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#206132 - 08/14/10 06:27 AM Re: Seattle GHB [Re: wolfepack]
xbanker Offline
Addict

Registered: 04/21/05
Posts: 484
Loc: Anthem, AZ USA
One of these would be somewhere between swimming and using an inflatable raft. Your pack would have to be sealed in a trashbag or similar, and "towed" (presumably what you'd do if swimming). Fishing Float Tube. This is one of many products of its type. Can't find weight, but one reviewer gave points for being "lightweight" and when uninflated/folded, fit in his backpack (which you wouldn't do, but some indication of portability). By their nature, these are sturdy construction.

Typically used with "frogman flippers" for fishing, but for your purposes, maybe a short, lightweight paddle such as this.
_________________________
"Things that have never happened before happen all the time." Scott Sagan, The Limits of Safety

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#206138 - 08/14/10 01:38 PM Re: Seattle GHB [Re: xbanker]
LoneWolf Offline
Member

Registered: 11/06/07
Posts: 101
Hi xbanker,

I thought about suggesting one of those too. Having just come back from a weekend fishing trip with mine, the only problem I see is a way to inflate the tube. Mine uses a truck inner tube which has a valve like you would find on a gas station air hose. I think some of the newer ones use a valve that you can inflate by mouth. I had a thorn punch a hole in mine while slogging to a back country lake. Trust me, it's a .... ahem ...."sinking" grin feeling to hear air hissing out of your float tube while you are out in a lake in which you can no longer see the bottom. Fortunately, I had a patch kit and a bicycle pump in the truck so the trip wasn't completely shot.

Having said that, wolfpack, I personally think a float tube might be a good option for you. You will still get wet however so you would still need to take the appropriate precautions (bagging your supplies, dry clothes to change into, etc .....). Also, if you decide to go that route, think about how you would inflate the tube. Depending on the kind of tube you get, they are not terribly expensive. I think it's a great idea.

Cheers,
LW

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#206157 - 08/14/10 05:52 PM Re: Seattle GHB [Re: wolfepack]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6357
Loc: southern Cal
For what it is worth, I have had experience with a similar inflatable "pool toy" within Grand Canyon. We needed something light because we had to backpack them down to Thunder River and Tapeats Caves, both of which contained significant streams.

We used them satisfactorily in both caves. They definitely kept us out of the water and much warmer. We probably paddled each craft about a mile in total, dragging them on and off rocks and sandbars within the caves, over a total of four days. We did experience leaks, which were easily repaired. I would use them again, unless I could find something just as light, but sturdier.

Nothing is sillier than backpacking an inflatable raft through the Arizona desert......
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#206158 - 08/14/10 05:53 PM Re: Seattle GHB [Re: LoneWolf]
xbanker Offline
Addict

Registered: 04/21/05
Posts: 484
Loc: Anthem, AZ USA
Originally Posted By: LoneWolf
I thought about suggesting one of those too. Having just come back from a weekend fishing trip with mine, the only problem I see is a way to inflate the tube. Mine uses a truck inner tube which has a valve like you would find on a gas station air hose. I think some of the newer ones use a valve that you can inflate by mouth. I had a thorn punch a hole in mine while slogging to a back country lake. Trust me, it's a .... ahem ...."sinking" grin feeling to hear air hissing out of your float tube while you are out in a lake in which you can no longer see the bottom. Fortunately, I had a patch kit and a bicycle pump in the truck so the trip wasn't completely shot.

Having said that, wolfpack, I personally think a float tube might be a good option for you. You will still get wet however so you would still need to take the appropriate precautions (bagging your supplies, dry clothes to change into, etc .....). Also, if you decide to go that route, think about how you would inflate the tube. Depending on the kind of tube you get, they are not terribly expensive. I think it's a great idea.

You know what they say about great minds ... smile

Completely forgot about the auto-style inflation valve. Good call. Acceptable solution would be some variation of this (part of my ATV desert-riding tire repair kit thanks to abundance of cholla cacti spines and other nasties on desert floor): manual/CO2 air pump. Reasonable cost. Lightweight (<3.5 oz) and small (roughly 1.5-in x 6.25-in). I like the dual-inflation capability: ease of CO2 (maybe important if time an issue and after having just hiked a fair distance) and the back-up manual-pump capability if Murphy's Law renders CO2 inoperable.

I love spending other people's money!
_________________________
"Things that have never happened before happen all the time." Scott Sagan, The Limits of Safety

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#206164 - 08/14/10 07:00 PM Re: Seattle GHB [Re: xbanker]
wolfepack Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 01/25/07
Posts: 52
Loc: Lynnwood, WA, USA
Originally Posted By: xbanker
One of these would be somewhere between swimming and using an inflatable raft. Your pack would have to be sealed in a trashbag or similar, and "towed" (presumably what you'd do if swimming). Fishing Float Tube. This is one of many products of its type. Can't find weight, but one reviewer gave points for being "lightweight" and when uninflated/folded, fit in his backpack (which you wouldn't do, but some indication of portability). By their nature, these are sturdy construction.


