The Packraft Festival

From the 18th to the 21st of May, on the banks of the Drac, between Grenoble and Gap

The Weekends Program

An introduction to packrafting, bike-rafting, multiple descents from class 1 to 4, a concert... It doesn't matter if you are a novice or an experienced paddler, come and meet other members of the packrafting community and let's have fun together on and off the water! The event is open to all and the choice of activities is up to you!

Descente du Drac en packraft Mekong

Introduction to Packrafting

Discover the joys of packrafting on a simple section (class 1/2) in the company of professional guides or experienced packrafters.

Bikerafting Drac French Alps during Packraft Festival

Bike-rafting

Follow a beautiful itinerary beneath the stunning peaks of the Ecrins massif, before heading back to the campsite with your bike attached to your boat.

River runs from class 1 to 4

Séveraisse, Drac Blanc, Souloise... Experienced packrafters will find an Alpine playground that lives up to their expectations!

L'équipe Mekong packraft, avec le sourire

A concert, new friends and lots of fun!

Cool people, a concert, some pizzas & local beers are just some of the ingredients for an unforgetable weekend!

sauvetage kayak packraft mekong durance

White water safety training

Learn the basics of white water safety with state-certified guides: Rope throwing, whitewater swimming, river scouting...

randonneur avec un packraft mekong Ubaye

Trip planning workshop

How to plan your descent when it's your first time on a river? Come and discuss some tips and ideas to plan a safe and enjoyable decent!

Lac de Sautet en packraft, Isère

Calm paddle on the Sautet Lake

Do you feel like chilling out on the banks of an incredible landscape? Spend the afternoon paddling the best beaches of the Sautet Lake with your packraft

Le planning

Planning festival

Practical Info

Location & acces, pricing... Find all the necessary info below to plan your weekend! If you have and questions, just drop us an email at olivier(at)mekongpackraft.com or call us : 0033 7 62 75 95 81.

SÉCURITÉ

YOU ARE RESPONSABLE FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY! The event is organised to allow people to get together and enjoy paddling together. We will look after the organisation of activities at the campsite (reservation of pitches, workshops on the banks) but will not organise the logistics to get to the put in or the actual paddling. Everyone should be autonomous and responsable of their security on and off the water.

However, experienced packrafters will be able to provide support and share advice. The idea is that small groups go on the water together.

LOCALISATION

The festival will take place in Saint Bonnet en Champsaur, within the campsite Les Rives du Drac

Adress : 1186 Le Ga, 05500 Saint-Bonnet-en-Champsaur

ACCÈS

Bus : Two buses a day go from Grenoble to Gap, one in middle of the morning, the other in the evening. See details. HERE

Car: 20 minutes from Gap and 1:30h from Grenoble.

Car pooling Join the event's Facebook HERE  and try and find other people that would like to car share.

NOURRITURE

- The inscription fee includes the Friday and Saturday evening meals
- Remember to bring a picnic for the midday meals
- Bring some food and drink to share on the Thursday evening

There are two supermakets and a petrol station close to the campsite. There are also several restaurants and bakeries in Saint Bonnet.

COMMENT PARTICIPER ?

- You need to have your own packraft to pacticipate at the festival (unfortunately we will not be able to rent or loan boats).
– It is essential to be equipped with all the safety equipment for whitewater descents (pfd, helmet, whistle, thermal protection).
- Some of the equipement can be rented (wetsuits) or bought (whistle, paddle, helmet) during the festival. To reserve a wetsuit please go to HERE Payment should be made by cheque or cash at the event.
- You need to register to participate at the festival. To do so, please fill out the form (see further down)

QUE DOIS-JE EMMENER ?

Compulsory

  • Packraft
  • Paddle
  • Certified White Water Helmet
  • Certified Personal Flotation Device

Recommended

  • Thermal protection (wetsuit or drysuit) is very highly recommended, and will be compulsory for participation in the guided workshops.
  • Throw rope and other security gear
  • A bike if you want to bikeraft
  • Dry bags, and any other system to keep your gear dry on and off the water.
  • Hiking and packrafting shoes
  • A backpack that fits all your paddling gear, at least 40 litres.
  • Warm clothes (the campsite is at 1000m of altitude, it can get chilly)
  • A first aid kit (that you would normally take travelling with you)
  • Camping gear: tent and sleeping bag...
  • A picnic for the mid-day and thursday evening meals

Inscription fee

Our wish is to perpetuate the festival and the inscription costs will go to cover some of the expenses: campsite, food, musicians, volunteer expenses, van and gear rental (...) which amounts to over 7000€ for around one hundred participants. 

