Inflatable Canoeing Adventures - Buy this eBook!

Most of us can relate to the fun we had canoeing at summer camp when we were young. But that was nothing compared to the experience of whitewater kayaking that came next for me. I have always loved canoeing, though it always seemed difficult to participate. It has only been in the last decade that the development of inflatable canoes has made a big difference. You can more easily access rivers, you can store a canoe in your car, you can even take them on a plane. They are very light, very cheap, with little loss of functionality. Perfect for weekends away or campervan holidays. Social networking was the other big change. You can now use Facebook, etc to join canoeing adventures in your local region or abroad.

Inflatable Canoeing Adventures - view the table of contents! Click here to download the table of contents for this eBook, available for just $US7.95.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Canoeing on the Pinacanauan River, NE Luzon, The Philippines

The Pinacanauan River is located in Cagayan Province in NE Luzon, in the Philippines. The city of Tuguegarao lies at the confluence of the Pinacanauan River and the much more significant Cagayan River. The best way to reach the Pinacanauan River is by road (Mountain Polis Highway) from Manila or flight PR208 from Manila to Tuguegarao. Upon arriving at Tuguegarao, take a jeepney destined for PeƱablanca, and continue further upstream. If you refer to the map reference for Callao Caves below, you will see that there is a belt of limestone crossing the river. This formation hosts a multitude of caves, some of which you may access from the river. Search Google for more info on Callao Caves.
For accommodation, you can camp on the river or try staying at the Lorita Hotel in Tuguegarao.
Marsman Drysdale Travel Inc organizes kayaking trips on the river through their offices at: 19th Floor Robinsons Summit Center 6783 Ayala Avenue, Makati City, Philippines or visit their website Email: Telephone: (63-2) 887-0000 (Trunkline). In fact that run a 4 day/3 night Northern Luzon Wilderness adventure tour involving caving, rappelling, kayaking and whitewater rafting.
The Pinacanauan River offers grade 1 to 2 rapids suitable for kayakers.

Location Map References
1. Google Maps – Try searching for “Pinacanauan River Philippines” at
2. Callao Caves – See,117.158203&sspn=41.419891,81.738281&ie=UTF8&ll=17.70323,121.822414&spn=0.078986,0.159645&t=h&z=13&om=1
3. Info about Tuguegarao: See

Canoeing on the Pagsanjan River, Laguna, Philippines

The Pagsanjan River is located in the province of Laguna, Luzon in the Philippines. The river’s headwaters is the famed Mount Banahaw, from where is cascades through 3 gorges before reaching Lake Laguna. The river in fact provides 35% of the discharge into Laguna de Bay, despite being just one of the 21 major lake tributaries. For this reason the river is monitored by the Laguna Lake Development Authority(LLDA) at 15 river monitoring stations. The river is also referred to as the Pagsanjan-Lumban River after the towns of Lumban, Pagsanjan and Cavinti through which it flows. The river also hosts the popular the 100-metre high "Magdapio Falls" in the town of Cavinti, but also known as “Pagsanjan Falls”.
There are boat rides from Pagsanjan which run 16 rapids over a 17 kilometre section of the river, while passing through gorges and dropping several hundred feet before reaching the waterfall after the 14th rapid. The ride takes you through attractive natural bushland including orchids, ferns, vines, spiders, dragonflies, lizards and monkeys. The river grade I believe is 1-2, though I will not run it until I have a canoe shipped from China.

Map references
1. Township of Cavinti: See,121.468449&sspn=0.040177,0.079823&ie=UTF8&ll=14.246498,121.506128&spn=0.040181,0.079823&t=h&z=14&om=1
2. Township of Pagsanjan: See,121.505098&sspn=0.040175,0.079823&ie=UTF8&ll=14.268542,121.450768&spn=0.040177,0.079823&t=h&z=14&om=1

