If it was you.. clothing questions

If you were moving from Florida to North Carolina and needed to start looking at clothing other than a ratty pair of shorts and t shirt, what would you invest in. (oh yeah,…I got a hat-not Tilley)

I don’t know squat about cold water/cool water wear. I read about neoprene, dry tops, dry suits, fleece undergarments, etc etc…gets pretty mindboggling.

But if I was going to go to the store/outfitter and start from scratch where would I start.

Assuming lakes, (Jordan and Falls) and then the coast line as much as year round as possible.

Interested in hearing opinions.


Having started with wetsuits…
If I were to do it again, I’d do whatever was needed to pull together the bucks for a drysuit for colder weather wear rather than end up with a hardly used wetsuit (or two).

Check out the thread near this one about how cold will this…

I posted my thoughts and JackL posted his. We are located at oppisite ends of the state with you in the middle.

happy paddling,


will do
I will check out the other threads. thanks. Can’t believe no one suggested a pair of tilley undershorts and socks though…


A helpful article
Hey there-

Below I will post a link to an article that gives you an idea of what clothing you need and how to dress.

If you read it please email me and let me know what you think about the article. If it was helpful or not.

Here it is. I hope it helps


not helpful
To be frank the article does not help at all with the selection of clothing. All it really does is reiterate what has already been discussed a million times.

I know that you have solicited people to look at your pages as you get paid for them. I wish you luck but please don’t ever expect me to click on anything in about paddle.com ever again.


My 2 cents worth, following some investigation and a lot of asking around.

I wanted to be able to change according to the air/water temp so I started with a faily light weight semi-dry jacket, (just got it). I think I will be able to use this without anything under when water and air is in the 60’s. I choose similar pants with gaskets at the ankles so Ill be able to launch and recover. Layers for under top and bottom including fleece top for when it gets in the lower fifties. I am also going to get a winter spray skirt made out of neoprene which is more water tight than my nylon one.

It does get cool here in the winter but it is rare to have a day that does not break into at least the fourties and usually the low fifties. You will be a bit cooler in the middle of the state but not a great deal. JackL will be much cooler in the hills to your west.

happy paddling,


For the area you are going to.
For the winter:

What works for my wife and me:

-Water proof mukluks

-smart wool socks

-Poly pro long sleeve T shirt (so the sleeves can be pushed up if it is warm)

-Poly pro long johns or light weight polar fleece long johns

-nylon shorts (bathing suit)

-heavy weight polar fleece outer top and bottoms

-dry pants or gortex long pants (Performance cycling gortex ones work great)

-A light weight waterproof rain jacket with hood (makes for a good wind breaker)

-A pair of waterproof cycling gloves for those real cold days.

  • It doesn’t hurt to have a wool stocking hat that can be pulled down over the ears.

    You mix and match as well as layer all of the above depending on the day.

    On New Years Day it can be 80 degrees or 20 degrees - It can be bright and sunny or dismal damp and overcast.

    There have been days in the winter when I will have just a pair of nylon shorts on and a long sleeve T.

    Make sure you take a dry bag with a warm set of clothes to change into just in case !!!

    We always have it with us and have never had to use it, but you never know!

    I can’t believe you want to leave God’s land and come north!



has lots of uses besides water sports… Great for sledding, cycling, hiking. You can find drytop/dry bib or drysuits for less than $200.

Cold weather clothing
If we don’t get some serious rain around here soon you will need my latest invention for kayaking our lakes.

This is a kayak with handles on either side of the cockpit and holes in the bottom for your legs. You hlod the kayak up by the handles and walk along the dry lake bottom pretending there is water under the boat. for clothing: all you need are sneakers and warm clothing.

The drought is getting very serious here. Each time I go out on Jordan lake I have to carry the boat further and further.

Hope You Are Getting Some
of what is comming down today. I am listening to it pour and wondering if I should have brought the yak to work to paddle home with this evening.

Happy Paddling,


Its North Carolina, not North Dakota.
From the lakes you mentioned, it sounds like the Raleigh area. I live in the Florence area of SC so we will have pretty similar weather. I paddle a SOT year-round and do not have massive cold weather survival gear.

A couple of fleece tops, some good Mysterioso base layer/rash guard, something to keep the wind and rain off and you are good to go. During December - February I will wear a wetsuit.

It is a fairly temperate climate. Actually, from mid-September to mid-December is ideal. Also, from early April to the end of June.

When you get situated, holler. There is a lot of very good paddling here. Both states have a bunch of fantastic rivers. I do mostly 3 day river trips, myself.

I would wait until you get to NC, then you can figure out what you need and buy it as you feel the need. Different people like different amounts of clothing (warmth). Also, what you need will be available in the stores in NC. It is not necessarily available in the stores in FL.

clothes for me…

– Last Updated: Oct-07-05 10:19 PM EST –

I just went to a few outfitters stores and browsed online at NRS trying to find gear for cooler temps. I am in central KY where it has been 60* and wet the last few days. I was thinking paddle jacket and pants with neoprene over the ankle shoes and neoprene paddle gloves at the most right now. I am leaning towards jackets and pants with neoprene neck, wrists and ankles. I am still waiting on my snap dragon spray skirt, so no rough water for me anyhow.

I am going out tomorrow with 60* degre temps and some light rain in a water proof hooded jacket, water proof motorcycle pants and neoprene shoes and gloves. I am not sure what I'll be wearing under my "water proof" layer yet. Definitely not something that will soak up any water I may get into unexpectedly.

Good luck.