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Has anyone done an overnight trip on a riverboard?  Or even carried much of anything?  How much were you able to carry and still ride?

I *really* want to run the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, but it's a two day trip.  I have a kayaker friend (maybe even a few) who wouldn't mind carrying a minimal item or two.  That would help, but I'd need to carry some of my own too.  Besides, it wouldn't feel right passing off all my gear to others to carry anyway. 

I can get pretty minimalist, but still it's a tough run, 2 days with multiple class V rapids. Anyone have experience in this area?

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I'd have to look for the link.. but 2 women riverboarded the Grand canyon.. they each took 2 boards, one for them, and one for their gear.
Mike Horn used a top-roll down drybag with backpack straps for his Amazon Expedition.  I don't know if it emcumbered him in any way or not.

Awesome about the 2 women riverboarding the Grand Canyon!  Thanks Kevin I'll look into this Amazon thing.  I think for the technical stuff around here some type of drybag/backpack combo is going to end up being the way.  Imlay Canyoneering makes some nice ones.  I wanted one for canyoneering, but with 2 reasons maybe I'll actually get one.


The NPS has banned riverboards in the GC the last time I checked...the women who ran it did so either before the ban or in spite of it.  I remember reading the article -- I think they did it in pretty good time too, like 6 days.


Black Canyon of the Gunnison is a pretty hardcore run.  I know a couple of people that have done it and from what I understand it is no joke, with rapids containing death traps and a mandatory portage through a poison oak hellhole.  I was told to bring disposable hospital scrubs just for the portage.  If you go, make sure you go with people that know what they are doing and where they are going.


If you have money to burn, watershed makes a waterproof backpack that would probably hold all of the gear you would need for an overnighter:


The one thing I would worry about is being top-heavy or not having enough pfd floatation if you come off your board.  I think you would need to practice on easier runs with a full pack and make sure that your pfd can float you without the board.

they had to lobby for 2 years to get a special exemption to the no riverboard rule.


Wow that is one crazy-big (and crazy-expensive!) pack!  The 'Assault Pack' looks a bit more normal-sized, though I think I'll try the Imlay + drybag method that works well in canyoneering.  Of course whitewater has longer submersion, but things do frequently get underwater in canyons too.

The top-heavy and flotation issues are big concerns.  Would have to go super-minimalist for it to work.  Good advice on working out the system on easier runs.  I would definitely do that.

Black Canyon is certainly a hardcore run.  It has a couple absolutely infamous portages, including the poison ivy 'forest' and the 'crazy long with numerous ferries' portage.  Four are normally considered mandatory, with six and even nine not being uncommon.  One nice advantage of being covered in neoprene, it works pretty well against poison ivy (tested frequently in South Platte, CO).

Just curious, does anyone know the reason for the riverboard ban in GC?  I've heard some of the water quality if awful, which is something I generally avoid.  Wondered if it was just the southwest permit craziness a la Zion, etc. 

I've done one multi-day on a riverboard, and one in an IK. I don't have a problem "passing off" my gear. Rafters and well-rigged catarafters are your friends.  Most river trip permits require that you carry a toilet and your waste. Would you want that next to your sleeping bag in your backpack? Just sayin'.

^^^that's what i was going to say^^^.....and BC does have this policy. I'd also avoid roping any gear to my board in BC.... there's some extremely sticky holes... esp around upper & lower pucker.


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