The Packraft Festival

From the 18th to the 21st of May 2023, on the banks of the Drac, between Grenoble & 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

Bikerafting

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.

Descente du Drac en packraft Mekong

River runs from class 1 to 4

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

Concert packraft festival

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

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.

SAFETY

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.

LOCATION

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

ACCESS

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.

FOOD

– Registration for the festival includes meals on Friday and Saturday evening.
– Plan your picnic for lunch.
– Bring something to eat for the Thursday evening meal.

There are two supermarkets in the town and a gas station. Several restaurants and bakeries are available in Saint Bonnet.

HOW TO JOIN?

– You need to have your own packraft to pacticipate at the festival (unfortunately we will not be able to rent, loan or sell 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 and reserve your campsite pitch (see further down)

WHAT SHOULD I BRING?

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
– 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 to ensure that the registrations help to cover the costs incurred: camping, food, stamp of a group for the concert, expenses of the volunteers, rental of a truck to transport the equipment, rental of equipment (…) i.e. approximately €7,000 in all for around a 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€ for the Friday (this includes the campsite fee, the evening meal and drink, participation in the evening workshops, the evening films projection).
30€ for the Saturday and Sunday morning (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. 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

Thursday 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

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!

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€

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

Starts at 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

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

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€

mekong packraft autovideur france jan gin can

Free paddling

Starts at 09h00

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!

SAFETY & TECHNIQUE WORKSHOP: PADDLING CLASS II-III RIVERS

09h00 - 17h00

River

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

Organised by Hike2River, price 50€

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.

Organised by 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!

Organised by Mekong

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

We prepare salads, grill sausages and vegetables on the barbecue. We all eat it together around a good local beer! Your helping hands are welcome 🙂

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

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

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 09h00

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!

SAFETY & TECHNIQUE WORKSHOP: PADDLING CLASS II-III RIVERS

09h00 - 17h00

River

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

Organised by Hike2River, price 50€

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€

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’Aventures Magazine

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

18h00 - 19h00

Campsite

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

Organised by Patricia

YOGA & STRETCHING

Starts at 18h00

Campsite

Stretch and strengthen your body though a yoga session.

Organised by Sandie 

APERITIF AND SHARED MEAL

Starts at 19h00

Campsite

A caterer will cook up a good meal for us (we don’t know what yet) to calm our hunger after a great day on the water!

Concert packraft festival

Concert

Starts at 21h00

Campsite

A group will be there to make us dance!

Sunday 21th of May

Durance festival en packraft

COLLECTIVE DESCENT ON THE DRAC

Starts at 09h00

River

Meeting on the Drac above the campsite (depending on the navigation conditions) for a collective descent.

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!

Rivers around the campsite

Around the campsite, there are many navigable rivers and lakes, for all tastes and levels! There are several navigable sections on the Drac, upstream (clII) and downstream (cl III) from the campsite. There are also several more difficult rivers in the nearby valleys, notably the Séveraisse (cl III(IV), the Souloise (cl III-IV) and the Drac Blanc (cl III(IV) and Noir (IV) depending on the water levels. Further on you can sail on several sections of the Durance (cl II to III) and the Bonne (III-IV). There are beautiful walks in calm water on the Lac de Sautet and Monteynard. Here is the map with classifications and timetables (by car).

Herae are the route to paddle:
The Séveraisse From le Bourd, Click HERE
Drac From Pont du Fossé. Click  HERE
Drac From Saint Bonnet. Click HERE
Durance From St Clement. Click HERE

The book Rivières Sauvages” from L. Nicolet can be purchased at the Festival with more than 100 courses on 63 rivers in France.

Carte Rivières navigables Hautes Alpes
Shopping Cart

We have packrafts in stock that can be shipped on short notice. For a customised packraft, our lead time is currently 2 months. For more info, drop us an email or give us a call !

Afin de vous garantir une expérience optimale sur notre site et de réaliser des statistiques de visites, nous utilisons des cookies. En poursuivant votre navigation vous acceptez leur utilisation. En savoir plus.