What to wear under dry suit? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-26-2017   #1
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 304
What to wear under dry suit?

Heading to Ft. Collins tomorrow for a swiftwater rescue course. Have a kokatat dry suit and having never used one, I'm wondering what to wear under it.
Do you wear socks inside the gore tex socks?
Weather should be in the 60-70's and some rain potential.
1/2 of Sunday and Monday is in the water I believe, water should be pretty cold.
Stretching gaskets now per the directions with two insulated mugs at the wrists and an old pot in the neck gasket.
Thanks for any tips or words of wisdom you can provide.
Hoping for a rip-roaring good time with lots learned.

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Old 05-26-2017   #2
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2016
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 11
I took the swift water rescue clinic two weeks ago on the Arkansas River in Buena Vista. My first time in a full dry suit - Kokatat gore-tex. I wore a fairly thin merino wool blend sock under the dry suit feet and an NRS H2Core Expedition weight shirt with the NRS H2Core Lightweight pants. The pants are actually a mid-weight base layer, so I'm not sure why NRS calls them "lightweight". I was very comfortable all weekend - not too hot when out of the river and just warm enough while doing the swimming and boat rescue exercises. What was also nice to have was a thin neoprene skull cap under my helmet; really kept the heat in. Have fun and make sure your zippers are tight!
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Old 05-27-2017   #3
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,344
I wore my Kokatat semi-dry (neoprene neck gasket) suit for 4 days of paddling in Stillwater Canyon on the Green River last month. I was my first time wearing it. Temps. were upper 50s-60s during the day and I was paddling a SOT touring kayak. Light weight Smart Wool socks, Astral shoes instead of my usual Keen sandals, Smartwool long underwear/or mid weight Polartec bottoms, and a light or mid weight polypro top. Very comfy. But I wasn't actually in the cold water that much. I'd say wear some warm gloves also.
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Old 05-27-2017   #4
DanOrion's Avatar
Indian Hills, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,497
The beauty of a kokotat drysuit is that it doesn't matter what you wear under it, you'll be dry! So wear whatever is comfortable. I typically wear the same base layers that I wear skiing - light wool socks, mid-weight long underwear bottoms, light weight long underwear top and mid-weight fleece sweatshirt. A union suit would be slightly more comfortable to prevent bunching at the waist - although that maybe I just need to lay off the stouts.
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