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Pack Cat Fat Cat


Pack cat take out on Lake Powell - Escalante river Utah.

I drove this boat into the escalante arm of lake powell and picked these people up in a 70 MPH wind. fortunately the trip out was quiet. Our pack cats did the trip in April at about 30 cfs. This was many years ago.



Fat Cat Cargo Deck - Lawn Chair
This picture shows a fat pack cat with an aluminum lawn chair on the front. This is the easiest way to carry gear. If you use this system for cargo, you will have a chair to sit in at camp. They do not weigh very much, and they tie down easily on the front of the boat. You may want to try a number of ideas that follow for the back of the boat.

Fat Cat in Action
How to flip a fat cat in a big wave
How to flip a fat cat in a big hole #1
How to flip a fat cat in a big hole #2

Fat Cat Frame - How it Works
It may be easier to visualize how the Fat Pack Cat, and the Pack Cat frame system works by looking at this transparent wire frame drawing.

Back Pack Boat
Some long trips may require a pack in or a pack out. This is the end of a 7 day trip. Sarah is pointing the trail out.

Desert River Pack Cats
Pack cats are great for the small narrow canyons that we have in the west. Some of these rivers have very little water in them.

Bike on a Boat - Boat on a Bike
Here is another way to enjoy a Pack Cat. The Boat can be packed on your back on the bike, (remember it only weighs 24 lbs.) and then the bike can be loaded on to the boat for the trip down the river. This is an Idea from Randy Stokley. In Maryland, there are a lot of bike trails along canals and river waterways that were once used to haul freight.

Fat Cat
The increased tube diameter (16 inches) and a uniquely welded tube design adds stability, control, hull speed, and more gear capacity to the original pack cat Idea. Tubes, frame, straps and a bag to carry bag are included in the standard fat cat price. The Boat and frame itself weighs only 40 lbs, and will fit into a space that is 12 X 16 X 24 inches. This product shot of the Fat Cat does not show the cargo sling, which is standard Equipment. We recommend using a top off pump as an option with our boats. It is a light compact, and easy to rig pump that fits easily on the side of any boat. view or purchase a top 2 pump from our products site. Call or email us for paddle options. 1-800-742-1904

Pack Cat Whitewater
Allen Wilson at Wilderness Canyon Adventures runs pack cat trips on the chetco River. It is a small coastal stream in Oregon. It has a gradient of up to 80 ft per mile, and Allen will run this commercially down to 75 cfs. He runs trips from 1 to 5 days on this river and up to 80 miles in length. If interested contact him at wilsona@harborside.com. This picture shows how serious a drop the Pack Cat can negotiate. Please use caution when starting out. Work up to these kind of drops.

Caving Inflatables
In this picture the boats are floating out of a cave where the river runs through the mountain somewhere in Malasian Borneo. It gave me a wonderful feeling when I saw it. Often the only thrill we get, after working long hours during the spring, is the ability to live VICARIOUSLY through our customer's experiences. We appreciate any pictures and stories that you can send to us. Knowing that customers are having fun makes it all worth it.

Fat Cat Self Support River Trip
Fat Cats are a great choice for self supported multi day trips. This picture was taken on one of the "girls trips" down the San Juan. There is plenty of room for all the gear needed for a 7 day trip.

Big Whitewater in a Fat Cat
The fat cat negotiates past the hole in Upset rapid on the Grand Canyon. On this trip the fat cat ran most of the rapids and the levels were from 18 k down to 5 K . Of course it was a cakewalk with the fat cat to go down the right side at Bedrock with 5K cfs, when most of the boats on 2 trips went to the left by mistake. And the boat did not run Socdollager and Horn creek at 18K either. Please use good judgement when taking little boats down big water.

Fat Cat Back Pack Poat
This photograph shows a 40 LB boat included in an 85 LB pack. The pack is made with the Fat Cat frame. Our hike was only 1.1 miles down hill. Included in the 87 LB pack: one 12 LB six person tent, one small barrel pump, fishing gear, 1 1/2 paddle, one heavy dacron sleeping bag, three waterproof bags, one paco pad, and a fold up camp chair. Three other members split the food, because I carried the tent. We took lawn chairs for camp and as rigging platforms for the boats.

Cargo Sling Instructions Drawing
This is a drawing of our new cargo loop system that goes on the back of Fat Pack Cats, and Pack Cats. With this system you can load gear lower in the boat lowering the center of gravity, and increasing rear stability. The snap hooks clip around grommets at centerline on the inside of the tubes. They are a little hard to get on, so we included some instructions on how it is done. THIS SYSTEM IS NOW STANDARD ON ALL PACK CATS AND FAT PACK CATS.

Fat Cat Cargo Sling
This split picture shows the Fat Pack Cat and Pack Cat rear cargo net or cargo sling, as we often call it. One picture shows the sling without gear, and the other shows the sling with a medium outfitter bag strapped in place.

This cargo configuration helps get the gear load low so there is a lower center of gravity. It also aids the stability of the back half of the boat by tying it together. The sling weighs very little, has little bulk, so it takes little effort to pack it in with your boat. The sling comes standard on all Fat Pack Cats and Pack Cats for the 2002 season and beyond.

Fat Cat Makes a Tight Turn in a Small Stream
On one trip through West Water Canyon in 1998, We ran the Little Delores River. It is usually just a trickle, and this day it was high. Probably running about 50 to 75 cfs. This is just one of the tight squeezes that we negotiated on the 1/4 mile run down to the Colorado. We ran this many times, and most of the participants had little experience in the Fat Cat. It was a very fun afternoon diversion. the same immage as a webpage

Ocean Fishing Fat Cat
Henrik Shur had a wonderful time bringing this tuna in while he was fishing on his Fat Pack Cat. He told me that he did not stop smiling for hours. This is just another example of the versatility of these boats. Ocean fishing is something that I seldom do, and know very little about. Special thanks go to Henrik for sending me this photo.

Back Pack Boat
Chip Rawlings loves the outdoors, and he is an author of books about camping and camping gear. He has used our Pack Cats as a expeditionary boat in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming for many years. Chip has perfected the use of this light weight boat, and light weight gear to go with it. I have to hand it to Chip. I know of no one else who will commit the weight of a boat and a paco pad to back packing. He really must love that pad!! The whole pack including boat was 65 lbs. Also Chip went with us on the Grand Canyon, and Paddles most of the way on a Fat Pack Cat. He had a few flips.

Cat Fishing from a Pack Cat
Two of our customers from Phoenix, AZ decided to go down the Salt during low water. They hiked in and spent a number of days. Along the way they caught a few catfish.

Our Boat Specification Table has pictures and drawings with dimensioned part locations. Cataraft Draft Vs Load will tell you how much weight you can expect to put on a set of tubes and how deep in the water it will sink. Customized tube styles and prices can be seen by following this link. If you do not see what you want or can use in the standard product list, this link will give you a place to find the cost of extra length, extra baffles, double bottoms, and top chafe as well as D-rings, and handles.


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