#11 The Packraft Handbook - behind the scenes with Luc Mehl
The Packrafting Podcast
After losing a friend in a packrafting incident seven years ago, Luc was rattled to the core. It became a catalyst for a new chapter in his own packrafting journey, where he totally reassessed his own skillset and started learning more about safety. This led him to write The Packraft Handbook, which we focus on in this episode. Those of you who already have a copy of the book will enjoy the extra background on the book writing process and getting to know Luc on more of a personal level.EPISODE LINKS:Things to Luc at - Alaskan AdventureLuc's Vimeo (lots of great videos!)Luc's InstagramOrder The Packraft Handbook via Luc's websiteThe Packrafting Podcast on InstagramPodcast sponsored by Alpacka Raft:Alpacka Raft has been handcrafting packrafts for 20 years and has spearheaded packrafting into its modern, more accessible era. All of their boats are made-to-order, in Mancos, Colorado. Whether you’re looking for the perfect whitewater packraft, an ultra-light option for bikerafting or backpacking, or the ultimate do-everything backcountry adventure tool, Alpacka Raft has a packraft for you. Find out more at their website AlpackaRaft.comMusic: Original music by Evan Phillips, a musician from Anchorage, Alaska. He’s also the host and producer of The Firn Line, a podcast about the lives of mountain climbers.
Learn more about Luc Mehl and his Alaskan adventures on his website. Follow him on Instagram. And pick up a copy of “The Packraft Handbook” to get the best tips for staying safe on moving water. Pre-orders are available now and will be shipped in June.Finally, make sure to check out the Out and Back Instagram Page.Remember, podcast listeners get a Discount on a Gaia GPS Membership!
This episode is supported by Sidetracked Magazine https://linktr.ee/BetweenTheMountains Read the full blog here: https://betweenthemountains.org/2021/04/16/luc-mehl/ Luc Mehl is a lover of Alaskan wilderness and nature, with an incredible ‘adventure CV’ under his belt. Born, raised, and residing in Alaska, he has traversed the three highest mountains in North America, headed out to remote and wild regions of Alaska, and completed extreme, multi-day endurance events. For education and vacation, he has also traveled and explored places like Norway, Greenland, Iceland, Svalbard, Nepal. All of this while expanding his self-powered method to include hiking, biking, ice-skating, pack rafting, and skiing. In the episode, we discuss traversing the three biggest mountains in North America, discovering – and staying well away from – the line of acceptable risk, adventures in Alaska and the Alaskan Wilderness Classics, experiencing ‘gifts’ of nature, ‘good fear’ and ‘bad fear’, the 60% rule, and so much more such as mindset and even mental health in the outdoors. Luc MehlLuc Mehl is an incredibly accomplished outdoorsman and adventurer. With such a huge ‘adventure CV’ even just for Alaska, it was a complete pleasure to have him on the show. With the background he has, it’s no wonder that he has gone on to write his first book: The Packrafting Handbook; the definitive instructional resource for packrafting—everything you need to know to begin, improve, or assist others. You can buy this and check out his other trips on his website here, and follow him on Instagram here.--------------------------------------------------------If you enjoy the show please: Subscribe/follow so that you don’t miss another episode; Share with a friend; and Leave a rating on iTunes. If you really really enjoy the show then Consider becoming a Patron of the show on Patreon here; Simply buy me a coffee; or Get yourself or someone else some official merchandise. All of the above helps the podcast to grow as much as possible! You can get in touch with me on email@example.com or using any of the Social Media links: Instagram / Twitter / Facebook / BTM Facebook Group here.
Growing up in the village of McGrath, Luc Mehl was inspired at a young age by the simplicity of rural living, and the vast Alaskan wilderness surrounding him. As a teenager, Luc moved to Anchorage to attend high school, and it was during this period that he would first experience rock climbing and other outdoor sports. But at that junction, his passion for academics and learning would take center stage. After earning his undergraduate degree in geology, Luc attended UC Santa Barbara where he would earn his first master's degree. But as much as Luc enjoyed school, he’d always struggled to find balance between the rigid structure of academia, and the more dynamic lifestyle he’d known as a kid. Ultimately, he returned to Alaska in 2003, deeply depressed, and unsure which direction to take. It was during this period, a time Luc refers to as his "dark year", that he would literally stumble his way into the mountains, only to come out on the other side with a restored sense of purpose, and a new way of living.
Luc Mehl is an Alaskan adventurer who utilizes just about every means of human-powered transportation: hiking, running, biking, skiing, swimming, pack rafting, backcountry ice skating. Luc has completed traverses across North America’s three highest peaks - Denali, Mt.. Logan, and Orizaba. He’s also competed in some brutal wilderness adventure races in Alaska. In this episode, we talk about the psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's theory on flow, where one reaches the ultimate combination of high skill and high challenge. This has applications in adventuring, academia, and everyday life.