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Tech Tip: Question Cold Wate Protection Combinations

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by Tayres, Jun 19, 2014.

  1. Tayres

    Tayres

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    Curious what out of the box solutions folks have used for cold water canyons. We are hitting Kolob in a week and I was planning to wear my 4/3 Full wetsuit with a 3/2 farmer john over the top of it (did this combo in Imlay one year and it worked really well). I will also be wearing a neoprene cap, neo socks and neo gloves.

    I've taken a dry top as a back up in case I got cold to put over a wetsuit but haven't ever really needed to pull it out. Not sure how well it will work once my wetsuit is wet.

    So...what combinations have worked well for you or not so well.
  2. Blake Merrell

    Blake Merrell Lovin' Utah's Backcountry

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    I wore a shorty through Kolob last weekend and survived! ;)
    Mountaineer likes this.
  3. MrAdam

    MrAdam

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    I usually bring a wind breaker along with me in wet canyons. Its amazing how much warmth they can add.
    Taylor likes this.
  4. skunkteeth

    skunkteeth

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    As above, wind protection is a big deal when wearing a wet suit while not in the water. I have learned the hard way being wet on a dive boat in gusting 50°F air. A little wind will suck the heat right out of you.
    Mike Rogers likes this.
  5. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Also makes the pictures better. All black wetsuits do not make for great pictures. Put a red windbreaker over that - much better!

    Tom
  6. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    I have found quality polyester underlayers add considerably to warmth and comfort. Especially when things are not all that wet (ie, in places other than Kolob). Generally can wear a regular hat / balaclava / neck gaiter since we rarely get the head wet (though, again, kolob can be an exception to that).

    Tom
  7. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Is that an X slot?

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    Agree - great thread. I always carry a windbreaker. Light, compact, and tremendous value. I also carry a few of those heat tablets, and lighter.

    When we did Kolob (last Fall?), we took our 5mm suits, 3mm gloves, 5mm neoprene socks, canyoneer shoes, and 3mm scuba hoodies. We got a little chilled, but overall we were very comfortable. If Blake can do it with a shorty and survive, ... maybe? Certainly would help with the hike out on less weight.

    Keep in mind, though, if anything goes wrong (i.e. need more anchor time, rope gets stuck, etc) and you need more time in the water; having that extra protection will make a difference.
    Blake Merrell likes this.
  8. Blake Merrell

    Blake Merrell Lovin' Utah's Backcountry

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    I definitely loved the pack weight on the way up the MIA :wavespin: I wont lie though, I did get pretty cold. but not as cold as the girl in the group with a 7mm suit on. weird how that happens.

    Last weekend was a warm day and we got a late start. So I was blessed to have a very sunny Kolob Canyon. It worked to my advantage and i was able to tolerate a 2mm shorty suit. I was chilled, but not beyond control. Most cold water canyons I use my 4/3 full suit, with military issue polypro thermals with 5mm neo gloves and booties. I have always been pretty comfortable with that setup.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2014
  9. gajslk

    gajslk

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    Is it a smooth skinned wetsuit or does it have a cloth outer surface? I like the smooth skin because it's much warmer when you're out of the water. But it's not as durable. I have to get out the glue after every trip. The better the fit, the warmer the suit. I think you're better off in a 4/3 that allows very little water flow through than you are in a 7mm suit that allows water to flush right through. If you're using cloth outer suits, that may not hold up, since you have less insulation between the freezing cloth outer and your toasty interior. Cloth outer? Bring a windbreaker, for sure.

    Gordon
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