you’re going to be paddling in a location where the water isn’t as pristine as it is in Iceland
NEXT MONTH: ALLFEMALE ANTARCTIC TREK
KNIFE Leatherman Skeletool CX
It’s important to have a knife accessible in case you become entangled following a capsize. The Skeletool also has all the essential tools for expedition repairs.
The built-in carabiner is great for clipping to your buoyancy aid
BACKPACK Ultralight Adventure Equipment Epic
£172/920 GRAMS The Epic is more of a harness than a backpack. It is capable of supporting a dry bag with a capacity of up to 70 litres. This enables the dry bag to be carried comfortably like a rucksack.
The Epic’s base panel straps are specifically designed to hold a packraft
DRY BAG Sea to Summit Large Ultra-Sil pack liner
£25/126 GRAMS I put my entire pack inside this 90-litre dry bag for the river phases. Leave some air inside when closing the bag to improve its buoyancy. Despite being very light, it’s extremely waterproof
VIDEO CAMERA GoPro HD Helmet Hero
For a camera that looks like a child’s toy, the quality is staggering. Capture high-definition footage or five-megapixel photographs. A variety of mounts allow this waterproof camera to be positioned on your head or on the packraft
MINI CARABINERS Master Lock Mini Carabiner
Avoid losing vital bits and pieces in the water with these cheap and eﬀective clips. I attach them to Sigg bottles, cameras and anything else I want easy access to while I am on the river. They should not be used for climbing or bearing heavy weights
CAMERA CASE Ortlieb AquaCam
Padded inserts in the AquaCam protect your camera from knocks. The ever-reliable Ortlieb roll-top closure system keeps your photographic gear dry and protects it from volcanic ash. An optional harness system holds the bag snugly against your body
72 www.geog raphical.co.uk DECEMBER 2010