Author Archives: Chris S

Preview: Decathlon Itiwit X500 D/S kayak

First Gumotex and now Europe-wide, French sports retail giant Decathlon have turned to drop-stich (D/S) technology in a bid to improve rigidity and so, performance of their inflatable kayaks. Only Decathlon have not just added a D/S floor to an existing … Continue reading

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Pumps for inflatable kayaks

Inflation valves and PRVs are here Suited to low pressure Gumotex IKs and the like, the cheap and popular Bravo foot pump initially looks a bit crap, but I found lasted well and was fairly travel-compact. Occasionally the yellow tube splits near either … Continue reading

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Drop-stitch Gumotex Thaya IK

The award-winning  Gumotex Thaya is basically a 4.1-m Solar 3 with some added width and a drop stitch (d/s) floor, like some Sea Eagles, Advanced Elements and Aqua Glides. Drop stitch fabric tech seems to have moved on enough to make … Continue reading

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Book review: Best Canoe Trips in the South of France

See also Packboating in Southern France Back in print after 16 years, Rivers Publishing have updated their 2002 White Water Massif Central canoe guide, now less scarily titled: Best Canoe Trips in the South of France. Packboats aren’t mentioned, but what’s doable in a … Continue reading

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MYOG: TiZip Pakbag

As mentioned here, wafting down the Tarn Gorge this summer with a Chattooga drybag jammed under my knees gave me plenty of time to configure what kind of ‘deckbag’ I felt would better fit my needs. Peli cases were too … Continue reading

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Deckbags for packboats

Whether on day trips or overnighters, how do you organise easy access to regularly used items and valuables, including stuff you want to carry when away from your packboat? I’m talking something capable of handling less than flat water, rated at least … Continue reading

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Kayaking and packrafting the Allier (France)

See also: • Chassezac • Ardeche • Packboating in southern France • Tarn In 2005 the Dordogne and nearby Vezere were my first multi-day rivers in a Sunny IK, all helped by the discovery of the inspiring White Water Massif Central guidebook. The Dordogne … Continue reading

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Six Packrafting Essentials

The basic gear you need for packrafting adventures. For general camping kit (sleeping, eating, washing, etc) you’ll find lists all over the internet and beyond. I prefer a 1-kilo down bag, a roomy tent, a thick, full-length air mat and … Continue reading

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Kayaking Hayling Island

Time to knock out a long-planned circumnavigation of Hayling Island near Portsmouth while this amazing summer lasts! P-Day came along and by chance the weather and tides lined up: high 20s °C with a 3-m neap  and a calm morning before … Continue reading

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