Filip H.A. Claeys

Trekking in Mountainous and Subarctic Regions


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Packrafting the Dommel on All Saints Day

The Dommel is a small river that has its source in Belgium and flows into the river Meuse in the Netherlands. The section between Neerpelt (B) and Valkenswaard (NL) meanders nicely through a largely untouched landscape and is therefore popular for canoeing during the summer season.

As the weather on All Saints Day was forecast to be quite pleasant, I decided to descend the Dommel by packraft, from the outskirts of Neerpelt to the Venberg water mill south of Valkenswaard.

I started packrafting just before 10 am and after having arrived at the water mill, swiftly headed back on foot in order to make it back before dark. The return hike was quite enjoyable as I passed through 3 nature reserves: Malpie, Plateaux and Hageven. I eventually got back well before dark at 4:30 pm, with 30+ km of distance covered, packrafting and hiking combined.

The weather was indeed as pleasant as expected as it gradually became sunny and warm after a cloudy start. I did not meet anyone during the entire river descent, and also during the return hike things were generally very quiet.

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Quebec 2016: Packrafting La Mauricie

Video footage of 2 days of packrafting in La Mauricie National Park, situated in the Laurentian Mountains somewhere halfway between Montreal and Quebec City.

Day 1 is the popular tour to Waber Falls. Day 2 is a tour through the park’s backcountry to Lac Dauphinais, requiring several portages.


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Sweden 2016: Packrafting Rogen

8 minutes of relaxing video footage from my 124 km – 7 day solo hiking and packrafting trek through Rogen (Sweden) and Femundsmarka (Norway) in June 2016. The video covers the first 2.5 days of the trek, and was entirely shot on Swedish soil.

The locations in the video are the following: Hävlingen – Rogen – Nässjöbäcken – Tandsjövålen – Käringsjön – Kråksjön – Källsjön – Uthussjön – Öster-Rödsjön – Väster-Rödsjön.


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Another packrafting trip on the river Leie

Thanks to the fine weather that was upon us on Sunday afternoon, the Leie river looked very inviting for a paddle. I therefore made another trip by packraft, starting at the drawbridge in Astene and ending at the E40 highway bridge in Afsnee, passing the villages of Deurle and Sint-Martens-Latem in the process. Total distance was about 15 km, which is quite enough for an afternoon on a river without any noticeable current. A perfect exercise for the arm muscles…

Due to the unusually dry weather of the past 12 months or so, water levels are quite low, which has caused a number of small beaches to appear on the river banks. Perfect for a quick rest.

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