The Packraft Festival

From the 9th to the 12th of May 2024, 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.

Passage en cl IV sur l'Ubaye 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, a BBQ & 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…

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

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!

Practical Info

Location & acces, fees… 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 on: 0033 7 62 75 95 81.

SAFETY

YOU ARE RESPONSABLE FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY!

The objective of the Packraft Festival is to bring people together and have a great time paddling. The Mekong team looks after the campsite activities including pitch reservation, food service and on-site workshops. Participant will need to organise paddling and logistics (getting to the put in or take out) themselves and are responsible for their own safety on and off the water.

 Experienced packrafters will be on hand to help provide support and share advice. We suggest small groups should paddle together to mutually assist each other. 

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.

DATES

The festival will take place from Thursday 9th to the Sunday 12th of May. However, some of you may be tempted to comme earlier. Early arrival is possible, you must contact the campsite directly for overnight stays.

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. A BBQ will be available to grill some food!

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

HOW TO JOIN?

You need to have your own packraft to participate at the festival (unfortunately we will not be able to rent, loan or sell boats on site).
– 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  HERE. Payment should be made by cheque or cash at the event.
You need to register to participate. 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 participating 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 can carry 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 midday lunch and the thursday evening meal.

INSCRIPTION FEE

Our aspiration is to keep the Festival a recurring event and make it better each edition. Registrations fees  help cover some of the expenses: campsite, food, musician’s fees, volunteers expenses, vehicle rentals to load all the gear, equipement rental (…) i.e. approximately €9,000 in all for around a hundred participants.

The inscription costs per day and person are:
– 20€ for the Thursday (this includes the campsite, evening workshops, one beverage of choice)
– 35€ for the Friday (this includes the campsite fee, the evening meal and drink, access to the evening workshops and the adventure film evening).
– 40€ for the Saturday and Sunday morning (this includes the campsite fee, the evening meal and drink, access to the evening workshops and concert!).

The time spent organizing the festival (over 700 man hours)  is our contribution. This represents a cost of around €10,000, which is not a negligible amount for a small company like ours.

Three steps to register

To help organise the festival, we ask all participants to register beforehand. Please do so as soon as possible, the number of places is limited. Thank you!

FIRST STEP: fill out the form beneath:

SECOND STEP : It is possible to participate in the workshops organised by the Hike2River guides. These workshops are to be paid for separately and need to be reserved in advanced. Please select the workshops from the list. 

In  Green, workshops for beginners, on calm water and class I-II rivers. 
In  Blue, workshops for intermediate paddlers, on class II-III rivers. 
In Red, workshops for advanced paddlers, on class III-IV rivers. 
In  Black, workshops for expert paddlers, on class IV rivers.

There are two types of workshops: 

– Full day sessions for paddling on some of the local rivers around the campsite (Drac, Séveraisse, Souloise, Bonne), adapted to each level. The objective is to spend a great time on the water and work on aspects of both safety and paddling technique.

– Half day sessions with a specific programme that is orientated either towards paddling technique or safety skills. These workshops will help you improve your packrafting through theory and exercices, adapted to different paddler levels (beginner, intermediate, advanced). They will take place on the river near to the campsite. 

A 20% down payment is required upon incription for each workshop (5€ for the half day sessions, 10€ for the full day). The remaining amount of (20€ for half day, 40€ for full day) is to be paid to the guides on site. 

For more detailed information about each workshop you can check out Hike2River‘s  website. 

Packraft Festival Programme 2024_English

If you wish to participate in the workshops, please book the ones thatyou are  interested in by selecting the number and then clicking on “booking”.  Once they have been added to your basket please click on return for the third, and final part of the registration.  

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10.00
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THIRD STEP : Select the days you will be participating from the drop down menu and then select “Festival Inscription”…

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

The detailed program

Thursday May 9th

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!

Passage en cl IV sur l'Ubaye en packraft Mekong

WORKSHOP - CLASS IV PACKRAFTING - EXPERT

10h00 - 15h00

River

Paddle the Bonne (class IV, for expert paddlers), one of the most iconic rivers of the Ecrins. 

Organised by Hike2River, price 50€

The Durance in a Lara Craft

WORKSHOP: TWO SEATER PACKRAFTING - INtermeDIATE

10h00 - 15h00

River

Paddle the classic section of teh Drac in a two-seater packraft (from the campsite to the Guingette bridge) accompanied by a guide. 

Organised by Hike2River, price 50€

Paddling a river in two seater packraft

WORKSHOP: TWO SEATER PACKRAFTING - BEGINNER

10h00 - 15h00

River

Naviguez en packraft biplace sur la partie aval du Drac, de Pont du Fossé au camping (classe II, niveau débutant), en étant encadré par un guide.

Organisé par Hike2River, tarif 50€

Bikeraft en Pablo et Kona sur le Verdon

WORKSHOP: BIKERAFT ON THE DRAC - INTERMEDIATE

10h00 - 15h00

River

Discover bikerafting with a gravel ride and bikerafting descent (cl II, intermediate) on the Drac with a guide. 

Organised by Hike2River, price 25€

SAFETY SKILLS : CALM AND CLASS I-II RIVER

13h00 - 16h00

River

 

Learn the basics of white-water safety with your packraft. The guides from Hike2River will teach the basic know-how needed to paddle safely. This workshop is for beginners. 

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. Free

Durance kayak festival

WELCOME BRIEF

19h00 - 20h00

Campsite

The welcome brief will give you the key elements about the festival organisation and to stay safe on the water. Presence is mandatory

Organisé par Mekong & Hike2River

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 May 10th

Durance kayak festival

ON-WATER COMMUNICATION

9H00 - 010h00

Campsite

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

Organised by Mekong, Free!

