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Basic Packrafting – Riggins, ID



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The Basic Packraft Course is for those wishing to gain professional instruction on the proper use, care, and application of a packraft for downstream travel.

Space is limited to 12 students and will be taught by SSI lead instructor, Zak Sears. Class fills up fast, so register early!

Throughout this class we will explore paddling, rescue, swimming and water reading techniques that apply well to a “big water” river. Big water simply means high volume. It is not a description of difficulty. The course will be taught on the Salmon River outside of Riggins. The Salmon is a free-flowing river and starts to respond to rain and snow melt throughout the early spring. In the last five years the monthly mean for discharge at the gauge in Whitebird, ID has ranged from 7,000 cfs – 22,000 cfs. These flows are perfect for this type of instruction, and the river continues to be an excellent course site at higher levels.

ONLINE COMPONENT: Yes – Optional (but highly recommended)

COURSE FORMAT: 2-day field course with 2 hours of online training and two 8-hour in-field training days. Total class length: 18hrs.

WHEN: May 11 – 12, 2024

WHERE: Riggins, ID

FIELD SITE: Salmon River


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 Essential Eligibility Criteria

The welcome packet details the gear you will need for this course. As an SSI student, you get access to student pricing in the SSI Gear Shop! Once you register you’ll have access to the shop through your SSI account.


If you are new to paddle sports, new to packrafting, new to the river and/or have never had formal paddling training before, the basic course is for you. It is designed to take those with minimal experience and give the foundational skills necessary to make reasonable decisions and understand craft mechanics and maneuverability. We will start with the basics: boat inflation, outfitting, personalizing your fit, paddles, paddle strokes and self-rescue. We will spend a good amount of time in and out of our boats as we travel down river each day working on training objectives while we paddle class II+ – III- water.

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May 11 @ 8:30 am - May 12 @ 5:00 pm


Basic – Riggins, ID Basic - Riggins, ID 83549 United States
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Big Water Packrafting May 11 - 12, 2024
$ 375.00
6 available
Permit Fee (per attendee): $10