I floated the Dean with my Watermaster Kodiak. I figure that it's best to keep the load to half the manufacturer's weight estimate, or less. The upside? Three men each with personal watercraft made the helicopter load limit. The downside? No cooler full of beer, but I got by with a bottle of Scotch and a 4-liter box of wine. I did take a 15-qt cooler with fresh frozen dinners and breakfasts for the first 4 days. Then freeze dried for the remainder of the trip.
How much gear = safe? Some people can carry all they need in a backpack for 8 days in the wilderness. Some people couldn't do it with a 5th wheel travel trailer. YMMV.