1. Photos of the Pagsanjan river: See

Canoeing the Bued River, Baguio City, Philippines

There are very few rivers in the Philippines suited to canoeing. I suspect the reason is the high permeability of the relatively recent volcanic ash covering the country. The implication is that surface water can flow in the high mountain gorges, but once they reach the alluvial flats, the river water quickly percolates into the alluvial flats leading only the sediment pile they carried. The Bued River flowing south west of Baguio City in central Luzon is a good example of this.
The only settlement of note along the river is Twin Peaks, though there are a number of old settlements that date back to the original construction of Kennon Road – numbering from Camp 1 in the south west to Camp 8 near Baguio. Kennon Road requires constant maintenance and several bridges have been upgraded, but the road is single carriage way along the length of the river, thus the 49km road takes 45mins to ride.
Upper Bued River Description
The Bued River Catchment is one of the most scenic in the Philippines. The precipitous drops from the 1600m high mountain tops to the valley floor have created some stunning scenery. The river between Baguio and Rosario has excellent road access given that the road follows the river. Yet in the upper section the drop to the valley floor is very steep. For this reason there are few opportunities to gauge the nature of the river - other than to say access is difficult in the upper section. There is however access, and the limited observation from the road suggests the river is for the most part too rocky to navigate at normal water.

At normal water levels the upper section (above the Twin Peaks Bridge) is not navigable because of the prevalence of boulders. There is however the possibility of navigating the river from several points upstream from Twin Peaks:
1. Highest: There is a bridge – so likely better access. See,120.595508&spn=0.002487,0.004989&z=18
2. Intermediate: There appears to be a flying fox at,120.592037&spn=0.002487,0.004989&z=18.
3. Lowest: There is a flying fox above Twin Peaks at,120.568616&spn=0.002487,0.004989&z=18.
Observation during high water would be needed to establish the safety and suitability of the river under those conditions. The river gradient is steeper, so the possibility of treacherous rapids or falls is higher, and it is unknown whether any danger would be readily apparent. Notwithstanding the risk, there is an opportunity to start canoeing from the latter points. No grading of this section of river can be realistically be made.
Photo from the upper section - around Camp 4

Lower Bued River - Twin Peaks Bridge to Sison
Not having canoed this river – it does require a degree of caution. Though having observed the rivers character from the road it appears to have no treacherous rapids or falls below the Twin Peaks Bridge, however caution and experience is still advised. The river is narrow because of the V-shaped valley, and its strewn by rocks. At normal water the river grades 1-2, with the rock gardens tending to slow the river speed despite the moderate gradient in this section. Access is provided readily from the road, and local squatters tend not to mind the intrusion.

Photo of Boed River downstream from the Twin Peaks Bridge.
The Twin Peaks Bridge is located at,120.556519&spn=0.002487,0.004989&z=18). From the Twin Peaks Bridge, at normal river height, the river appears to be navigable at least until the bridge at map reference,120.521522&spn=0.002488,0.004989&z=18). There is another bridge further downstream at map reference,120.509055&spn=0.002488,0.004989&z=18, however the river may have insufficient flow at this point. The lack of flow can be attributed to the rapid percolation of the river discharge into the permeable unconsolidated river ash that has coated the mountains in the catchment after the 1994 Mt Pinatubo eruption, and subsequently been dumped at the mouth of the valley as it enters the plain.

Baguio City Resources
The following resources might be helpful to you. The Bued River has a lot of history. The Kennon Road between Rosario and Baguio was built between 1903-05 by Japanese labour under the supervision of American engineers.
Ask questions at
Neighbouring Benguet Province – see
History of Kennon Road
City office info Travel details -

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Vessel choice: Raft vs Canoe vs Kayak

River running is without a doubt one of the best sports to engage in I believe. But there are several options to choose from:
1. Kayak: A kayak is an enclosed vessel first conceived by the Eskimos. It has a sealed flap to ensure little water enters the manhole. The benefit of a kayak is that they are faster, more maneuverable and self-driven. Different kayaks are designed to offer variable stability, buoyancy, speed and navigability.
a. Fixed type: These types are made of solid polyethylene or fiberglass, providing them with a high level of rigidity, but also some flexibility to absorb shocks on the river.
b. Collapsible type: There are collapsible kayaks which have a frame, so you can compact the kayak for storage or cartage. These are only suitable for sea kayaking.
2. Canoe: A canoe is an open vessel with the capacity to carry 2-3 people, otherwise used for greater storage capacity. Different kayaks are designed to offer variable stability, buoyancy, speed and navigability. There are 2 types of canoe:
a. Fixed type: These types are made of solid polyethylene or fiberglass, providing them with a high level of rigidity, but also some flexibility to absorb shocks on the river.
b. Inflatable type: These types are made from various grades of plastic. Inflated by pump, the air pocket provides a different type of cushion to absorb shocks. Inflatables have the advantage for cartage and storage.
3. Raft: Raft are open, broad, polyethylene inflatable vessels equipped with tie-lines to offer passengers greater security. These vessels are less navigable but can carry a great many people and if the river is wide enough, they are able to handle large rapids with ease.

