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Old 04-08-2012   #11
John the welder's Avatar
Delta, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1971
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 161
Yes a dry top, Gore tex waders,belt and pfd.will keep you dry and warm in most river swims. Next best thing to a drysuit and easier in and out of. I would be more concerned with rubber boots on my feet.

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Old 04-08-2012   #12
treehugger's Avatar
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
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Posts: 198
Yeah I wasn't planing on whereing my wading boots. I will just where my Keen sandals that I usually boat in to protect the neoprene stockings.

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Old 04-08-2012   #13
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 535
that video doesn't do a very good job addressing or proving the point. he should go beltless,no pfd, let them totally fill up with water and be in an easy stretch of river that he is comfortable swimming in. with a snug belt you have allot of air trapped down there so for the short term swim, it's going to help you more than hinder you anyway. the way he did it, it's fairly worthless.

that said water doesn't become heavier inside your waders while you are in the river. you aren't going to sink like brick. pickle-d kind of summed it up pretty well...not magic,just physics.

the potential danger is currents, not the water by itself in a kiddy pool,imho. for example, a situation where someone is stuck stationary in a strainer in a strong,rushing current. the waders could be ballooning up from the current entering but having no easy exit. creating a tremendous force to overcome if you needed to free yourself by moving upstream even just a little bit. now that could be very dangerous. or somehow, fighting the current in a panic or along those lines.
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Old 04-08-2012   #14
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New Castle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
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Originally Posted by treehugger View Post
Very cool. I am a flyfisher and a boater but I have been reluctant to wear my waders in the boat even though I have been swept off my feet wading and done some swimming down river in waders without a pfd. My legs did float and I did not get much water in them wearing a wading belt. I have a multi day trip coming up this spring and was trying to find a drysuit that I can afford right now but cant fit it into the budget. So I thought I might just try to suffer through the snowmelt in an IK wearing splash pants and a semi dri top. But now I think I am going to have to try out the wader, semi dritop, back support belt and chest belt combo! That should save me from some daily hypothermia! Thanks for posting this and the rest of everyones input.

I am going to go throw myself in an icecold lake to test it first.
Sounds great!

I don't own a parachute but you've reassured my me I'll be fine jumping out of a plane with my 180 thread count bedsheet!
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Old 04-08-2012   #15
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Riverdale, Utah
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 228
Treehugger, I wear old trailrunner sneakers, or trail hiker sneakers (better, more foot protection on the toe sides). I wear the same footwear with waders or a drysuit. The 5.10 Canyoneers didn't fit me that well (a bad ankle tendon around the ankle bone didn't like them). I would like some more river-specific low tops, but I haven't seen them around here. Need to get down to REI. I would like to try on the Keene Gorge boots. Sandals or neoprene booties don't give my feet the arch support and protection from rocks, but maybe thats just me. I am also in a creeker most of the time.

Guys, I have heard divers say that drysuits aren't that safe, because if they get a puncture, you lose all warmth, and the drysuit fills up with water worse than waders with a wading belt. He wears a 5mm wetsuit for cold water paddling.

I am curious if any of the anti-wader posters are also anti-drysuit? Since most paddlers, and 100% of pro kayakers that I am aware of, go with drysuits in the cold, I didn't include wetsuits in the options above, but they should probably be included in a full discussion.
Drysuit vs. Wetsuit for Kayaking | Go Kayak Now!
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Old 04-08-2012   #16
wasatchbill's Avatar
Riverdale, Utah
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 228
Treehugger, John, this thread is showing another downside of waders, which is that sooner or later, a paddling buddy will give you crap for paddling with them .
Oh, btw, a snug sprayskirt also acts as a wide "wading belt"; that is something kayak fishermen and IK'ers don't have the benefit of.
I have never, ever, heard a comment about waders while I have on a drytop and sprayskirt. But as soon as I take off the sprayskirt, drytop, and wading belt/backwrap, someone inevitably asks: "don't those fill up with water?"
Uh, if I fell in half dressed, then yeah, they would. But I usually don't forget my drytop and sprayskirt.
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Old 04-09-2012   #17
East of the Pine beatle, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,363
Lee Wulff sorted this out in the 60s by jumping off a covered bridge over the Battenkill river in VT. Waders didn't pull him to the bottom then, and they won't now. Loose fabric at the top of your waders is a risk in moving water- and strainers are always a danger- waders or not. Wear a wading belt, people. Water inside of any container weighs the same as water outside of the container- so it doesn't sink you just because it's inside your waders. Now... about that styrofoam stacked on the deck of my flats skiff.....
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Old 04-09-2012   #18
Conifer, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 61
I ended up swimming the big horn last October with my waders. Someone did not tie up the boat and a big wind gust of set it sailing. I had my life jacket and wading belt and chest waders. Cinched everything up and swam about 100yards. Little trickle down my back but other than that I stayed dry.

This experience really got me thinking about what I wear when I am on the river. I am ok on mild runns II maybe III if it is not big water. I think the big issue comes down to if you are wearing a life jacket without a dry top you are:

1. risking the fill up.
2. If you fill up you risk mobility.
3. Mobility becomes an issue with obstacles/current/rapids/ freezing water temps ect.

Think while you are around the river I never thought when I got out to wade that riffle that I would be swimming a few minutes later.
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Old 04-09-2012   #19
The Big Smoke, Washington
Join Date: Feb 2012
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Originally Posted by Osseous View Post
Lee Wulff sorted this out in the 60s by jumping off a covered bridge over the Battenkill river in VT.
It was in 1947 actually
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Old 04-09-2012   #20
East of the Pine beatle, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2012
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Well- I read about it in the 60s!~

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