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Video Trip Report: Rafting The Grand Canyon, How to Stay Warm and Dry on an Extended Trip - Next Adventure

Video Trip Report: Rafting The Grand Canyon, How to Stay Warm and Dry on an Extended Trip

Hunter from the Next Adventure Paddle Sports Center set out on an epic adventure through the Grand Canyon by raft. He shows you how to keep warm and dry during an extended cold water trip.
- Hey, my name is Hunter. I'm here at Next Adventure. I just got back from an incredible trip down the Grand Canyon, floating down the Colorado River with a bunch of rafts. I'd like to go over some of the cool things that you need to know when you're going on a big expedition and a multi-day river trip. My trip was relatively unique. We were rafting in the winter and it was going to be cold but we also were going to have some warm weather. We needed to be prepared for very cold conditions and not being able to stay dry for multiple days. We started in February and I wasn't sure exactly what the weather was going to be like, except for that it could range somewhere between 20 degrees and 80 degrees. It might snow, it might not, but we needed to be ready for the cold. Everybody had to have a dry suit. We needed to rent a couple of them, but for the most part, everybody just bought a dry suit for this trip. This is the dry suit that I use. It's the Immersion Research Devil's club. it's all Cordura fabric, so it's the most durable dry suit that we carry. It doesn't breathe as well as others, but it is really warm and very durable. I'm hard on my gear and this passes that test. Underneath of your dry suit you're going to layer up the same way you would do on a ski trip. You'll want to wear poly or fleece layers as bottoms and wear ski socks. Maybe even double up on the socks if it's really cold. One or two pairs of ski socks Inside the dry suit - then on the outside you can wear a neoprene sock to help with further insulation. Then a river shoe to go over that. You do need at least two socks to go with the dry suit combo. Have one on the inside, then you've got your dry suit bootie and then a sock on the outside to keep the dry suit from chafing on your river shoe. It all helps with insulation as well. When you're not wearing a dry suit, your feet are either going to get wet or they're going to be cold. One option you can do with that is to wear a waterproof sock. It's essentially a neoprene and wool based sock with a membrane through it. Similar to a standard rain jacket or ski jacket, so it does breathe. It is entirely waterproof, and you can wear it with a pair of sandals and walk through a creek or walk through the river and your feet will stay dry and they will be warm. That was kind of a big piece for me, trying to keep my feet warm. Day two we had a nasty blizzard and it was extremely cold for three or four days. My feet were dry, but I did not have enough socks on and I got nerve damage on my big toes. They’re still a little bit numb a month and a half later. The feeling may come back, but it was really cold and it's hard to keep your feet insulated. Especially when temperatures get down there and everything's wet and then you're cold. For your upper body, you want to be able to layer up, so start thin - have a really thin thermal t-shirt or thermal long-sleeve layer. Then maybe a mid-weight layer and then a fleece layer. If it's really cold you can have your have your down jacket or down sweater on as well. You wear all these layers inside of the dry suit and you'll be dry inside. When you get to shore, and you peel your dry suit off, you're already set up to be running around camp. You've got all your dry clothes on and your well insulated and ready for the cold weather. When it's not cold you're able to do a different combo, you can wear neoprene pants or a wetsuit and a dry top. Or just layer up with fleece and a board short combo and then a fleece or wool top with a couple base layers underneath of it. That stuff is designed to get wet and still be warm keeping you happy and not freezing on the river. This was a very significant expedition, but if you're doing a three-day trip, five-day trip, ten-day trip, come on in we've got suggestions for you. We've got great gear for your trip.
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