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June 2022

2022 Annual Canadian Packrafting Roundup - It's Back!

Written by: Karen from Packraft Canada

If membership in the Packraft Canada Facebook group is any indication of interest in (and participation in) the world of packrafting, the sport is growing exponentially. Just two years ago, the site had 600 members. Today, the group stands at 1,400 members with at least 10 new membership requests per week. Packrafting is taking off in a good way and Packraft Canada is helping introduce Canadians (and international members) to the sport. Packraft Canada's website, , is devoted to its annual packrafting roundup, as well as being a clearing house for written and video packrafting trips all over Canada. Of all Canada’s provinces, BC paddlers seem to be riding the biggest wave of popularity for the sport.

For paddlers transitioning from whitewater kayaking to packrafting, the switch is seamless. Whitewater boaters discover that they can access river stretches that are all but impossible for reach with a hardshell kayak. So, many whitewater paddlers are adding a packraft to their quiver of boats. Even Nouria Newman, arguably the top female whitewater kayaker in the world today, has taken a packraft to its extreme limit while paddling BC’s upper Pitt River in the Coast Mountains.

Other paddlers may just want a boat to carry up to remote lakes in the mountains or a paddle down a lazy river with their dog in the bow. Regardless, more and more outdoors people are finding their way into packrafting.

Packraft Canada has planned this year’s roundup, or gathering of packrafters, in Squamish. The Sea-to-Sky’s many rivers are a big draw. This is the first official packrafting event in the community. In 2018 and 2019, packraft roundups were held at Mt. Robson Provincial park, where participants had an opportunity to test their skill on a few of the region’s rivers. This year’s roundup, taking place in a population centre, promises to be bigger, as there will be more locals participating and there’s more variety in the rivers.

The Canadian Packrafting Roundup takes place 8-11 July, and will be based at the Mamquam River Campground. For out-of-towners, the campground is a perfect venue right beside the river. Friday night is a chance for paddlers to get acquainted and check out the Mamquam River. If there is interest, we’ll take a quick paddle down towards Squamish. On Saturday, we officially welcome packrafters. Then participants will gather in groups according to skill level to paddle sections of the Squamish, Cheakamus, Mamquam, Green and other rivers. If you’re a complete ‘newby,’ Ascent Guides will be offering discounted training for packrafters during the roundup.

Saturday night’s picnic dinner, gear raffle and (tentative) international film fest selections will top off an action-packed day of paddling. Sunday offers more river action, as packrafters sample the beautiful, clear waters of our region.

Registration is open now so book your tickets and camping/dinner today to join in on this packrafting adventure!