I looked at several of these online and it looks like typically have shipping weights of 8-12 lbs. That is much lighter than a raft/kayak. However in looking at these, I ran across "river tubes". Sort of your standard innertube but with handles and a tougher cover. They had shipping weights of 4-8 lbs. For just getting across a canal, the river tube might be all I need.

I also found your standard inflatable pool "swim ring". Shipping weight 12 oz and cost $4. For one time use, that might be the best bet yet. Certainly fragile, but I'll be getting wet in anything less than a raft and could always swim. Any type of flotation device beyond a simple life-vest has the potential to keep my drier and require less energy.

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#206165 - 08/14/10 07:05 PM Re: Seattle GHB [Re: xbanker]
wolfepack Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 01/25/07
Posts: 52
Loc: Lynnwood, WA, USA
Originally Posted By: xbanker

Completely forgot about the auto-style inflation valve. Good call. Acceptable solution would be some variation of this (part of my ATV desert-riding tire repair kit thanks to abundance of cholla cacti spines and other nasties on desert floor): manual/CO2 air pump. Reasonable cost. Lightweight (<3.5 oz) and small (roughly 1.5-in x 6.25-in). I like the dual-inflation capability: ease of CO2 (maybe important if time an issue and after having just hiked a fair distance) and the back-up manual-pump capability if Murphy's Law renders CO2 inoperable.


I completely forgot about CO2 cylinders for inflating items. Still not sure about weight, but that could eliminate the inflation issue. If I am going to have to pack something, I would carry either CO2 or a manual pump, but not both. Of the two probably the manual pump unless the CO2 was far less heavy.

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#206167 - 08/14/10 07:10 PM Re: Seattle GHB [Re: hikermor]
wolfepack Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 01/25/07
Posts: 52
Loc: Lynnwood, WA, USA
Originally Posted By: hikermor
For what it is worth, I have had experience with a similar inflatable "pool toy" within Grand Canyon. We needed something light because we had to backpack them down to Thunder River and Tapeats Caves, both of which contained significant streams.

We used them satisfactorily in both caves. They definitely kept us out of the water and much warmer. We probably paddled each craft about a mile in total, dragging them on and off rocks and sandbars within the caves, over a total of four days. We did experience leaks, which were easily repaired. I would use them again, unless I could find something just as light, but sturdier.


Good to hear some real experience with pool toy. Was it raft or something else, like a ring? I don't suppose you know how much the one you used weighed? Assuming it was a raft, was it a child's, one person, or two person? Just your standard vinyl you would pick up in the kids section of the store, or something else. Any details would help me better picture what you had. Do you remember cost? Less than $10? Less than $25? Less than $50?

You peak my interest!

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#206174 - 08/14/10 08:11 PM Re: Seattle GHB [Re: wolfepack]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6357
Loc: southern Cal
It was a vinyl raft, with a fairly definite bow. It paddled fairly well. The weight was right around two pounds. The capacity was about one fully equipped adult caver. We purchased ours in the pool toy section of the local drug store. The cost was trivial (less than $5)

I will check and see if I have any slides of the raft....


Edited by hikermor (08/14/10 09:17 PM)
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Geezer in Chief

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#206177 - 08/14/10 09:03 PM Re: Seattle GHB [Re: hikermor]
MostlyHarmless Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 982
Loc: Norway
The professional (and costly!) version of these toy rafts is called Alpacka raft. https://www.alpackaraft.com/ Google for independent reviews. Within reason, load capacity is mainly limited by how much you're willing to give up in the fields of manouverability and personal comfort.


I've never used an Alpacka raft, but their reputation and track record is good enough for me to trust them.

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#206178 - 08/14/10 09:15 PM Re: Seattle GHB [Re: MostlyHarmless]
wolfepack Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 01/25/07
Posts: 52
Loc: Lynnwood, WA, USA
Originally Posted By: MostlyHarmless
The professional (and costly!) version of these toy rafts is called Alpacka raft. https://www.alpackaraft.com/ Google for independent reviews. Within reason, load capacity is mainly limited by how much you're willing to give up in the fields of manouverability and personal comfort.


I've never used an Alpacka raft, but their reputation and track record is good enough for me to trust them.


Very nice rafts. The lightest (Alpacka Scout)only weighs 3lbs 3oz. Costly is right though. $500 for the Scout. They sound great, but probably beyond my price range.

Thanks for the reference and somebody else may find it is just what they were looking for!

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