Philip Tschersich has called Kodiak, Alaska home for almost 30 years. He has traveled extensively throughout the Kodiak Archipelago on foot and by sea kayak during that time. About five years ago a friend introduced him to packrafts as a possible way to access new parts of the archipelago that require a boat, but are most easily accessed by small float or wheeled plane.
“Since that time I have logged hundreds of backcountry miles both in Kodiak and on the Alaskan mainland, happily using a packraft to get to places that would be essentially otherwise inaccessible,” Tschersich says. “Kodiak has numerous remote villages and settlements serviced by a mail plane that offers inexpensive seat fares. This is a far more economical way to get out into the bush compared with chartering aircraft. From there spectacular wilds of coastal Alaska are just a short walk and paddle away.”
As a dedicated sea kayaker for many years, Tschersich was initially skeptical of packrafts which he considered to be bathtub toys. However, these small boats totally won him over. He explains, “The versatility and durability of packrafts open whole new categories of adventure travel!”