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!

WORKSHOP: class III-IV PACKRAFTING

09h00 - 15h00

River

Paddle the Souloise, one of the most beautiful rivers of the Alps (class III-IV, for advanced paddlers), accompanied by a guide.

Organised by Hike2River, price 50€

WORKSHOP: classe II-III PACKRAFTING

09h00 - 15h00

River

Paddle on the lower Drac beneath the campsite (class II-III, for intermediate paddlers), accompanied by a guide, including technique and paddling exercises.

Organised by Hike2River, price 50€

WORKSHOP: class I-II PACKRAFTING

09h00 - 15h00

RIver

Discover the basics of white water paddling on the upper Drac (class I-II, for beginner paddlers).

Organised byHike2River, price 50€

Rapide Casset Packraft Mekong

WORKSHOP: ADVANCED PADDLING TECHNIQUE

09h00 - 12h00

River

Improve your paddling and packrafting skills with the guides. Paddle strokes and more! This training is for advanced packrafters.

Organised by Hike2River, price 25€

packraft mekong jaune et noir dans rapide de rivière

WORKSHOP: INTERMEDIATE PADDLING TECHNIQUE

09h00 - 12h00

River

Improve your paddling skills This workshop if for intermediate packrafters that want to improve their technique and move better on the river

Organised by Hike2River, price 25€

WORKSHOP: Technique débutant

09h00 - 12h00

River

Want to become an efficient paddler? The guides will give you the basics to work on your paddle strokes and packrafting skills.

Organised by Hike2River, price 55€

WORKSHOP: ADVANCED SAFETY SKILLS

13h30 - 16h30

River

Perfect you safety skills for white water packrafting through multiple exercices. This workshop is for advanced paddlers.

Organised by Hike2River, price 25€

lancé de corde packraft Mekong

WORKSHOP: Intermediate SAFETY SKILLS

13h30 - 16h30

River

Improve your safety skills. This workshop if for intermediate packrafters that want packraft safely on cl II-III rivers.

Organised by Hike2River, price 25€

Remi explique la nage defensive pour packraft

WORKSHOP: BEGINNER SAFETY SKILLS

13h30 - 16h30

River

Discover the basics of white water safety on calm water and the upper Drac (class II, for beginner paddlers). 

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, Free!

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, Free!

sauvetage kayak packraft mekong durance

ROPE THROWING WORKSHOP

17h30 - 18h30

Camping

Come and learn how to use a throw rope!

Organisé by Hike2River, Free!

COLLECTIVE BARBECUE

Starts at 19h00

Campsite

Let’s all sit down around a hearty meal (we are still deciding the menu) and share the days adventures together!

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. 

Feel free to contact us if you have a short film you would like to screen!

Saturday May 11th

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!

Workshop: class III-IV PACKRAfting

09h00 - 15h00

River

Paddle a beautiful alpine style river (class III-IV) with a guide. Enjoy the scenery and work on your technique!  This workshop if for advanced paddlers.

Organised by Hike2River, price 50€

WORKSHOP: CLASS II-III PACKRAFTING

09h00 - 15h00

River

Paddle the lower Drac from the campsite (class II-III) to the Guingette bridge wiyth a guide.  Take in the Devoluy mountains and catch some eddies! This workshop is for intermediate paddlers.

Organised by Hike2River, price 50€

packraft couleurs automne drôme

WORKSHOP: CLASS II PACKRAFTING

09h00 - 15h00

River

Discover the basics of packrafting on the upper Drac (class II, for beginner paddlers). 

Organised by Hike2River, price 50€

Rapide Casset Packraft Mekong

WORKSHOP: ADVANCED PADDLING TECHNIQUE

09h00 - 12h00

River

Perfect your paddling technique through some advanced exercises. 

Organised by Hike2River, price 25€

packraft mekong jaune et noir dans rapide de rivière

WORKSHOP: INTERMEDIATE PADDLING TECHNIQUE

09h00 - 12h00

River

Improve your paddling skills, including eddy catching and river traverses. 

Organised by Hike2River, price 25€

WORKSHOP: BEGINNER PADDLING TECHNIQUE

09h00 - 12h00

River

Learn the basics of paddle technique for more efficient and comfortable paddling. .

Organised by Hike2River, price 25€

WORKSHOP: ADVANCED SAFETY SKILLS

13h30 - 16h30

River

Perfect you safety skills for white water paddling with the guides. The workshop will be dedicated to advanced techniques.

Organised by Hike2River, price 25€

lancé de corde packraft Mekong

WORKSHOP: INTERMEDIATE SAFETY SKILLS

13h30 - 16h30

River

Improve your safety skills on the water by practicing some of the essential manouvres. For intermediate paddlers. 

Organised by Hike2River, price 25€

Remi explique la nage defensive pour packraft

WORKSHOP: INTERMEDIATE SAFETY SKILLS

13h30 - 16h30

RIver

Learn the basics of white-water safety with your packraft. The guides will teach the basic know-how needed to paddle safely.

Organised by Hike2River, price 25

Plastic Origins
PROJECT PRESENTATION

17h00 - 18h00

Campsite

Presentation of the Plastic Origins project which aims to stop plastic pollution from  the source, by tackling the problem before it reaches our rivers and seas.

Organised by the Surfrider Foundation

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 techniques will be needed!

Organised by Hike2River

SHARED DRINKS AND MEAL

Starts at 19h00

Campsite

After a day on the river, swimming, paddling and more,  sitting down to a good meal is the perfect moment to relax and grab some energy for the evening. 

Concert packraft festival

Concert

Starts at 21h00

Campsite

Get ready to dance into the night, its time to party!

Sunday May 12th

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).

Here are some of the routes you can 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 !

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