All or part of this operation is conducted on public lands under special permit from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management



5 day Owyhee River Packraft Expedition


  • June 7 – 11, 2024

Tuition Per Student: $1521

A $500 non-refundable deposit via credit card is required to secure your space. The remaining balance will need to be received through ACH bank transfer or a cashiers or personal check three weeks after your initial deposit. The remaining balance is due immediately if you are registering inside of the 60 day window.

WHO THIS IS FOR: Recreational packraft enthusiasts looking to take their skill to the next level and gain the knowledge necessary to comfortably take on and create their own packraft adventures!


INSTRUCTORS: Lead instructor Daniel Thurber


  1. A desire to learn and adventure with a team of intrepid travelers
  2. Packraft, paddle, and all associated boating gear necessary to travel downstream for 4 nights and 5 days – a packraft with internal storage is required for this training
  3. Proficient swimmer
  4. Physically capable
  5. Having taken an SSI packrafting paddling clinic (basic or advanced, certification or non-certification course) prior. ACA packraft paddling clinic (2-day), or equivalent training provided by another company, or significant previous kayaking or packrafting experience may also qualify. Qualification/acceptance remains at the discretion of the expedition’s Lead Instructor.
  6. Willing to accept responsibility for your personal comfort in remarkably challenging environments
  7. All of the listed PPE essential for this trip
  8. Meet all of the Essential Eligibility Criteria 

CANCELLATION POLICY: A cancellation fee will be charged in the event that you need to cancel your trip for any reason. It is strongly advised that you consider purchasing travel insurance which, in most cases, will recover costs or fees due to cancellation – please inquire with your insurance provider. TRAVEL GUARD is a good place to start. SSI has no affiliation with Travel Guard.


  • All monies will be returned (less the non-refundable $500 deposit) if you cancel 60 days prior to your river launch date
  • If you cancel at any point inside of 60 days prior to your river launch date, no refund will be issued of any funds collected – Travel insurance is recommended
  • SSI will not issue future credit

If you need to cancel within the 60 days prior to your river launch date, the trip may be transferred to another individual that meets all SSI prerequisites. The transfer must be done two (2) weeks prior to the launch date.


EXPEDITION DETAILS – Owyhee River – Know Before You Go – 2024

WHAT TO PACK – Packraft Expedition Packing List


The overarching objective of this training is to develop the skills necessary to become an expedition trip leader and have your passport to explore rivers around the world, with the skills and knowledge necessary to do so. You will be involved in the planning process from start to finish and gain valuable insight into: Trip planning, permitting, logistics, shuttle service, expedition food planning and preparation, expedition pack lists and group selection, Leave No Trace methods of expedition paddling and expedition group dynamics to name a few. This is the capstone training and expedition course in our packrafting training program, and after this course you will poses all of the requisite skills and knowledge necessary to find any river on any map, and start planning your next adventure!

Team members will be exposed to a structured approach to river running, and learn how to work toward leading a group of paddlers down a remote section of river. All paddlers on the trip will be fully self-supported carrying food, camp equipment, and shared group equipment. This will allow paddlers to get familiar with their equipment, and to develop confidence in their systems they might use to achieve a packraft trip in the wilderness on their own. Average daily travel distance will be around 7-10 miles, giving paddlers ample time on the water each day deepening their understanding of whitewater and how to read water, while also allowing time for overland exploration from camp, or taking exploratory side hikes during the day. Transitions between river to camp and back, and other time management techniques can have a large impact on a trip and make the difference between success and failure in a time/mileage management structure. By the end of the course, expedition members will have developed efficient transition and time control systems that they can put to use during their own trips in the future.


We will have a risk management ratio of 1:5. Maximum expedition group size of 15 members and 3 instructors. Dependent upon water levels, we may choose to incorporate another SSI instructor with a 12′ support raft . This decision will be made as water flows and perceived challenges are evaluated.


  • Physically and emotionally fit adventure seekers
  • Intrepid expedition travelers that desire the fundamentals of planning and executing a river expedition on their own
  • Individuals that do not want a “guided” trip, but want to be active members in the planning process and success of the group
  • Those that are willing to plug in for 2 planned, 1.5hr Zoom training meetings in the preparation process of the expedition
  • Team members that are willing to acquire the gear needed for this expedition and to plan and prepare with others
  • Adventure driven members willing to adjust to anything that nature may throw at us
  • Students with formal paddling skills clinics or justifiable experience (you must have prior experience)


  • Difficulty: Class II – III+
  • Length: 50 miles from Rome to Birch Creek (although we will be hiking in and decreasing overall river mileage by 8-13 miles.)
  • Average Gradient: 18fpm
  • Water Flow Gauge: Owyhee River – Rome, OR
  • Ideal Water Levels: 500 – 3000 Cubic Feet per Second
  • Location: Southeast Rome, Oregon – 2 hours from Boise, ID (Departure City)


  • Trip planning and logistics
  • Food prep/pack for expedition trips
  • Permitting requirements
  • Expedition items vs personal items
  • Packraft expedition packing techniques
  • Remote field repair of packrafts and other gear
  • Boat-handling with loaded boats
  • Self and buddy rescue in a wilderness setting
  • Group downstream travel technique and communication
  • “Read and run” style boating
  • Boat scouting rapids
  • Scouting rapids from shore
  • Reading whitewater/hazard identification and avoidance
  • Developing expedition mentality
  • River map work
  • Gear management and care
  • River Etiquette
  • Leave No Trace/Wilderness Ethics
  • Running rapids using verbal instructions (interpreting “beta” about rapids)
  • Leading (running whitewater first, in the front of your group) through unfamiliar sections of river*
  • Advanced paddling skills (as available based on river features and pacing)
  • Transition efficiency in camp and on the water
  • Evaluation of exposure in demanding environments
  • Morning meetings to establish daily objectives
  • Evening meetings to debrief experiences
  • Satellite communications option and evacuation considerations
  • “Big picture” logistical development discussions.