The Packraft Handbook

Winner! 2021 National Outdoor Book Award in Outdoor Adventure Guides

Winner! 2022 Banff Mountain Book Competition Guidebook

The Packraft Handbook is the definitive instructional resource for packrafting—everything you need to know to begin, improve, or assist others. Caring, curiosity, and intentional practice will help you anticipate what might go wrong and how to react when it does.

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Join Paddle Up a Level — an online companion to The Packraft Handbook

About the Illustrator: Sarah K. Glaser

Sarah grew up in a log cabin near Kenai Lake in Moose Pass, Alaska, and is currently transplanted to (and in love with) Anchorage. Sarah works in illustration, where she is delighted to make quirky ideas come to life, whether it’s the Mountain Man of Alaska calendar, books on packrafting safety, or illustrated maps.

Sarah became immersed in whitewater kayaking at Bowdoin College in Maine. After taking the American Whitewater Association course under the tutelage of director Mike Woodruff, she ditched her senior year honors project so that she could teach pool sessions and explore New England’s whitewater rivers. Sarah graduated without honors and without regrets!

About the Author: Luc Mehl

Luc grew up on the Kuskokwim River, McGrath, Alaska, and returned to Alaska after completing graduate programs at MIT and UCSB. When he is not playing outside, Luc works in the environmental sciences and as an outdoor skills instructor. Luc has traveled 10,000 miles of Alaska by packraft, ski, foot, bike, and ice skate.

Luc serves on the education committee of the American Packraft Association and is a certified instructor for the Swiftwater Safety Institute.

The Packraft Handbook shares the collective insights of packrafters across the globe. My motivation for the Handbook came from Rob Kehrer’s drowning. Rob drowned a few days after we had packrafted together. That was the big, “What the hell are we doing?” moment. Rob and I approached recreation similarly and cut many of the same corners. Rob’s death rattled my assumptions and provoked me to seek training, get certified to teach swiftwater rescue, and write this book.

PBS packrafting documentary featuring Luc Mehl