Multiday trip: Drysuit ... and paddling jacket too?

This summer I am kayaking in Nunavik, northern QC for three weeks and wanted to kick around some clothing approaches. I’ll be in a number of situations, from Hudson Bay to inland lakes and ponds to large fast rivers.

The last time I was there, I felt underdressed without a drysuit, and this time I’m taking an IR Devil’s Club assuming I’ll need it most days. My daytime experience in August was: low 40s-high 50s, humid, windy, rain from squalls to longer storms, and the water itself was chilly.

On the water I do well with a good 5mm tuque and/or sunhat. I’ll have good raingear for wearing around camp, plus a fleece jacket.

The question is, should I take a paddling jacket as well? I’m wondering if it adds anything to the mix, or justifies bringing the extra item.

With that amount of variance and doing a 3 week paddle trip, I would carry a paddling jacket and also a pair of Reed pants or Hydroskin pants. It could be a pleasant combination if weather warrants and will cost a small amount of space for a lot of versatility as long as you can spare the room. If I had to choose just one outfit. I would go drysuit.

If any of the listed paddling locations are places you would not want a drysuit…then you need an alternative rather than go without any protection.

1 Like

Sounds like a good location for a storm cag also.

Envious of your trip. Enjoy it and take photos for a trip report please.

1 Like

IMO you need a backup outfit in case you have a gasket failure on such a trip. Similar to someone above, a dry top and pants intended to be somewhat useful with a dry top and goretex booties.

And yes a storm cag, the kind that goes around the coaming of the boat.

1 Like

Gasket failure was also one of the first things that came to my mind. A backup outfit or bringing gear needed to replace gasket in the field might be important to have.

Wrist gaskets are easy to replace, and I find the outside of a nalgene bottle works well as a form for - the wrist fits right over it. I have enough trouble with neck gaskets even at home, so wouldn’t want to do one in the field. The last expedition I did (2 weeks off of Kodiak, AK), I wore a paddling suit (neoprene neck). This also helped me with reducing the neck rash I get after a few days of latex neck gasket use.

Of course, if you are doing kayaking which would have you rolling or breaking through waves or the like, then a neo neck gasket may not meet your needs (my thick necks fills it pretty well, but Is till would use a latex gasket in situations where I would be likely to roll).

1 Like

Belated thanks to everyone for the advice!

I ended up not taking an extra paddling jacket. The drysuit served me well enough when it was cold and windy.

Trip writeup here if anyone is interested: Leaf River


I read through your trip report: exciting and very well written account! Will there be further posts and some photos at some point? Maybe a problem with my platform (I’m a Luddite clinging to Safari) but I couldn’t scroll past Day 19 on the drop down list of posts, so I’m in suspense about the rest of the trip.

1 Like

Great trip & report. I wouldn’t have wanted to do something like that solo &, mostly, I’d rather be in a tandem canoe with another along.

Had to chuckle about Willowleaf not getting passed Day 19. Our internet connection shutdown while I was reading day 20. Alas, not an unusual happing with our provider. It was about dinner time and so time to take a break anyway.

1 Like

Thanks for posting this, enjoyed it and special thanks for each day’s coordinates that I could just copy and paste into Google Earth. Camera loss must have been devastating, it would have sunk me into a deep depression.

@Willowleaf, if you zoom out does Safari let you see the rest of the drop down? Otherwise

1 Like

Really great trip report. If your kayaking skills are anywhere near as good as your writing and storytelling, then no wonder it was successful. Sorry about your pictures and videos. As they say… la prochaine fois.

1 Like