2016 GOLDEN PADDLE AWARD WINNER!
Now in its 6th year, the coveted Golden Paddle Award started out as a gag gift to Roman Dial on his 50th birthday. The Paddle has made its way around the world and back, traveling to India, Tasmania, and Belgium before returning this year to its roots in Alaska. The award is intended to recognize people who have made significant contributions to packrafting. Past winners are Roman Dial, Luc Mehl, Zorba Laloo, Sheri Tingey, John McLaine, and Willem Vandoorne.
This year the prize goes to Bretwood "Hig" Higman and Erin McKittrick of Seldovia, Alaska. This husband-and-wife team have completed some of the most remarkable packraft journeys ever launched, most notably their 4,000 mile "ground truth trek" in 2008 from Seattle to the tip of the Alaska Peninsula. Along their travels they have highlighted many of the pressing conservation issues facing wildlands in Alaska and Canada, and lately they have brought their two very young children along.
Hig and Erin have inspired many with their humble style yet audacious vision, which is apparent on their website, GroundTruthTrekking.org. We are pleased to recognize their significant contributions to packrafting and the conservation of wild places by awarding them the Golden Paddle.
TRIP PLANNING ADVICE FROM GOLDEN PADDLE WINNERS
2011 and 2015 Golden Paddle winners Luc Mehl and Willem Vandoorne have been working hard on highly useful articles on packraft trip planning. Even seasoned adventurers will find a lot of good advice in their recent pieces. We commend and thank them for putting these together...
Data-Driven Trip Planning Workshop, by Luc Mehl
Packraft Trip Planning in Wilderness Areas, by Willem Vandoorne
APA LAUNCHES NEW AND IMPROVED WEBSITE
Over the past few weeks, we have been busy upgrading the APA website...www.Packraft.org...to a WordPress platform, showcasing the stunning photography of Jim Harris, Zorba Laloo, Luc Mehl, Dan Ransom, Moe Witschard, and many others. We have vastly improved the "Our Work" section with thorough descriptions of APA's projects and campaigns; particularly our work on packrafting safety, Leave No Trace, aquatic invasive species, and packrafter advocacy in wildlands conservation. And our site is now smartphone compatible! Not every page is populated yet, but keep coming back as the site will continue to grow. Many thanks to APA VP Thomas Turiano for heading up this effort. Be sure to like and follow American Packrafting Association on Facebook to keep up with website update announcements and packrafting news.
SUPPORT APA AND GET INVOLVED!
The American Packrafting Association advocates for conservation and protects access to the rivers we love. The larger our membership, the stronger our voice. If you are not a member, please take two minutes of your time to join us. It is still FREE TO JOIN. And tell your friends to do the same. Join HERE.
We do need some money to continue our efforts, and welcome your support. APA is organized and recognized as a non-profit association, and donations to APA are deductible to the extent allowed by law. You can donate through PayPal on our Donate page, or by mailing a check to:
American Packrafting Association
P.O. Box 13
Wilson, WY 83014
APA has logo stickers that look great on your helmet, paddle, bumper, 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 the address above.
We also now have beautiful full-color brochures that explain the mission of APA. If you would like to help us distribute these flyers, drop us a note and we will send some your way. Click HERE download a brochure.
We would like to thank our sponsors, Alpacka Raft, Alaska Kayak Academy, Hyperlite Mountain Gear, and Kokopelli Packraft for their support.
Please join us in welcoming Joseph Bell and Sarah Tingey to the APA Board of Directors! We are always looking for good people to help us run APA, so if you want to get involved please drop us a note.
We will see you on the trails and on the water!
APA Board of Directors
Brad Meiklejohn, President, Eagle River, AK
Thomas Turiano, Vice President, Wilson, WY
Sarah Tingey, Treasurer, Mancos, CO
Moe Witschard, Bozeman, MT
Theresa Lundquist, Jackson, WY
Forrest McCarthy, Jackson, WY
David Nix, Salt Lake City, UT
Roman Dial, Anchorage, AK
Joseph Bell, Van Nuys, CA