Man isn’t meant to stay indoors — our weekly “Trekking” column can attest to that. It’s a column dedicated to the adventurer inside of all of us, the one pining to ditch the office humdrum for a quick surf session or seven-week jaunt in the Grand Tetons. One day we may highlight an ultra-light stove and the next a set of handmade canoe paddles. Life doesn’t just happen inside the workplace, so get outside and live it.
Whitewater rafting has been one of the pinnacles of outdoor recreation ever since it came to prominence in the mid-1970s. It’s a sport that can go from calm to chaotic with every hairpin turn on the river, one that’s as reliant on the glacial runoff as is it is precise maneuvering in a pinch. However, it’s also an activity that’s always been dependent on what gear you have at your disposal and what you can feasibly carry to the water’s edge — that is, until the Alpackalypse ($2,000) came along.
Touted as the “world’s first whitewater packraft,” the Alpackalypse is more industrious than anything the folks at Alpacka Raft have built before. Although the lightweight craft is designed to endure up to Class V rapids, such as those you might encounter while running the iconic waters of the Grand Canyon, it also weighs just over 10 pounds and still manages to pack down into a 17 x 11-inch cylinder for easy transport. Nonetheless, it carries the look and feel of a hard-shell kayak, owing to an internal rigging system designed for greater control and rolling. It’s outfitted with inflatable hip pads and multi-point adjustable knee cups as well, along with a heavy-duty seat and sturdy foot brace for increased maneuvering.
The internal rigging is only half of the equation, though. The Alpackalypse also features smaller, lower-volume tubes than most rafts in the company’s lineup, allowing more room for the paddler and giving the raft a more refined side edge. The aforementioned components make for quicker acceleration and better movement, too, while improving lateral stability and increasing speed output. Said features, combined with the inflatable raft’s 400-denier Vectran fabric, render it as rugged as it responsive. Now, the only question that remains is where to take it on your first-time excursion…
Check out Alpacka Raft online for more information, to make a purchase, or to browse the company’s excellent selection of fishing, rowing, and whitewater rafts.