Blazing paddles: the high art of packrafting – in Snowdonia

With an inflatable raft on your back, adventure beckons on a journey amid Welsh hills and across ‘any body of water’

Excuse me mate, why have you got canoe paddles strapped to your rucksack?” Given that I’m amid the ruins of a castle more than 1,000ft up in the Welsh hills and the nearest body of water is over a mile away, that’s not an unreasonable question from the hill walker accosting me. But there’s method in my apparent madness. I’m enjoying a day out with Jason Taylor, an expert in packrafting, one of the newest adventure activities to hit the UK. Packrafting is a means of travelling through the wilds on foot and by raft. You simply strap an inflatable raft and paddles to your rucksack and set out over hill and valley, able to travel across almost any body of water you encounter.

“The concept dates back to the Victorian era, and inflatable, transportable assault craft were used in the second world war,” explains Jason, who along with his wife Marianne runs Tirio, a Snowdonia-based packrafting company set up in 2017, one of only two such businesses in the UK.

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