When buying a vessel you really need to decide which type of material and design suits your needs. You need to decide whether:
1. You will be riding river rapids, beach surf lake waters, and the type of conditions
2. You will be taking short trips or doing overnight tours requiring more storage for food & overnight camping.
3. You need to decide the number of passengers – Will you be accompanied by friends, kids, and can they handle an independent vessel?
4. You need to decide the level of autonomy you want to have, or whether you see it more as a social activity.
5. You need to decide your motives for running a river? Is it to explore, to feel the excitement and adrenaline, or to look at scenic nature. Is it intended to be a social activity?

Ideally I prefer kayaking because of the greater control that a kayak offers, but I find the need to lug around a fixed kayak too much of burden, both for security reasons and storage. An inflatable can easily be packed in the back of a vehicle, taken on a plane, bus, train or even overseas. They are navigable and strong enough to run river rapids, and carry supplies for 1 person. My primary reason for running the river is the adventure, nature and tranquility, the social interaction is secondary, so I prefer to run solo. But actually I think solo experiences are more social because they are not shared. Anyway inflatables are far more flexible.

Sevylor Tahiti Inflatable Canoe - Buy Now!

Rafting/canoeing in Malaysia

I have yet to canoe in Malaysia, though it can't too far off my schedule. I've identified a number of rivers that seem worthy candidates. As you may know Malaysia is split - with its sovereign territory occupying the Malay Peninsula (extending south of Thailand, but excluding the island of Singapore on the southern tip) and the northern portion of Borneo (where the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak abut the southern Indonesia territory of Kalimantan). Anyway, Sarawak and Sabah are very rugged, remote wildernesses, and I'd say there are some adventures there.

The ranges of the Malay Peninsula and the mountains of Borneo offer some of the best remote whitewater rafting and canoeing in South East Asia. There are rivers suited for the whole range of river adventurists – from novice to expert. River rapids are categorized from Grade I-V (Class I is easy; III is “intermediate” and V is for the experts, with turbulent rapids, waves, holes and tough routes), so know your limits, or otherwise find an experienced and professional rafting company.

The most popular rivers (river means ‘Sungai’ in Malay) to canoe in Malaysia are:
1. Padas River, 170km from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, East Malaysia: See and
2. Selangor River, near Kuala Lumpur West Malaysia: There is a challenging 2hour run on this river, especially during the rainy season, with rapids ranging from Class I to Class V. See river info
3. Kiulu River in Sabah, East Malaysia: See
4. Kampar River, Perak State, Malay Peninsula: See
5. Sungai Itek River, Perak State, Malay Peninsula: See
6. Sungkai River, Perak State, Malay Peninsula: This river is better suited to kayaking.
7. Jeram Besu, Pahang State, Malay Peninsula: See
8. Telom River, Pahang State, Malay Peninsula: See
9. Kuala Perahu River, Pahang State, Malay Peninsula: See
10. Loh River, Trengganu State, Malay Peninsula: See
11. Sedim River, Kedah State, Malay Peninsula: See

There have been numerous deaths on Malaysian rivers as a result of poor tour guide practices. Then there was the drowning of a Dutch tourist on the Padas River in November and another fatality this Dec-07. The risks posed are:
1. Rafting companies taking too high risks because of the desire to maximize profits. The implication is that they might:
2. Run river tours after heavy rains and no assessment of any damages that have since developed
3. Fail to practice safe procedures to safe time
4. Rafting company staff not having the experience to assess the risk due to inadequate training or lack of safety procedure adherence
5. If you want professionals I would go with river companies with experienced raft guides and the kayak rescuers on standby. The risk posed are adventurers getting trapped in holes, snagged by branches, trapped under the raft, though the buoyancy and headgear should otherwise prevent drowning and head injuries, assuming the gear is worn correctly. Choosing a responsible and safety-conscious operator is the key to avoiding mishaps. When rafting it does not help that 90% of any 13-party group are likely to be “virgins” to whitewater rafting.

