Packrafting – an Educational Tool for the Future

Mr Mark Oates1

1The Hutchins School

Packrafting! You have seen the incredible photos, read the inspiring stories yet you are still unsure as to whether they are a simply a glorified pool toy. Find out why packrafting is seemingly on the cusp of a boom at the moment with more and more people keen to experience the advantages that these ultralight inflatable boats provide. Learn why a number of schools in Tasmania have incorporated these highly addictive adventure tool into their curriculum and the opportunities that these craft can create.

This practical presentation will look at:

  • Packraft design and options
  • A variety of models available
  • The capability and limitations of packrafts
  • Educational trips that schools in Tasmania currently undertake
  • How they have been incorporated into the curriculum at The Hutchins School
  • Resources for aspiring packrafters


Mark Oates is a passionate whitewater adventurer who moved to Tasmania 8 years ago from Victoria to explore its remote rivers and rugged mountains. Mark works at The Hutchins School in Hobart and is heavily involved in teaching the Power of 9 Program and  the TASC Outdoor Education course to senior students. As a teacher of outdoor education for 20 years and an Advanced Whitewater Instructor he offers some insights into how packrafting can be incorporated into school programs for the benefit of students.

About the Association

Outdoor Education Australia (OEA) was established in 2006 as a national network of outdoor education associations. The organisation facilitates communication between state and territory outdoor education associations about the practice and delivery of outdoor education; advocates for outdoor education across primary, secondary and tertiary education; and provides policy advice.

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