cold holds warm heart - Mountain Buzz

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Old 08-22-2019   #1
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 2
cold holds warm heart

Hi all, I'm new to mountain buzz, excited to be here.
I'll be on a 16 day trip paddling the grand canyon this winter and I am looking for the best gloves and socks/shoe option for a person who gets super cold hands and feet (heard of reynauds???!!!) Might as well include head ware as well...any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Katie

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Old 08-22-2019   #2
Nosebleed, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 170
Kokatat dry suit with integrated goretex feet and oversized o-ring watertight gloves—see Kokatat website. Oversized water shoe that will fit over the dry suit socks with thick wool socks next to your skin. Head gear—I’d bring a few smart wool beanies so you always have a dry one.
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Old 08-22-2019   #3
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Kalispell, Montana
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 2,690
Hey Katie,
My wifey has reynaud's. It's tough, I have to be more conscious of cold/wet weather for her than I would for myself.
  • Keep your core warm. The Kokatat drysuit is going to be great for that--not just to have a seal to keep your hands/feet dry. Consider a battery-powered vest for some more core warmth
  • Along with keeping your core warm, make sure you eat right. Simple sugars don't fuel your metabolism. Eat a great breakfast, and don't spare the protein/fats.
  • x-1,000,000 on the Kokatat suit with integrated booties. Goretex socks restrict your circulation far less than ankle gaskets, and allow you to wear looser shoes/boots. Definitely wear some wool socks. Merino is awesome (but you maybe already knew that)
  • Maybe keep a thermos of warm tea in the boat; if you get chilled, you can get it right into your body..or hold that cup of hot tea to warm your hands.
  • Neoprene isn't awesome for gloves for you. It restricts circulation and the nylon face evaporates and cools your hands as well. I like @funrivers' suggestion of o-ring waterproof gloves. Another option would be fleece glove liners with PVC (commercial dishwashing/chemical) gloves over them.

Have an amazing trip
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Old 08-22-2019   #4
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1970
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 97
I use a knit hard-hat liner from the nearest industrial safety supply. Cheap, effective, covers my cold ears.
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Old 08-22-2019   #5
Fraser, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 365
To add to what has already been suggested, Dry Suite!
Get some type of relief zipper with it as well, either a drop seat, or a front zip for one of the whiz freedom type devises. Having to pee makes you WAY colder!
I’ve been three times in the winter, and I do really like my NRS mittens, as part of the arsenal of gloves. P
I like my Astrals a lot, not super insulated though. I’ve always been fine if I have enough underneath my dry suite.... plenty of warm, dry socks, plenty!

A giant Chewbacca outfit is my back up layer, for under my dry suite( cheap from Target, all sorts of other characters, to!) got a union suite from Immersion Research for most days, it’s awesome.
Insulated Carharts, heavy hooded work coat, and a pair of muck boots are awesome for camp. The muck boots make the trip, for real, get a pair of rubber boots!!
I don’t like ones with insulation, just warm socks inside them, because I will step into a deep spot, and fill them with water, usually at Leese Ferry ( I’ve dried them out on the blaster before, VERY carefully).

Hand wash: I like to drain it every night, pack the bosses inside the bottom bucket. In the morning I heat a pot of river water, dump it in the bucket, and ad cold water to temp, it is amazing how nice warm water for washing your hands in the morning is, and it prevents ice in the bucket during the first week ( so far Dec and Jan trips have been 20 degrees when I woke up at Leese Ferry, but it tends to warm up through out the trip).

Last thing that makes the trip, if you can pull it off, is a hot tent. I’ve got one from Seek Outside, they are awesome. When the weather gets really shitty, put up a tipi, set up the wood stove, and light a fire, total game changer. Improves moral, drys your close, gets ya warm and toasty and happy!!

Oh, and the Sundial. It is a calendar of of how much sun each camp gets, for each month of the year, it’s invaluable for planning camp sites, especially layover days. Getting some sun is awesome down there, Tanner and Bass have the most, but here are close seconds. You can find the “Sun Dial” on the Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association, website, if you look around a bit.

More than gloves and shoes, but hope that helps.

Have a wonderful trip down there!
There will be some cold days for sure, but it is still the Grand!
The river probably thought, “ he is such an insignificant, pitiful, little creature, with such a short time to live, I will let him go this time, and try to teach him something” - Buzz Holmstrum
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Old 08-22-2019   #6
Fraser, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 365
If you do take a hot tent, you need to comply with the Park Service fire regs.
So far all we have needed to do, was call the Park service ahead of time with the brand, and make sure they were ok with it, then you need to have a fire blanket underneath the wood stove.
I’ll probably shut up now.
The river probably thought, “ he is such an insignificant, pitiful, little creature, with such a short time to live, I will let him go this time, and try to teach him something” - Buzz Holmstrum
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Old 08-23-2019   #7
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 2
All great info everyone, thanks! While I'm going with a bunch of folks who have done this trip before, in the winter, it will be my first time, so I'm def open to best practices! esp if it helps keep me on the warmer side of things...Cheers, Katie
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Old 10-11-2019   #8
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 10
I did not read through all of the threads so someone might have mentioned this already. Chota Mukluks ( might not be made anymore) or NRS Boundary Water Shoes that are knee high are great with warm socks. I get cold very easily. They are both waterproof!
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Old 10-13-2019   #9
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 75
I just got off a snowy middle fork trip. I had a kokotat dry suit with dry socks attached and wore fleece socks under and neoprene ankle socks over under a pair of astrals. While fleece socks are annoying for hiking etc- for the raft they were awesome!

I also got a neoprene hat (from a kite boarding company) and a helmet with ear covers on it.

I had thin neoprene gloves and level six mittens. I ended up only using the mittens as the combo cut off circulation and made my hands too cold. I would get bigger mittens for easier on off if I did it again.

For in camp I had Boggs boots which were awesome. I also brought waterproof socks which a friend used when his boots got accidentally submerged loading the boat one day.

A last minute freak out caused me to buy Mont-Bell fake down booties- which were a total luxury item to sleep in! Totally worth the splurge.

Feel free to message me if you want more info. It was an awesome trip- but I’m really glad I put a lot of thought into having the gear to stay comfortable in challenging weather.
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