‘Beyond the Backyard’: Bike-to-Packrafting the Potomac River

Powerhouse paddle brand NRS just posted its latest feature film short, and just by looking at the gear list, it’s amazing.

“Flipping. A tornado. Trespassing. And poop water. Everything was going according to plan.” NRS‘ “Beyond the Backyard: The Nation’s River” film debuted today online. It’s a 12-minute short that follows two friends as they bike-to-packraft paddle the Potomac River.

Before you watch, here’s some background for why they chose this river (other than the fact it’s in their backyard).

For decades, the Potomac River was the dumping ground for industrial waste. But the Clean Water Act of 1972, along with years of work by environmentalists, has helped clean up the water and bring it back to life. “Or so Michael and his best friend thought,” teases the film.

The team travel by human power, packrafting and biking (there and back) from Great Falls National Park to the Chesapeake Bay. Their gear list includes packrafts, bikes, spare tubes, repair kits, PFDs, 100L dry bags, helmets, ratcheting straps, hydration bladders, and, of course, food, water, shelter, and coffee.

As you can imagine from the teaser, there are some roadblocks, including dangerous and unexpected weather. The film focuses on the power of this massive and wild river.

This film was produced and directed by Michael CB Stevens.

Photo Cred: MeatEater, "Das Boat"
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Mary Murphy

Mary is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and is based in GearJunkie's Denver, Colo. office. She has a degree in English and journalism, and has a background in both newspaper and magazine writing. Her outdoor interests span from running to sport climbing, from landscape photography to skiing to pack-paddleboarding. If she's not writing, you can most likely find her at the top of a fourteener, or in a local bakery.

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