Questions you can ask an operator before signing up for a rafting trip:
1. What grade is the river? Is it suitable for beginners?
2. What is your company’s safety track record like and what are the safety-and-emergency procedures?
3. Are your guides trained in Swiftwater Rescue and equipped with CPR and First Aid skills?
4. What kind of gear do you use and provide for participants (e.g. raft, helmet, PFD)?
5. Do you include insurance cover? Can this be arranged for us? Some companies like Pan-Global provide extensive coverage on outdoor sports
6. What is included in the cost?
7. What kind of clothing and things should one bring?
8. Do you have any referrals or testimonials from past participants?

Ensure the following:
1. You should be informed about the risks of rivers
2. The nature of rivers an how to pick features or characteristics
3. How to wear and use the safety equipment
4. How to paddle correctly – so you get good strokes and don’t hit your fellow paddlers with the oar.
5. What river guide instructions to listen to
6. Your guide should take you through some practice sessions on the river
7. How to stay in the raft when riding tough rapids
8. What you should do if you fall out or are thrown out of the raft, eg. Atch out for a throw bag (ie. a nylon sack).
9. They should be using good equipment
If you think you are going to be an experienced rafter after a trip – Think about. You are a fee-paying slave under instruction, getting the benefit of an adrenaline rush. Kayaking and canoeing offer you greater opportunity to develop independent judgement.

There are many rafting operators in Malaysia running the various rivers, though some have a dubious track record on the rivers and unsafe operating procedures. The operators with the best reputation are:
1. Tracks Adventures, a Selangor-based rafting outfitter in Kuala Kubu Baru. Tracks Adventures’ guides are all trained in Swiftwater Rescue, a course that teaches proactive prevention of river accidents and injuries certified by the New Zealand Canoeing Association. Guides learn to recognise and avoid common river hazards like “holes” that can trap and hold a buoyant object, and strainers (usually partly submerged trunks or logs) that can trap a swimmer underneath with the force of the current will hold him there. They practise self-rescue and methods of rescuing swimmers and recovering rafts and gear based on the American Canoe Association’s (ACA) syllabus ( Tracks Adventures has been running Selangor River since 1994. Tel: (60-3) 6065 1767; email: and
2. Khersonese Expeditions: They are another experienced operator. Tel: (03) 7722 3511; Email: and
3. Riverbug: They are a Kota Kinabalu-based operator who has been in the business for 10 years. The company operates on Padas and Kiulu Rivers in Sabah, and Sg Kampar in Perak, and has offices in Perak and Kuala Lumpur. Their trainees have to run Grade I and II rivers at least 60 times, and grade III and IV 80 times before they are allowed to guide clients. Riverbug also uses safety kayakers on their runs. Tel: (60-3) 2162 0114 or

Many beginners are unaware of the dangers presented by rivers. Whitewater has swift and strong undercurrents. Listen to your guides safety tips carefully, follow their instructions, and exercise care. If you are risk-averse, don’t be lulled into going rafting. Avoid groups that take more than 3 rafts (30 to 40 clients) at a time, and those without rescuers in kayaks. Most accidents occur because clients don’t listen to instructions or they don’t take safety precautions seriously.

Whitewater videos in NZ, USA, Australia

Are you interested in canoeing, rafting or kayaking, but dont have a clue what its about. Well here is a list of sites that will give you more info on the sport:

1. USA – see
2. USA – see
3. USA - see
4. NZ - Rangitikei River - see – This is what you call being wedged between a rock and a hard place.
5. NZ – see
6. NZ -
7. Australia - Tully River – Qld – see

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Taking sporting equipment overseas

See my posting at if you intend to go overseas with sporting equipment.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Want to become canoe guide certified

Tracks Adventures is running a 3-day Swiftwater Rescue course at Kuala Kubu Baru from Nov 30-Dec 2nd 2007. The course will be conducted by ACA-certified whitewater kayaking and swiftwater rescue instructor Carl Traeholt. Cost: RM600 per person (including gear and lunch). For inquiries, call Tracks at 019-344 3214.