The inscription costs per day and person are as follows:
15€ for the Thursday (this includes the campsite, the small workshops in the evening, a drink)
30€ pour le vendredi (this includes the campsite fee, the evening meal and drink, participation in the evening workshops, the evening films projection).
30€ pour le samedi et le dimanche matin (this includes the campsite fee, the evening meal and drink, participation in the evening workshops, the concert).

The time spent organizing the festival, around two weeks multiplied by ten people, will remain our responsibility no matter what. This represents a cost of around €10,000, which is not a negligible amount for a small company like ours.

Two steps to register

In order to facilitate the organization of the festival, we ask participants to register before their arrival. Please do this as far in advance as possible, the number of places is limited. For the guided training with guides, it is possible to choose several activities. Thank you!

FIRST STEP: fill out the form beneath:

SECOND STEP: Register for the Festival click HERE.

Thank you and see you all soon! We look forward to paddling together! 🙂

The detailed program

Thursdsay 18th of May

Drac et massif du Dévoluy

Start of the festival and setting up at the campsite

Starts at 11h00

Campsite

We will set up camp and organise the pitches. Any help is welcome 🙂

mekong packraft autovideur france jan gin can

Free paddling

Starts at 13h00

Campsite

Explore the surrounding rivers at your own pace! If you have some paddling experience or want to try a particular section, speak to other participants and get a group together! By paddling together you can share tips and learn from each other!

Safety workshop: Calm water and rivers class I-II

14h00 - 17h00

Campsite

Learn the basics of paddling safety for packrafts on calm water and class II rivers.

Organised by Hike2River, price 25€

Defensive and active swimming in white water

18h00 - 19h00

Campsite

Learn the best reflexes in case you end up out of your boat

Organised by Hike2River

Planification d'itinéraire en packraft

Trip planning workshop

18h00 - 19h00

Campsite

Tips, advice and some cool ressources: discover how to prepare your paddling trip for a safe and fun adventure!

Organised by Mekong

Durance kayak festival

On-water communication

19h00 - 19h30

Campsite

Before hitting the river, learn (or go-over) the basics of on-water communication, including the principal signs.

Organised by Mekong

Aperitif and shared meal

A partir de 19h30

Campsite

Bring your salads, quiches, pizzas and other food for a shared meal! There will be beer on tap!

Friday 19th of May

Durance kayak festival

On-water communication

08h30 - 09h00

Campsite

We will be going over the principal on-water safety signs and communications

Organised by Mekong

Technique workshop: Paddling class I-II rivers

09h00 - 12h00

River

Learn the basics of paddling technique for packrafts on calm water and class II rivers.

Organised by Hike2River, price 25€

Free paddling

Starts at 9h00

River

Explore the surrounding rivers at your own pace! If you have some paddling experience or want to try a particular section, speak to other participants and get a group together! By paddling together you can share tips and learn from each other!

Technique workshop: Paddling class III-IV rivers

09h00 - 17h00

River

Paddle a river with cl IV sections with excercises to improve your paddling skills and safety

Organised by Hike2River, price 55€

Safety workshop: Calm water and rivers class I-II

14h00 - 17h00

River

Learn the basics of paddling safety for packrafts on calm water and class II rivers.

Organised by Hike2River, price 25€

Verdon Kona - Romain Barrez attache son vélo sur un packraft Mekong

Bikeraft workshop, ideas and tips

17h00 - 18h00

Campsite

Discover the basics of bikerafting anfd ho to mix pedals and paddles

Organised by Mekong

Origami workshop

18h00 - 19h00

Campsite

Take time to breathe and have some fun: make a small folded boat and other creations from a sheet of paper.

