The UK Pack Rafting Meet Up 2019

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Upon arrival to the campsite.

Please park up in front of reception, go in and pay Megan, back in your car/van/bike and bear left and keep left heading down towards the waterfront, down here you will see either Aaron in his Red Mazda or our white (with go faster stripes) Peugeot campervan.

Site map

Friday afternoon Aaron (red Mazda) will meet and great you and show you where to pitch up for the weekend

Friday evening when I arrive, I’ll be around to register you to the event, sort out your weekend lake permits at £3.50 (exact money please) Plus if you’ve made it clear before now that you want to go to Gordon’s sough dough bread making and beer talks with samples £5 each per person per talk, again exact monies please.

That’s the end of the money spending for the weekend*

If you arrive before the main 2 large tents are erected please head to where Aaron ask’s you to go to, once these tents are up you are free to move or go where ever you like.

If you are early with time to kill, please can you see if Andy needs help putting the large tent up?

*Unless you want to Join Jason’s last minute taster session on Saturday afternoon (cash is king remember)




Can everyone who is going to paddle on any water at any time over the weekend please be in the main area at the big shelter at 9.15am for an area water safety briefing given by Jason Taylor
Jason is the best person with all the local knowledge that is required, please don’t be afraid to speak up and ask questions.
Remember there is no such thing as a silly question. Its new to a lot of us, simply ask away or see Jason on the quiet if needed, there is never any problems asking what you don’t know.
After this briefing on morning sessions (including me) need to stay behind and meet your coaches for the morning sessions.
Saturday afternoon sessions meet up at 13.30 after you grab some lunch
The Bike and Pack raft session meet up with Andy Toop and myself at 13.15 at his Alpaca display tent.
The Sunday morning sessions meet up in the big shelter for these sessions at 9.30am


Yours and my checklist

Please note even if the forecast is good you WILL get wet, a good waterproof top and waterproof over trouser should be warm, water proof boots and socks are also a good idea ( wellies will do or saddles for the brave… But no white woolly sock with the saddles please….. there are some standard that we can’t let slip 😉 ) as you will need to wade in and out of the water. Plus the paddles do splash you with water.

So, bring more clothes than you need and a good towel or two.

Something to sleep in, on or under. From hammocks (trees nearby), bivi bag, tents, campervan or caravan. All are welcome

All the food and drink that you will need for the duration of your visit.

£3.50 cash each for lake permit, £5 cash each for the soughdough bread demo and for the beer talk the fiver covers your samples. No places left now, sorry.

A comfy folding chair for the evening and for chilling out.

Warm clothing for the evening.

Photo ID, please don’t be offended if asked for this when borrowing a pack raft as they are not cheap.

Well behaved dogs on leads welcome

If you have a spare extension lead please can you bring it as we may need a few for Saturday night

If you have logs for the fire pit for Saturday night that would be welcome please

If you have one bring your pack raft, PFD, paddle etc

For those on the white water sessions which are held a short drive away from the camp site please remember that you’ll need a fiver will cover site fees and a couple of quid for parking just in case you can’t blag a free space.

If you are booked on the bike and paddle on Saturday afternoon don’t forget your bike (folding bike for me) and a rucksack. 13.30 meet up at the Alpaca display

The camp site takes card payments, but the manufacturers over the weekend don’t and the Saturday afternoon taster session will need to be booked and paid for with Jason of Tirio. Cash only.


Rules, Quiet by 11pm please


And please look out for one another and one another’s property. There is no security on site – we are the security, if in doubt ask the see their pack rafting lake permit that they get on arrival.


What – The UK Pack Rafting Meet Up 2019

When – Fri 20th, Sat 21st & 22nd September

Where – Venue, Lake Tegid (Lake Bala) at Glanllyn Campsite

Why – This will be the largest ever UK collection of 5 different manufacturers of Pack Rafts showing off their range of pack rafts for you to see and test paddle

Supported* by


Who’s it for? It’s open to anyone with a pack raft within travelling distance of Bala or for those who are Pack Raft curious and looking to get in to pack rafting in the future.

Why – The last 2 meet ups have worked well because pack rafters have met up and sorted out their own adventures as well as joining on the organised paddles, so please feel free to turn up and do your own thing with no pressure to join in.

