Dear APA Member,

On March 22, 2013 Colleen Grady of Wilson, Wyoming became the 300th member of The American Packrafting Association (APA).  Since our start in November 2012 we have been gratified by the outpouring of support and encouragement you have shown.  Keep your friends and family coming to APA – we hope to pass the 1,000 member mark in 2013!
Access Matters
The creation of APA was spurred by our concern about packrafting access to public lands and waters. We believe that packrafting is a safe, responsible, low-impact mode of travel that should be allowed on all public lands.  With input from APA, Grand Canyon National Park currently is working on a plan to allow people to use packrafts to assist in their backpacking trips. However, some parks, including Grand Teton, Yosemite, Yellowstone and Dinosaur, are particularly unwelcoming to packrafters.  We are working with American Whitewater and American Rivers to gain access to rivers in these and other parks. 
You can help us on these access issues.  First, whenever and wherever you packraft,  be safe and responsible.  Please set good examples and help put packrafting in a good light.  Second, let us know of access issues in your area.  Third, write a letter to the National Park Service expressing your support for packrafting in our national parks:
Director Jon Jarvis
National Park Service
1849 C Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20240
Logo stickers
Thanks to the great design work by Tony Perelli and Brook Kintz, APA now has logo stickers that look great on your helmet, paddle, truck and coffee mug.  If you would like to get two of these stickers and support APA, put a $1 bill in a self-addressed stamped envelope and mail it to:

American Packrafting Association
3948 Hawthorne Lane
Wilson, WY 83014 

Learn to Packraft Video
Ryan Jordan, of the APA Executive Council, and Backpacking Light were successful in raising $28,000 through their Kickstarter campaign to begin work on a â€œLearn to Packraft” video series.  APA will be providing a technical review team to assist in the development of this series.  A special “thank you” goes out to those of you who helped fund this project.  To learn more go to
Packraft Fest 2013
Kennicott Mountain Guides announced the first annual Packraft Fest in McCarthy, Alaska on July 27th and 28th.  This event will feature packraft races, slalom and obstacle courses, gear and safety demos, adventure films, music and general good times.  Watch for more information about this event on the APA Facebook page (  We would be delighted if other packraft fests sprouted elsewhere around the world.
Golden Paddle Award
The Golden Paddle Award started informally in 2010 when we honored Roman Dial for his passion and dedication to packrafting. In 2011 Roman passed the paddle on to Luc Mehl, who has combined his physical and creative talents to turn adventure into art (see Luc’s inspiring and beautiful videos at  The 2012 Golden Paddle went to Zorba Laloo, a young man from Northern India who is pioneering the use of packrafts to advance conservation on India’s remote rivers. 
The Golden Paddle Award is intended to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to packrafting.  The award will be juried by APA and will accept nominations beginning in November 2013.
Packrafting Forum
APA has recently taken over the packrafting forum (  This is the go-to site for information about all topics related to packrafting, including gear, routes, river conditions, partners, and much more.  Because these fora are magnets for spammers, we have implemented some new barriers that we hope will reduce the ads for Gucci handbags!
APA is seeking sponsorships from business, including gear companies, retailers, and guides and outfitters. If you or your business are interested in being a sponsor of APA, please contact us at
APA is a lean and efficient organization that can travel light, fast and far on a dollar.  We do need some money to operate and welcome your support.  You can donate through PayPal at the APA website ( or by mailing a check to:
American Packrafting Association
3948 Hawthorne Lane
Wilson, WY  83104

Follow us on Facebook
You can find us on Facebook at www.facebook/AmericanPackraftingAssociation where you will find the latest news, packrafting videos, updates on our projects.  At our webpage,, you can join APA, donate, learn about the history of packrafting and more.  Feel free to contact us at

We will see you on the trails and on the water!

The APA Board of Directors
Brad Meiklejohn, President
Tom Turiano, Vice President
Amy Hatch, Secretary
Moe Witschard, Treasurer
Forrest McCarthy
Roman Dial
Julia Urbanski