Canoeing the Murrumbidgee River, NSW, Australia

The Murrumbidgee River is one of the best rivers to canoe in Australia because you cam always expect a reliable flow of water since its feed by the Snowy Mountains HydroElectric Scheme, and because the waters held back by the reservoir system are slowly released over summer when most people want to engage in canoeing. Because of the artificial flow regime and the high demand for those water resources downstream, during summer the river has high discharge rates and corresponding fast water movement. I remember canoeing a section from Tharwa (just south of Canberra) to Red Rock Gorge, and the river narrowed from 20m wide to 8m, and passing through the shoot was like being in a washing machine, being thrown from one rock to another. The consequence was a hole in the canoe.

This section of rive made for a good run for the later reasons, though this was a period of high water level, so more information would be warranted on river conditions. At the time I remember the water level was flowing well over the ford.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Barrington River Trip, Newcastle NSW Australia

The Barrington River is one of the best rivers to canoe in Australia. The appeal lies in its:
1. Proximity to Sydney
2. Its reliable water supply
3. Preservation of its natural bushland

Australia has been undergoing a climatic shift for the last 50 years - nothing new in that - despite the rhetoric that the planet is being destroyed. In fact the Earth's climate has been since the planet was formed. Anyway, the east coast of Australia is drier, the Carpenaria area is wetter. The bad news is that the rivers in NSW are not as wet as they once were, and amidst a drought, things are even worse. So if you intend to canoe, you need to make sure there is adequate water in the rivers. The good news is that the various water authorities in Australia now keep water level height and rainfall information in online databases, so you can readily see what is a good water height, and when to go. Website??

You can access the Barrington River by driving from Sydney, up the Pacific Highway. After Raymond Terrace take the left turn on the Bucketts Way to Gloucester. When you reach Gloucester continue through the town on the Scone road. You will eventually reach the town of Barrington, and soon after you will encounter the Barrington River. If you are doing the upper section, you will need to continue on past Copeland to the river junction. There is camping and good horse riding on a farm nearby. If you are canoeing from Rocky Crossing you can take the left turn off before or after the river, since they both follow the river, but the west-side option allows you to finish at the Barrington Bridge, whereas the east-side option lets you finish at either place. There is also camping at Barrington Bridge, though facilities are limited.

The Barrington River drains off a volcanic rangeland called Barrington Tops. The 'Tops' are snow covered at times in winter, and a number of peat bogs on the plateau ensure a regular release of water at times when other rivers are dry. The river flows through state forest and farmland, though these days its mostly unproductive hobby farms that dominate.

There are a number of river entry points:
1. Junction of the 2 rivers west of Copeland
2. Rocky Crossing
3. Canoelands
4. Barrington Bridge

Since I normally go with people that dont have a canoe, and have no experience, I usually take the section from Rocky Crossing to Canoelands. Its about a half day trip. I did the section to Barrington Bridge, but unfortunately the pace was slow because he had no sense of balance, even with my old 'flat floater'.

This river is mostly grade 2, with a few grade 3 rapids. They can be technically difficult if the water levels are higher. Alternatively you could be dragging the canoes if the water levels are low. To much sun is not a problem since the river is mostly lined by trees. There are a few snags, but it is mostly rocky, so wear a helmet for head protection. Also where a life jacket as there are traps. The biggest concern I think is water flowing under overhanging cliffs, where the river in undercutting old stream bed. The river flow is not as strong in low water so that should not be a problem if you anticipate and practice canoe control in the upper section.

The upper section requires a long day to complete. It requires a fair amount of rain to navigate. It has a steeper gradient so the river is narrow and fast-flowing. Its not as technically difficult, but there are low branches. Some people do the lower section first as its slower water. There are few egress options on the upper section if you have problems, so in a way its suits the disposability of an inflatable canoe, but who wants to abandon a canoe on the river if they get a hole. I have never patched up a canoe on the river, so I'm not sure how quickly they dry/repair. Maybe in the sun not so long. Anyway after 10 trips, I've only had 1 puncture for a $200-250 canoe. Thats pretty cheap travelling. And I think the offending object was glass or steel (in Japan) looking at the sharpness of the cut.

