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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 1:36 pm 
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Location: Boynton Beach
Living in South Florida, the cold may not seem like a concern but I plan to do some wilderness expeditions in the winter, so it could be. I know there have been some recommendations here for dry suits but, for practical reasons, I have chosen to go another way. A full dry suit would be too difficulty to get in and out of and, during parts of the day, it would be too hot and uncomfortable - not to mention the cost. so I ordered this: http://www.rei.com/product/807728 I should be able to use this with a dry top (which I already have) for full immersion protection or use it with a light splash jacket in milder conditions. Even with a splash jacket, the combination should keep the base layer dry and still allow for opening up the neck area for some ventilation. I could even ditch the splash jacket and go with a shirt and probably stay pretty dry.

Next task will be sun protection. Any recommendations for comfortable cover in the heat? I have light weight synthetic pants and shirts plus a wide brimmed hat that I have been using in the sailboat. What ever I use in the AI, during hot weather, will need to be quick drying and provide good cover. I've already got a couple of scars from removal of skin cancer, and expect to eventually look like I went through a wind shield face first, but I ain't staying off the water.

Ted


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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 2:40 pm 
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I recommend that you look over the NRS website. they have a wide range of dry, semi dry, splash, and wet wear of all shapes and sizes. their website also carries Kokatat dry wear and they offer a similar one piece bib style dry pants with a little bit better torso protection. your other option could be to combine normal dry pants with a long / short sleeve / vest HydroSkin top. they're made from 1/2mm neoprene with a really comfortable inner lining and they work great for those days where the temperature may be a bit too low for shorts and a t-shirt, but still too warm for dry wear. you can also wear HydroSkin as a thermal base layer under a dry suit. you may also find that having integrated socks like on the pants you just ordered can get a little bit sweaty and uncomfortable on the warmer days, but i know many of them are designed that they can be cut off or replaced with removable socks without compromising the suits ability to keep out water.

as for hot weather, NRS also offers a product called HydroSilk. it's a stretchy thin nylon material that doesn't really provide any insulation and is breathable enough to allow your own sweat to pass through and keep you cool, while also being a solid UV protection.

http://www.nrsweb.com/


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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 3:04 pm 
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I went with the integrated socks because of Keith's report of his feet getting cold and because you can get out and wade without getting wet. Standard wrist and ankle wraps never keep out all of the water, nor do the waist wraps on most paddle pants. The neoprene body wrap on these pants plus an inner and out wrap of a good paddle top should do a good job of keeping splash out. I may have to give the hydrosilk a try as I've been needing a a long sleeve rash guard for some occasional surf kayaking anyway. Good suggestions.

Thanks, Ted


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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 4:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:14 pm
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Location: South Florida
Ted,

Those pants look pretty good. I've been thinking of getting something for next year. Last year I used some foul weather gear. The pants had suspenders. Suspendered pants w/o a relief zipper are a pain in the neck when you need to pee a mile or 2 off shore.

I have a good Kokatat hooded jacket w/ latex wrist seals and a neoprene neck closure.

For warm weather, all weather really, I use a pair of "sun" pants--they are very long-legged, light-weight pant which keep the sun off your legs, including your ankles. I also use socks which reach up on my calf. If you don't worry about it, your ankles are going to be bare and take a lot of sun.

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 4:22 pm 
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Keith, I know that latex is the best for sealing out water, but I can't tolerate the stuff. I feel like my head is going to explode and it's a bear to get them off and on. I have a semi-dry top that has a little more comfortable material, but I think I would prefer to combine these pants with a breathable splash jacket. The main goal is to be comfortable, dry and warm while in the boat. Falling out of the boat would be a very unlikely event, and more critical for those north of us who could actually die if exposed to the sea for a short period of time. I think you and I could make it to shore and survive, as long as the rum drifted on shore with us:) Actually prefer almost any other adult beverage but, you know, rum is a sailing thing.

Ted


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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 5:59 am 
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Location: South Florida
Ted,

The hooded Kokatat paddle jacket I'm referring to has latex wrist closures, but a flexible neoprene neck closure. I can't stand latex neck closures either. I learned to love latex wrist closures when I paddled in 37 deg F water in Alaska. As you paddled, if you did not have a latex closure, water would trickle down your arm, pool below your elbow, and then, sooner or later you would raise your arm above your shoulder. That icy pooled water would then flow down to your shoulder and down your back. Aaggghhh!

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 11:04 am 
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I'm used to that, Keith. I did a lot of white water in the not too distant past and in the Fall and Spring we might end up paddling in the 40's. Any time you rolled the boat you would get some water down the back and always in the sleeves. I made sure I had some good stuff on under the jacket to stay warm anyway. I do have semi-dry top that has some sort of neck and arm gasket (short sleeve), but I prefer being able to open the neck up for some ventilation. With those pants I referenced, and a splash jacket that can be opened up, I think you will stay dry, unless you get separated from the boat. We are in Florida and, if you have some fleece on and aren't out in the middle of the ocean, I think you should be in good shape.

Ted


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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 12:47 pm 
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I use a product called Trislide that you guys may want to look into. It's an aerosol silicone lubricant designed to be sprayed directly on the skin. Its main function is to aid in getting in and out of neoprene and latex. when i use my dry top, i spray around my neck and wrists where the latex gaskets will be resting, as well as on the gaskets them selves to help with getting them on. i find that it allows much more comfort and freedom of movement because it gets rid of that tacky friction against the skin and being that is hydrophobic, i find that it actually improves the watertight seal. the product says that it works great to prevent hot spots and blisters if you spray some into your water shoes or neoprene gloves. it also doesn't stain cloths and washes off clean with soapy water.

Not only that, I've actually found a bunch of other uses for it where you may need a non petroleum based spray on lubricant. it works great for almost any situation where you want to lubricate or improve the sealability of rubber gaskets, like on waterproof electronics. i put it on the gaskets for my waterproof GPS, my UHF radio, my flashlights, and even spray a bead around the gaskets on the kayak hatches to keep them from getting stiff.

I'm a big guy with a big neck and i find that this stuff really does a great job of relieving that discomfort from latex neck gaskets. also, if you feel that it's just too tight and uncomfortable, cut some of it off and you may find that to help a lot.


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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 1:04 pm 
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Sounds like some very useful stuff - thanks. Funny thing, I just took an older dry top and completely cut out the latex in order to use it as a splash jacket. I never use that one anyway and thought I would give it a try before springing for a newer splash jacket. The newer ones are made out of breathable material, though I wonder how much difference that really makes. I can also use the trislide on the welded zippers of my sea kayak spray skirt and my new paddle pants. Those things a a bear to get open. I currently use silicon lubricant.

Ted


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