The plan – To meet up on the Friday evening at Glanllyn camp site which is just  5 minutes (3 miles) South West of the town of Bala on the A494 on the shore of Lake Tegid (AKA Lake Bala) – Postcode – LL23 7SS

For those with limited time or those who are just wanting to try out a boat or two, chill out and go with the flow for the evening with a camp out you are more than welcome to join us from Saturday and spend the evening learning stuff and talking rubbish, before leaving on Sunday morning/afternoon after you have tried out some of the pack rafts.

The head line details

Jason Taylor of Tirio and his team have kindly offered to lead a Saturday afternoon taster session that can only be booked on the day for a minimal charge (cash please)

Andy Toop will be down from Back Country Scotland with a range of around 10 assorted Alpaca Packrafts of different makes and models for you to have test paddles in.

Tim Clark of Longshore International who will be up with 4 or 5 of his Longshore Packrafts.

Jason Taylor from Tirio will have a full range of Kokokelli pack rafts to demonstrate.

Sven Schellin and Thomas Butzmann from with pack rafts from MRS and Anfibio

Zach from Kokopelli has kindly sent me one of their all new 2019 (for up to grade 4) white water heavy duty pack rafts called the Reccon for testing on the lake and the calm river nearby over the weekend. Personally I can’t wait to try this one out on the rough stuff after getting training from Jason of Tirio in a month or two on a 2 day WW course.


The costs for the weekend

Meet up – Free*

Camp site – Prices from £11 a night to £25 a night, depending if you are in a tent or a Campervan with EHU. You can arrive on the day and pay the campsite on arrival.

Lake paddling permit

To paddle on Lake Tegid we do need to have a canoe paddling permit.  I’ve spoken with Arwel Morris The Snowdonia National Parks Warden for the Llyn Tegid and Penllyn area who says the normal charge is £3.50 per day, but as we are a group he will give us a discount of just £3.50 each for the whole weekend, and the good news is that he will collect it from me (or the wife) during the weekend and not beforehand.

So, upon arrival please sign in with my wife (Yola) giving here your name, address and your £3.50 in the exact cash. That way she can pay for us all when the ranger arrives sometime on Saturday.

Here’s the finer details about the weekend and what’s going to be available.

The Saturday Afternoon #Packraft101. Taster sessions. –  Contents: Intro to packrafting, raft design and components, associated kit, inflation, outfitting, launch, basic strokes, paddle short journey, egress, deflate, care, maintenance and bio-security. Ideal for the packraft curious or those family members that are wondering what all the fuss is about! We’ll have a range of rafts to try too! £15pp including kit hire.  Delivered by Jason and one of his team.

Other things going on

Saturday afternoon, there will be an into Bike Pack Rafting mini trip, with Andy Toop from Back Country Scotland and myself. This is now fully booked, but bring your bike as we might have a chance for a 2nd trip


Please bring your own folding chairs for the evening shenanigans

Pack raft field repairs from Sven, just ask him at any time

Saturday T-time, from 5,45pm

5.45pm/6pm – Gordon Stovin – master sourdough baker and BeerBods ale expert has offered to run a couple of land-based sessions. He’s a total legend and these aren’t to be missed! I’m going to both!!!

#BackCountryBaking  Take your Bivvy Cooking skills up a level.

“There’s a lot of things I’m happy to do without for days at a time. Like a change of clothes or showers.But bread isn’t one of them. In this workshop I’ll talk about my backcountry sourdough experiments and demonstrate some of the more successful ones including firecaccia(tm) and ULW crumpets (patent pending). Bring an appetite. And cheese.” Gordon

Stuart Wight from Bear Bones bike packing will be talking about all things to do with making your wild camping shelter and sleep system set ups  not only lighter but smaller to pack down to carry – Free to attend

#WildernessBeers – We all love a good beer after a hard day in the wilds. But what to carry?  We’ve got Gordon from BeerBods to help us with that one… Here’s a beer tasting session with a difference!