Anyone want to take a run on this river let me know.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Try canoeing with an inflatable

Inflatables have long been recognised for their application in watersports, particularly in marine and swimming pools. But as plastic moulding and sealing technologies have improved, its now possible to buy well designed inflatables that closely resemble the fixed hull canoes that most people are accustomed. Lets consider some of the pros and cons of inflatables for canoeing.

The pros of inflatable canoes
The benefits are:
1. Inflatables ride over river gravels better than fixed kayaks because the plastic material glides over smooth rocks much better. This is facilitated by the more even weight distribution, which also gives you better clearance. I find that I can get even better clarance or weight distribution by suspending my butt in the air so the weight is on the front and back. But I find the material readily slides over these rocks.
2. Inflatables are much more comfortable to ride because you can more easily flex your limbs and the hull gives, so your weight is more evenly distributed. Some designs are better than others because they are equipped with a separate air cushion. Another design uses straps to support the seat...I dont like that type.
3. Inflatables are more easily transported. I have taken my inflatable canoe on public transport in Japan (though I suggest taking a collapsible paddle). The benefit is that there is very little portage required if you live near a station and the train follows the river valley. The same portability makes them great for storing them in the rear compartment of a car. Being inside the car means they are moe secure. I dont want people to know what I am doing in the local area for safety reasons, and I want my possessions secure inside the vehicle.
4. Inflatables are lighter to carry. Whether you need to portage your canoe to a remote river, or negotiate a steep forest trail to avoid an impassable section of river (eg a waterfall), you will appreciate avoiding the safety and exhaustion issues that plague fixed hull canoes. If you slip with a fixed hull canoe you will very likely break your back or hit your head. An inflatable is light and soft so your hands are effectively free to break your fall. I often dont even bother deflating my inflatable to negotiate any river portages. I can carry it in one hand or carry it overhead for greater visibility and 'hands free' in slippery situations.
5. Inflatables are more compact. The relative compactness of inflatables makes them well suited for taking overseas as normal luggage. You can even store them in some train station compartments, though these services are disappearing because of the terrorist threat.
6. Inflatables are surprisingly robust. I've taken my inflatable on about 8 rivers with no signs of wear & tear. I had a puncture on the 6th occasion, but I just packed up the canoe, walked up to a bus stop and took it home for repair. The polyethylene material gives alot, wrapping around rocks and sticks. They tend to just absorb the impact so you dont get punctures. Firstly because of the air cushion, and secondly because the plastic stretches. The puncture I had was actually more of a slash than a puncture. That is evident from the cleanliness of the cut, so I suspect there was broken glass in the very shallow river. I actually deserved the damage given the shallowness of the river. A fixed hull canoe could not even have passed this section. Generally there is very little sign of wear and tear apart from this puncture, so I am convinced its a rare occurrence.
7. Water Discharge: All canoes eventually accumulate alot of water in them requiring you to flip them over. Rest assured its alot easier to discharge an inflatable canoe, though they do tend to gather more water too if they are open as opposed to 'enclosed' kayaks.
8. Boarding the canoe: I think boarding a canoe from land or water is alot easier than with an inflatable than a fixed hull canoe because the inflatable absorbs or gives, whereas the fixed canoe will rock causing instability. Similarly boarding from the water is easy from water because the canoe gives and does not rock as much. They require a different mode of entry from river banks. You would tend to enter from a low centre of gravity or from the water. You dont step into them since you would likely ruin the seams.
9. Stowing gear: I find the inflatable very good for stowing gear because you can wedge gear in the front and aft of the canoe, and you can secure it with the straps or just the inflatable seat that comes with the canoe.
10. Repair: You might argue that an inflatable is more likely to get a puncture than a fixed hull canoe, but I would argue that its easier to fix an inflatable on the river than a fixed hull (fibreglass or plastic) canoe. Regardless, either can be fixed by applying waterproof tape.
11. Sleeping compartment: According to the design specs for inflatables they are not designed for sitting in on land. But I wonder if they could in fact be used for sleeping as a substitute for a tent. The obvious advantage is that you could reduce your weight and bulk stowage needs - for a tent and sleeping bag. Modern tents though are pretty light though. There is some appeal to the idea of sleeping in a wet suit, whether on land or the river (depending on the design specs), but I have yet to test this concept.
12. Safety: I believe inflatables are far safer than fixed hull canoes, particularly where children are concerned. Its hard to imagine being trapped in one unless it was punctured by a tree and deflated around you. They are not going to give you a head injury.
13. Mobility:
Inflatables offer by far better mobility - whether you need to traverse steep slopes or rugged gorge country. This is true whether you have it packed in a backpack or you carry it in a bag. Why? In a backpack it leaves your hands free, and if you decide to carry it, its easy to dispense with until you regain your balance. You dont have to worry about a heavy object falling on you or undermining your gravity. Like any other canoe its harder to navigate through bush, so for long portages you might want to deflate. For accessing those wild wilderness rivers lacking road access or a helipad, there is no better solution.
14. International trips: Buying equipment for an overseas trip can present a hassle paying on credit card or establishing a receiving address, particularly in a foreign country where you cant trust vendors. Inflatables offer the option of taking your boat with you. Airlines are now enforcing strict limits on the weight and types of luggage they are prepared to carry. The light weight of inflatables makes them cheaper to transport overseas. They weigh about 20kg. An inflatable canoe can always be carried in a standard box, whereas for a fixed hull canoe you will need a commercial transport company. eg. British Airways recently decided to ban surfboards, kayaks & windsurfers from their flights. You can't even pay extra, forcing travellers to freight their boat/boards via surface mail. If other airlines follow suit, this would be a huge restriction on canoeing. For some this might be reason enough to buy an inflatable since it would be classed as normal luggage since it comes in a box. See related article.
15. Multipurpose: The Sevylor Tahiti Inflatable Canoe is not designed for this, but I suspect you could use this canoe as bed. Seylor advises users not to use inflatables on-land, but I suggest there might be compelling reasons to do so. The inflatable might make a comfortable bed if you are careful. Having said that, tents and foam insulation are likely more comfortable and light to carry. Just an idea. Your weight should be equally distributed by the air, so I can't see a problem as long as you avoid sudden impacts because water does give.