Organisé par Patricia

Planification d'itinéraire en packraft

Trip planning workshop

18h00 - 19h00

Campsite

Tips, advice and some cool ressources: discover how to prepare your paddling trip for a safe and fun adventure!

sauvetage kayak packraft mekong durance

Rope Throwing

18h00 - 19h00

Campsite

Learn how to throw your rope in a white water environement

Organised by Hike2River

Collective Barbecue

Starts at 19h00

Campsite

Nous préparons des salades, faisons griller des saucisses et des légumes au barbecue. On mange ça tous ensemble autour d’une bonne bière locale ! Vos coups de main sont les bienvenus 🙂

Trip reports and stories

21h00 - 23h00

Campsite

Come and share your last packraft adventure with us. We will be screening some cool trips and stories.

Saturday 20th of May

Durance kayak festival

On-water communication

08h30 - 09h00

Campsite

We will be going over the principal on-water safety signs and communications

Organised by Mekong

packraft couleurs automne drôme

Technique workshop: Paddling class I-II rivers

09h00 - 12h00

River

Learn the basics of paddling technique for packrafts on calm water and class II rivers.

Organised by Hike2River, price 25€

Descente de l'Ubaye en packraft autovideur Mekong

Free paddling

Starts at 9h00

River

Explore the surrounding rivers at your own pace! If you have some paddling experience or want to try a particular section, speak to other participants and get a group together! By paddling together you can share tips and learn from each other!

Technique workshop: Paddling class III-IV rivers

09h00 - 17h00

River

Learn the basics of paddling technique for packrafts on calm water and class II rivers.

Organised by Hike2River, price 55€

Safety workshop: Calm water and rivers class I-II

14h00 - 17h00

River

Learn the basics of paddling safety for packrafts on calm water and class II rivers.

Organised by Hike2River, price 25€

Light Bivy workshop

16h30 - 18h00

Campsite

Learn the basics to set up and ultralight bivoauc. Being able to set up a light camp will give you new ideas for trips!

Organised by Anthony from Carnets d'Aventure

Atelier sécurité en eau vive_Mekong packraft

Team challenge

18h00 - 19h00

Campsite

Test your safety knowledge by participating in a team challenge: rope throwing and swimming technique will be needed!

Organised by Hike2River

Origami workshop

17h00 - 18h00

Campsite

Take time to breathe and have some fun: make a small folded boat and other creations from a sheet of paper.

Organisé par Patricia

Yoga & stretching

A partir de 18h00

Campsite

Stretch and strengthen your body though a yoga session 

Organised by Sandie 

APERITIF AND SHARED MEAL

Starts at 19h00

Campsite

Un traiteur nous mitonnera un bon petit plat (on ne sait pas encore quoi) pour calmer notre faim après une belle journée sur l’eau !

Concert

Starts at 21h00

Campsite

Un groupe sera là pour nous faire danser!  

Dimanche 21 mai

Durance festival en packraft

Collective descent on the Drac

Starts at 9h00

River

We will be meeting on the banks of the Drac above the campsite (depending on conditions) and will all paddle together!

Pique nique partagé

Shared meal and end of the festival

13h00 - 15h00

Campsite

We will share a last meal all together before saying goodbye and till next time!

Paddling around the campsite

In the countryside surrounding the campsite the are multiple rivers and lakes to paddle, for all tastes and paddling levels! There are several sections of the Drac river, above (cl II) and beneath (cl III) the campsite. There are also several harder rivers in the near valleys, like the Séveraisse (cl III-IV), the Souloise (cl III-IV), the White Drac (cl III-IV) and Black Drac (IV) depending on water levels. A bit further afield you can also paddle several sections on tthe Durance (cl II-III) and the Bonne (III-IV). There are also some nice paddling spots on the Sautet and Monteynard lakes. Here is a map with the rivers and driving times 

Here are the detailed descriptions for:
The Séveraisse fro the Bourg Click Here
The Drac from the Pont du Fossé Click Here
The Drac from Saint Bonnet Click Here
The Durance from St Clement Click Here

The book "Rivières Sauvages" bu L. Nicolet (French/German) can be bought during the Festival and contains more than 100 routes on 63 French rivers

Carte Rivières navigables Hautes Alpes

    Je serai présent(e) le :*

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