For detailed instructions on pumping up an NRS raft, cataraft, or IK, go to Use and Care Instructions. While these are specifically written for our boats and their chamber configurations, the general principles apply for any inflatable craft. Consult your owner’s manual for manufacturer’s suggested inflation procedures and pressures for other makes of boats. You can use some pumps in reverse to deflate a boat. It's recommended to store it partially inflated to relieve stress on the fabric.
Do not over inflate your boat. This potentially weakens the seams and does nothing for performance. The air in your tubes expands and contracts with air and water temperature. On a hot, sunny day when you’ve beached your boat at camp or for a side hike, you’ll be wise to let some air out of the tubes. Even the best quality boat can explosively decompress (that’s “blow up” in plain English) if left fully inflated under these conditions. Having a take-along hand pump for adjusting inflation is mandatory.
Using proper inflation procedures and monitoring fluctuations in pressure will greatly contribute to your boat’s longevity and performance.