We receive many questions on our Multiday Packrafting Training Hunsrück-Tour. This is good and we are happy to present you the frequently asked questions here. We tried to answer these questions in a more general way. If you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us personally.
What and where is the Hunsrück?
The Hunsrück is a less known low mountain range between the Moselle (quite known) and the Nahe (mainly known by wine nerds). It’s about 50 km from Mainz, spread mainly across Rhineland-Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz) and parts of the Saarland, and not far from Frankfurt am Main. This area is sparsely populated and intertwined with small creeks. Sometimes you feel like you are leaving civilization by entering this area – even in the villages. We like that.
Are the other participants all outdoor nerds or survival experts?
No. We can’t guarantee that one might be among them, but mainly they are to shy to join a group on tour. We do our best in being the craziest guys in the group and are usually very successful at it. This trip has been successfully mastered by: big city residents without any knowledge of multiday outdoor trips, small men and medium size women and people over 50 years.
Is the trip physically demanding?
Primarily: yes! The physical stress depends on the natural conditions of the locations. But even with a medium water level and sunshine, you need to have a normal physical toughness, condition and health. The hiking sections are in the same way demanding due to the baggage, the river sections due to barriers and the quality of the river.
How is the river going to be?
We are on wild rivers, not on canals or lakes. There will be no challenging whitewater, but the Hahnenbach does have flow. The level of demand comes more from the normal obstacles of a low mountain range river like trees, bushes, flat water, muddy river slopes and so on. There you will need the tour spirit. But at difficult locations we also have the possibility to portage the boat.
How long will the paddling and hiking parts be? Will we hike on paths or cross-country?
About 95% are paths. Very small parts will be cross-country, but mainly over meadows, to get to the entry point of the river. The route is different each time and depends on the water level. We are always paddling downstream but sometimes we have to portage our boat, especially on the first day. In the beginning, we need to stay focused due to a very narrow river part. The first day will be, because of the route and travelling time, the longest. We will hike about 11 km and then paddle about 12 km. The second day is starting out with paddling for about 7 km and then hiking for about 6 km. The third day starts with a short but steep hike of 6 km and ends after 12 km of paddling on the Nahe without any portage.
How heavy is the boat?
Our packrafts are between 2.9 kg and 3.5 kg, plus a paddle of 1 kg and a dry suit of about 800 g, round about 5 to 6 kg of packrafting equipment.
How much food do I have to take?
Since this is an expedition style course, it is part of the training to carry all your food yourself. The amount is something very personal. As a benchmark we say 2000 k Cal minimum of a well-balanced mixture between fats, carbs and proteins. This is about 500 – 800g of dry food each tour day. Additionally you have to carry about 1-2l water. We recommend taking one half chocolate bar for each spare undershirt you leave at home – the pleasure is greater.
How is the availability of fresh drinking water?
Formally, we have access to approved drinking water springs at the following places: at the campsite on preparation day, at the beginning of our trip, at the end of the second day and the beginning of the third day. At the beginning of the second day, we can only fill up at a non-official water spring built by scouts. Basically we recommend taking water filters or cleaning systems of your choice. But, we as guides trust the rocky spring water of the Hunsrück, the scouts and generations of scouts before us, and are till now enjoying the fresh water directly. Everyone makes this decision individually.
How heavy will the backpack be?
This depends extremely on your equipment and your need for comfort. We think you’re backpack should not be heavier than 20 kg, 15 would be better. Your backpack will then be, with packrafting gear, about 20 to 25 kg. We will have the preparation day to find the right balance. Here we can pack, unpack, adjust the backpacks and ensure that you can leave on the next day with a good feeling.
Can I drop out in between?
Yes, but not at every point. For one thing you will have the opportunity on the preparation day to say you want to drop out. We will not mind, because you need to feel fit enough and have the desire to go on the tour. The second drop out point is in the afternoon of the first trip day. After you have hiked for 11 km and paddled for a few kilometers on the headwater of the Hahnenbach, you already know how this trip is going to be. From this point on, the tour will just get easier and you can also paddle with us to the bonfire site in the evening.
How do you plan getting up/starting, breaks and arrival on the end of the day?
We, in general, will take periodic breaks and we will keep an eye on how the group feels. If someone needs a break, we all take a break. This has worked perfectly for us. Each day, except for the first, we start at a reasonable time, to reach the campground by afternoon. On the first day we need to be transferred to the starting point, so we have to start at around 7 am. On the third day we start at around 8 or 9 am, depending on how early the group wants to come home, to eventually leaving back home.
Will I bring the complete equipment, like tent and food? The fee includes the two guides, the transfers, the lodging and for the equipment rental fee additionally a packraft?
Included is also the emergency chocolate that we as guides always carry with us. But besides this, this is right, you will bring your equipment and food (except the snack during the preparation day in Monzingen). We are totally independent as a group on tour: We as guides cannot fill up during the tour either. Because of this we have to make you responsible for your own equipment. We think this is the special charm of this tour! Of course we are – and also during the trip – happy to answer all your questions. On the first day we from experience adjust a lot of backpacks, helping with the choice of equipment and food, this is part of the tour and we are happy doing this.