Minimum useable temperature for pvc raft? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 12-14-2017   #1
 
salem, Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2017
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Minimum useable temperature for pvc raft?

I want to take a trip down the john day in my rmr sometime in January or Feb. It looks to me it could get down into the 20s, and much colder but I wouldn't go if that was the case... I am wondering if the pvc might be more prone to damage, such as becoming brittle, when it gets that cold? Anyone take a pvc raft out in 10s or 20s deg F?

Thanks all!

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Old 12-14-2017   #2
 
NE, Oregon
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No direct experience with a RMR, lots with Maravia, Hyside, and Aire. All performed very well.
At really low temps lots of other nuisances appear, frozen ropes and straps/buckles, zippers and boxes freezing shut, to name a few.
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Old 12-14-2017   #3
 
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lafayette or Grand Lake, CO., Colorado
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Real hard to roll up. I would travel rigged and inflated on a trailer if possible.
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Old 12-14-2017   #4
 
Walterville, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoneWolf69 View Post
I want to take a trip down the john day in my rmr sometime in January or Feb.
I think a bigger problem might be ice. I believe the John Day is sometimes frozen bank to bank.
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Old 12-15-2017   #5
 
salem, Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2017
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Thanks everyone. This is good info. I always have my raft on its trailer in my shop and covered so I dont have to fiddle with rolling it.

The john day being iced over hadn't really crossed my mind... That could be a problem... Or maybe I could just get out and push...

Realistically if its 20 deg out I would probably be feeling pretty unmanly about an hour in. I might stick to trying to find at least temps in the 30s. I just imagined rowing/hiking in the snow up in that high desert and it seemed real cool. We will see how it pans out. I will give a trip report if I do it.
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Old 12-15-2017   #6
 
Creswell, Oregon
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My biggest problem paddling in the upper teens and twenties was my helmet froze to my head. Had to warm up in the truck afterwards before I could remove it. Being dressed for the weather, I was still comfortable.
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Old 12-15-2017   #7
 
NE, Oregon
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"The john day being iced over hadn't really crossed my mind."
This comment throws up a bunch of red flags for me. I suspect you may need to do some more research.
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Old 12-15-2017   #8
 
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lafayette or Grand Lake, CO., Colorado
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Salt? mid Feb? Closer to you!
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Old 12-15-2017   #9
 
salem, Arizona
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie 1.5 View Post
"The john day being iced over hadn't really crossed my mind."
This comment throws up a bunch of red flags for me. I suspect you may need to do some more research.
Do flowing rivers freeze over when it dips below freezing at night? I suppose if it never came out of the 20s for several days it might freeze solid, but it seems unlikely. *edit* or at least I could see it coming in the weather forecast *edit*

As far as more research. Thats what this thread is about. In everyones opinion, how cold does it really have to be for a slow flowing river to freeze up to the point that rafting isnt possible? Anyone have experience with the john day in winter?
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Old 12-15-2017   #10
 
NE, Oregon
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"Do flowing rivers freeze over when it dips below freezing at night? " Absolutely. More precisely when the temps stay in the low 20s for a few days. In my opinion the river doesn't have to be iced over to be un-floatable. Shore ice that doesnt allow you off the river is always a concern of mine when floating in these temps.
Other concerns for the JD, base flows are rather low, what are typical flows in Jan and Feb? Do you have experience on the JD at these flows?
Do you have any experience camping in these conditions?
I really enjoy my winter floats, but your margin for error is rather small and contingencies should be well thought out and planned for.
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