We woke up this morning, and after a leisurely breakfast, decided that we wanted to take the boys fishing. We have a baby and a toddler, which means that just getting to the grocery store can be challenging. After everyone is dressed, fed, brushed, changed, and packed, it is almost time for another nap or meal. The pull of the couch can be powerful for even those who aren’t responsible for tiny dictators with lots of accessories. So anything you can do to streamline and simplify getting out the door to go out of doors is invaluable. I grew up paddling around mountain lakes on windsurfing boards, and the desire to get out on the water has been nagging at me all summer. We decided on the Advanced Elements Packlite Inflatable Kayak to get our family on the water. We wanted something easy, something that could fit atleast one adult and one child, and something that we wouldn’t have to sell one of the kids for. (Like an Alpackaraft , which I would love to have) This is kind of a tall order, but this boat is perfect. In fact, I think that I am now a fervent believer in pack rafts in general.
We drove up to the lake, grilled up some hotdogs and inflated the boat with the foot pump advanced elements sells for it. (Just a couple of minutes). We could actually carry the baby and all of our picnic items, as well as the boat and life jackets in one trip. That is four hands. On the way home we discussed just packing up a backpack with the boat, fishing stuff, a couple of chairs, picnic blanket etc. and leaving it in the car for impromptu day trips.
We wanted to avoid the crowds at the dock, so it was a bit of a walk to reach the shore. But it was no problem with this boat. My husband and I took turns paddling around with our elated toddler. So fun. The mountains, the water, the swans and ducks, the strain in your arms, the sound of the paddle dipping into the lack, the joy of an almost three year old. It would be no problem to load up two boats with a few picnic items and take small trips. (I believe our time to be more limited by the small passengers more than the boat). So that’s that. I considered numerous water craft options (fantasized about portages in a gorgeous wooden canoe, looked into SUPs to relive my childhood, love the Orukayak but couldn’t afford it). This wound up being the most affordable and it turns amount, most convenient way to get out there. Not only do we not need to heave the thing onto our car, but we can fit it in my diaper bag. Apparently these boats are also serviceable on a mellow river run. We may even go again tomorrow. And as I said, I want another. Yesterday. Happy paddling and find a mountain lake and packraft as soon as you can.
Update: I love this boat. Took it on another day trip to Cabresto Lake- 4 miles up a steep switchback, was glad to not have anything on our roof. Once again, the shoreline wasn’t close to our car, so we hiked a ways to a nice private spot and paddled away. We will hit up every lake in the southern Rockies until the snow falls.