The cons of inflatable canoes
The only things I don't like about inflatables are:
1. Navigability: Inflatables don't steer as well as fixed canoes because they are not rigid. You can buy an attachment to improve the steering which works well. For whitewater, the diminished steerability is only a problem for technically difficult rapids. Inflatables are not as appealing on open water because of wind drag. Inflatable canoes experience greater wind shear, so I would tend to avoid them if you intend to use your boat mostly on lakes or broad rivers. For whitewater, you are unlikely to experience much wind as rivers are generally protected by V-shaped valleys and overhanging trees.
2. Speed:
On open, flat water an inflatable canoe can feel a little sluggish. This sluggishness is somewhat offset by their lighter weight.
3. Weight: A fixed hull canoe offers greater weight carrying capacity. This is not a problem for short trips or if you are very careful with your stowage weights, but it might restrict touring trips. I however think there is the opportunity for using an inflatable as an air mattress, which means you dont have to carry a tent (assuming you are one person per canoe).
4. Vulnerability: One problem with inflatables is that they are more easily damaged, so if they are damaged in an isolated area, you might have a problem fixing them. Its not that they cant be fixed, its more likely that you might be delayed until after dark. My experience however is that you tend to get holes from man-made objects (not from rocks or branches) such as steel or glass shards, which tend to be around people anyway. So be more careful when passing concrete foundations, particularly at old bridges. I have never fixed a canoe on the river because all my canoeing experience with inflatibles has been on rivers with good access, so I've just taken the damaged canoe home for proper repair. On the positive, the only hole I got in the canoe was due to a glass or steel, and you are unlikely to have such materials in remote areas unless its civil works related.

Sevylor Tahiti Inflatable Canoe - Buy Now!