Packrafting & Pedaling the South Coast of Iceland, aka "The Forgotten Coast"
Check out the full collection of photos from their adventure on the Titan Straps Facebook page! All photos in this collection by Ryan Hill of Chris Burkard Studios.
On July 4, 2022, a team of three multi-sport adventurers, plus a film crew, set out for Iceland. Their goal? To do a 250- to 300-mile bikepacking and packrafting adventure along the country’s southern coast, aka "The Forgotten Coast." Team members include adventure photographer and trip organizer Chris Burkard, multi-sport adventurer Steve “Doom” Fassbinder and Titan Straps owner Cameron Lawson.
An Unprecedented Journey Across Iceland’s Vast, Volcanic Shores
Iceland is home to the largest continuous stretch of sand bordered by the raw Atlantic. Its southern coast features turbulent weather, stunning scenery and majestic and vast glacial river tributaries that bisect the shoreline as they enter the sea.
“It’s one of the wildest, most scenic and pristine stretches of coast on the planet,” says Chris Burkard. So wild, in fact, that the crew of four will be the first humans to stand on some of the terrain they’ll be crossing.
“It’s a long and super hard to access coastline,” explains Doom, a Titan Straps ambassador. “And it’s full of obstacles, specifically a wide variety of water crossings. We’ll be dealing with open ocean crossings and fast-moving water where the rivers terminate into the ocean. We will also paddle braided rivers where crossing one river may require crossing 20 different channels.”
Some of these obstacles are scary, Doom explains. But a trip bikerafting Iceland, especially this section, inspires him. “It’s bike access to super wild places. It’s very difficult to get to these places by foot because the hike would be so long. But with a bike and a packraft you can traverse the whole coast.”
Doom loves the idea of going point to point, “starting somewhere and finishing in a different location and being able to move through any obstacles that might come up on the journey.” So he spent hours pouring over Google Earth and discussing the route with his teammates.
The Titan Straps Connection
“I’m nervous about the water crossings and the wind,” Cameron adds. “Packrafts are a light craft. They blow around easily in big winds.” But he’s also really excited about the Forgotten Coast adventure. It will be similar to some of the biggest, most challenging missions he has done along the Lost Coast of Alaska.
“Those were life changing and some of the best experiences of my life,” he says. “I can’t wait for more! So when the opportunity presented itself to do this trip, I couldn’t say no.”
Cameron has always wanted to visit Iceland and explore the country. “My favorite places on earth are where mountains meet the sea. Iceland will definitely have this. Also, from what I understand, this section of coastline has never been biked/packrafted before. There will be an element of exploration.”
What straps does he think will be most useful?
- 30″ Industrial for the bike rack. This will be used to hold down a 20L, waterproof sealline bag.
- 25″ Industrial to hold the “rolled up” Alpacka Llama to the handlebars + paddle.
- 20″ Industrial (2 each per side) to secure items to the cages that will be mounted to the front.
It’s Iceland, a place known for wind. The straps are handy for securing the guide lines or corners of a tent to drift wood, rocks or bikes.
The crew meets up in Iceland July 5th, and the weather window for the route is July 11-18. A film crew will be meeting them at certain points along their adventure to document their journey and share it in real time with you.
Titan Straps owner, adventure photographer and former Alaska bush pilot, Cameron has been riding and racing bikes for decades. His adventures now include more remote wilderness races and exploratory missions that include packrafts. Though he mostly “packs boxes with his adventure straps” these days for the company he founded a decade ago, he still manages to get out on at least two to three big adventures each year. Read about Cameron’s bikerafting adventures to Alaska at National Geographic.
Steve “Doom” Fassbinder
Doom is a professional adventure photographer who embarks on serious multi-sport adventures all over the world, including in his backyard, the desert Southwest. Doom is “passionate about creative, human powered, low impact travel” and has paddled and pedaled 1000 miles in Tajikistan and through sections the Karakoram Range of Pakistan, among other things.
Chris is an accomplished explorer, photographer, creative director, speaker, and author. Traveling throughout the year to pursue the farthest expanses of Earth, Chris works to capture stories that inspire humans to consider their relationship with nature, while promoting the preservation of wild places everywhere.