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.

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Sounds like a good location for a storm cag also.

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

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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.

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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).

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