Trout Lake family float

Last week my brother Eli was in town for what has become his annual August visit. Two years ago we went backpacking, last year we went boating on Ross Lake, and this year we hiked up to Trout Lake to test out a packraft. It was a hot day, and the air was thick with smoke from the British Columbia wildfires, so a mellow hike to a cool lake turned out to be just the right activity.

The raft we tested was the Klymit Lightweight Dinghy (LWD), which worked very well for us on that day:  floating around a calm alpine lake, not trying to stay dry, not trying to get anywhere in particular, not trying to carry gear. Unfortunately, I realized that it’s not the most functional boat for backcountry travel. I don’t plan to run any serious whitewater, but I’d like to feel confident my gear will stay dry and the boat will handle reasonably well on a Class I-II river. I’m probably just going to have to bite the bullet and buy an Alpacka, AIRE Bakraft, or Supai raft. I’d love to hear from anyone who has experience with these boats!

Although the LWD isn’t what I’m looking for in terms of a packraft, it was perfect for our family float, and it was another great day in the mountains with Uncle Eli and Team Kelley!

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I took a quick run up to Copper and Malachite lakes early in the morning before meeting them at Trout Lake. 
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Trout Lake
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Uncle Eli and Rowan admiring the big tree
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This one is for the holiday cards… if only I sent out holiday cards.

 

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Uncle Eli taking Rowan for a cruise
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 One great thing about the LWD is the inflation system – you inflate it using the stuff sack it comes with, which might sound terribly time-consuming but only took 5-10 minutes to fully inflate. Once the LWD has been on the water for awhile, it starts to deflate (due to cooling effect of water), but it was easy to top off. 
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Mama train
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Rowan and her super lightweight packable raft
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Ghost plant (Monotropa uniflora)
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Just a few months ago this river was raging
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Fireweed on the shore of Trout Lake
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More fireweed

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