A leader in the packraft industry, SSI has been offering certified packraft specific rescue training for over a decade. While others race to figure out how to best teach this evolving skill, we have years of experience and refinement with regard to our tailored curriculum. We blend river rescue and paddling fundamentals in this course. Learning how to use your craft as a functional rescue tool gives you an added layer of response when you find yourself in difficult and remote river settings.

Using the PRO-I swiftwater rescue course as a platform and incorporating packrafts, this course teaches techniques and principles with regard to limited resources in a wilderness setting using a packraft as a rescue craft, or a means of either primary or secondary travel. This course will meet the needs of professionals who find themselves using packrafts as a means of downriver travel or to access gear or personnel in challenging environments.

This course is designed for commercial packraft guides, backcountry rangers, U.S. border patrol, and special operations teams that may find themselves in remote areas where risk management is critical. SSI developed the packraft curriculum and trained the Denali National Park Backcountry Rangers in 2009. We have been teaching this curriculum longer than anyone else, and can comfortably say that we are the best and most practiced in this discipline.

This course is also open to recreational packrafters: people that want to be as prepared as possible for when things go wrong. No packraft experience is necessary, but you will get more from the course if you have spent some time in a packraft. Alternatively, our paddling clinics are a great way to prepare for the full PSRT.


  1. A desire to learn
  2. Packraft, paddle, and all associated boating gear necessary to travel downstream
  3. Proficient swimmer
  4. Physically capable
  5. All of the listed PPE
  6. Meet all of the Essential Eligibility Criteria 

ONLINE MODULE: Yes, 2hr required online training

MINIMUM AGE: 16 with parental consent – 15 with a parent participating

CERTIFICATION: Up to 3 years


  • Commercial Packraft Guides
  • Special Operations
  • USAR
  • DHS
  • Recreational Paddlers looking to achieve a higher standard of training than the 2-day course provides


  • Grand Canyon National Park Rangers
  • Glen Canyon Recreation Area Rangers
  • Denali National Park Rangers
  • Naval Special Warfare Detachment Instructors
  • Bandelier National Monument Rangers
  • USFS Employees
  • BLM Employees


Internationally recognized 3 Year Packraft Specific Rescue Training (PSRT) Certification of Course Completion – with satisfactory practical and written skills evaluations. On occasion, it may be deemed by your instructor that a one or two year certification is more appropriate based on practical skills evaluations. This will be outlined in the SSI Core Competencies evaluation and clearly explained to the student.

Packrafting Big Water Packrafting Payette River Packrafting Payette River

Learning Objectives for Certification Courses:

  • Remote-based rescues with limited rescue resources
  • Personnel and group communication
  • Gaining comfort with swimming in rivers
  • Throw bagging
  • Basic paddling skills
  • Self recovery and assisted recovery in a packraft
  • Packraft limitations and advantages
  • Proper use of a packraft as a rescue craft
  • Swiftwater dry exit
  • Boat scouting
  • Packraft field repair
  • Self rescue and rescue priorities
  • Foot entrapment extrication
  • Contact rescues
  • Shallow water crossings
  • Hazard avoidance and recognition
  • Knots and simple anchors
  • Basic (horizontal) technical rope systems
  • Problem solving with limited gear and resources
  • Overall emergency assessment and recognition dealing with swift water application

Additional Modules:

  • Tethered rescue craft
  • Use of rescue P.F.D.
  • Tensioned or hasty diagonal
  • Unconscious paddler
  • Front surfing
  • Draw strokes