“A couple of years ago I had a go at doing the OMM (the really wet and windy one in Langdale). It was horrible! As part of getting my kit dialled for the event I realised that it would involve sleeping out on the hill on the night before my birthday and beer would be needed. So I set about researching the highest alcohol by volume beer I could find in a 330ml can. In this talk you can find out what I settled on  and taste some of my go to wilderness beers.“    Gordon

Talk will include some tall tales about beer and sampling some great beers round the fire.  Bring a suitable thing to drink from.  Please tell us you’re coming along so we can make sure we’ve enough for everyone – £5 pp suggested donation

Dave Barter the cycling book author who is currently (at the time of typing this)  halfway through this years Tour Divide race and is coming up to Colorado when the front runners are currently having nightmare problems with unseasonable snow and muddy tracks, will give a  talk about his trials and tribulations on this years race.

Free, but I’ve put an 18 rating on it as he’s not known at Sweary Dave for nothing.


Film night follows Dave’s talk – Free

It ends at 11pm, we will try and get the following films shown in this time.

Sven Schellin and his Balkin trip film

Oblivious to dangers – Jacob Haagensen the UrbanPackrafter

Fluid Trails a film by Deane Parker

Sunday morning wild swimming with Simeon Rackham, bring your trucks, cossy or wet suit, or paddle alongside in the warmth 😉

#WildernessBeer and #BackCountryBaking must be paid for on the Friday/Saturday, Cash is King here as we have no way of taking cards. £5 per person per session


Campsite booking – Please pay on arrival saying you are at the pack rafting meet up

Don’t worry about booking your camp site, I spoke with the owners today and there is loads of space for both Friday and Saturday nights.


Please note – We have reserved the large area in the red area by the river’s edge, close to the beach area, but please note that if you arrive before 6pm or 7pm and Jason, Andy or myself are not on site yet and you are want to pitch your tent / van or please can you leave a large 40m area in the middle which is circled in yellow for the main event tents. 

40m gap needed

Food & Drink – I looked in to hiring a hog roast but these start from £800……….

So, please bring your own weekends supply of food, drink, warm & waterproof clothing, some comfy seating for the evening and whatever you fancy with you, plus if possible a bit of firewood to keep the raised fire pit going well into the evenings. There is a small store on site but no bar so please bring your drinks for the evenings.

* Please note that no profits will be made by the organiser or any of the helping team

If you have any questions or ideas of what you would like to see or do if it’s not been mentioned please email me at

And now the all important small print

Please note that this is not an insured “event” this is a free meet up of like mined friends with no insurance outside the booked Tirio sessions.

You, your mate/s,  your vehicle/s, your pack raft/s, your bike/s and everything that you bring are brought along at your own risk.  I or my helpers will not be held responsible should anything go wrong.

There will be no hire pack rafts for the whole weekend, the pack rafts are included in the sessions for those need them.

This will be the biggest ever collection of test boats here in the UK from 4 different manufacturers and 3 different suppliers over the whole weekend.

There is no security on site, you are the security, please make sure everything is safe and you keep your eye out for everyone else as they are doing for you.

Don’t be an idiot, play nice, play safe, enjoy yourselves and don’t forget…. There is no such thing as a silly question, please ask who ever you want what ever you want to ask. This is fairly new hobby to most of us and this weekend is all about learning.

Back Country ScotlandTirio  Longshore darkAnfibio logo






4 thoughts on “The UK Pack Rafting Meet Up 2019

    Molly Harrison said:
    September 4, 2019 at 3:09 pm

    Hi there! I was wondering if you have any information on the UK’s 2020 Roundup event. I am putting together Alpacka’s 2020 calendar and would love to include the event dates if possible. Thank you! – Molly


      JohnClimber responded:
      September 4, 2019 at 8:31 pm

      Hi Molly,

      Thanks for your message.

      This is the first multi company (Alpacka, Longshore, Kokopelli, MRS and Anfibio) UK meet up.

      Although we are expecting around 50 people and around 10 on the organisation team we can’t guarantee the numbers who will be attending as we haven’t sold any tickets.

      So, before we think about holding one in 2020 please can we get this one under our belts before we ask everyone what they want next year?

      Is this ok with you?




        Molly Harrison said:
        September 4, 2019 at 8:33 pm

        Hi John,
        We’ll send the calendar to print in mid-October, so if you’re able to submit dates before then that would be great. If not, no worries and perhaps we can touch base for the following year.
        Good luck with your event and I hope it goes well!


    JohnClimber responded:
    September 4, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    Thanks Molly
    Please message me with a week to go before you go to press if I’ve not been in touch ref a date for next year.


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