Advice from Horace Holden, Haley & Bryson, James

If you ask our young team what is the greatest deterrent to having a great time on the river, getting cold is probably it. Going out in the field and tracking down some of our team (not all that easy this time of year!) we gathered up some awesome advice on keeping small people warm on the river,


�The Holden Team:

In regards to keeping kids warm… One trick that I like to use is a larger short sleeve paddle jacket over the pfd. This allows the foam of the pfd to act as an insulator and can be very effective because the foam doesn’t receive the cooling effects of the wind and water.  Sorry the kids aren’t more responsive. If you see them on the river I bet you can work something out of them.

Issac also discovered that heading south of the equator to Chile during the cold months of winter is a good cure for the cold!

Haley and Bryson Popp

“Bryson and I both get cold in the early spring season of paddling, so this is perfect! Bryson says don’t do even try to paddle if it’s that cold, (he’s just joking) but he hasn’t had a whole lot of experience with colder waters, especially in the spring. He just suggests(with lots of uh HINTS from me) to wear lots of layers, but light layers (not too bulky) so you can strip stuff off if you get too hot or put more on if you get cold. He also suggests that you wear more lower-body layers than normally because the water that gets in your boat(or the river water when you bail) can be VERY cold.

I also want to add that it’s no use to wear layers if you don’t know how to layer them. You put the tightest stuff on first, and work your way up. In our family we all have a short sleeve or long sleeve hydroskin to pick from, then after that we girls wear something not so tight but it’s soft and warm and not heavy unless its soaked; it’s called a “wavelite” shirt. The guys have something like that, but I don’t know what theirs is called. We girls like ours because they’re pretty (ours are bright blue…yay!) and soft and easy to take on/off. Then we usually slip on our paddle jacket, which usually has two layers on it. We keep a long and a short-sleeved paddle jacket in our bag just in case the weather changes or whatever, but usually we wear long sleeved jackets. Also, make sure your toes are warm, and if you have to wear some sort of layer underneath your booties/other paddling shoes, then so be it! I had a problem with the double layers on my toes, but trust me, its worth it when you bail.�

[Haley and Bryson found out that ERA’s Costa Rica trip is a great way to escape the cold and extend the paddling season this past fall.]

James :

I wear a dry top and some farmer john wet suit. My XS dry top has a semi-dry gasket and really tight wrists.I don’t really like tight stuff around my neck or wrists, but my dad says it’s better to have it tight. I wear full-on neoprene socks, but I don’t like them because they are so hard to put on. I think I would rather have some hydroskin socks that I could wear with booties or sandals. That way I stay really warm. Pogies help me keep warm, but about now my attention is wandering because my dad Shane and I are ready to go play on the Nantahala today.

There are all sorts of tricks for staying warm. The key is to make sure and not underestimate the weather and end up on the river unprepared.� Want to win big points? Remember to have a thermos of hot chocolate in the car for the end of the run!