Oct 17, 2012 at 6:19 pm #1295184
Just got back from a packrafting trip in the upper peninsula of Michigan. I was caught in an unexpected storm, and spent a couple of days hiking in snow, temp in the upper 20s.
Clothing was as follows:
Worn: synthetics pants, merino hoodie, R1 top, dry ducks suit
Hands: neoprene paddling gloves
Feet: liner socks, hydroskin neoprene socks, minimalist trail runners
In pack: Down hoodie, cocoon pants
Clothing was perfect for the conditions encountered, and hands and feet were fine when paddling. However, hiking in the snow with wet hands and feet was unpleasant to say the least. The neoprene gloves were worse than nothing when wet (cheap REI gloves "warmers" with leather palms- the leather was the problem). I'll also never forget the feeling of satisfaction I felt at 4 am when I woke in my quilt at 4 am and my toes were no longer burning/tingling from the cold. In the future, I will bring a designated set of "dry" gloves and probably invest in better neoprene gloves. Not sure yet what to do about feet. Maybe my usual winter oversized trail runners and sock system, and heavier neoprene booties for the wet parts.
What is your winter clothing system for packrafting?Oct 17, 2012 at 6:27 pm #1922348
Stephen MBPL Member
@stephen-mLocale: Way up North
I have never packrafted but have spent a lot time sailing and canoeing off Irleand's Atlantic coast and heavy gauge Neoprene is the only way to go for me.
StephenOct 18, 2012 at 6:26 am #1922451
David ChenaultBPL Member
@davecLocale: Crown of the Continent
Odd that your feet were cold while hiking and warm while boating. Usually for me it's the reverse. Heavier neoprene socks are worth a look.
Neo gloves are problematic because neoprene isn't windproof. Wearing surgical gloves under them can fix this. I usually wear fleece gloves inside Gore-tex mittens, with an extra pair of gloves for off the water.Oct 18, 2012 at 6:50 am #1922461
The hiking was mornings and evenings and the rafting sections midday. May have just been that ambient temperatures were significantly warmer when rafting. My feet were able to dry out a little more though when rafting, whereas when walking, they were constantly being bathed in new icy puddles.Oct 22, 2012 at 9:11 am #1923629
Restoring missing threadOct 22, 2012 at 10:48 am #1923660
@ryanLocale: Northern Rockies
When I'm packrafting, I usually opt for a shoe that drains well above all else (like the Salomon Tech Amphib). If I'm trekking any meaningful distances, then I just wear the shoe that I like to trek in.
As the temperatures drop, I move to a Gore-Tex shoe (I'm currently using the Inov-8 GTX 288), which helps trap warmth. It also traps water, so I get pretty serious about applying a skin protectant (Hydropel, Bodyglide, etc.).
In the packraft, I wear a pair of midweight wool socks under a 5mm neoprene sock (thick!). If temps are cold (less than, say, 25), then a VB sock between the wool sock and the neoprene sock does help.
On the trail, I walk in this squishy setup until my feet get sort of warm, then switch to a thick wool sock and a goretex sock in the goretex boot, and stow the neoprene socks and wet socks (I put these in a gallon ziplock and sleep with them at night so they don't freeze). This setup seems too hot for any temps higher than freezing, but seems OK below freezing.
For hands, I use a Goretex over mitt on top of a fleece glove on the water and trail, and I carry a spare set of fleece gloves or mittens.
Oh, and dedicated sleep socks (I use thick R3-style fleece) are a nice luxury.
Mornings are the worst, of course, especially if you are getting into the boat right away.
A fire every night helps take some of the edge off.
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