Sock question

I am with you
I think sock makers genetically engineer one sock in every pair with an innate urge to want to return to the sock factory…sort of like spawning salmon. Then the factory can pair them up and re-sell them to us when we lose a sock to this sock-migration.

Holy Carp!
That means the sock makers are in cahoots with the dryer manufacturers. As the socks are always getting eaten by the dryer. The dryers MUST be the pipeline for returning the socks back to the sock makers!

I admit
I had never put the dryer part together. But that has to be it!

Genius. And the maytag repairman looks so innocent.

Lost in the wash
Years ago I heard a hilarious commentary by Tom Bodet about socks getting lost in the wash.

“Honey, one of my socks is missing.”

“It got lost in the wash.”

“Oh, I see.”

Then he went off on a little rant about how little sense it makes for a sock to simply get lost in the wash, and how silly it sounds to be so accepting of it as to just say “I see.” Naturally I can’t remember it very well, but it was clever. Maybe there’s a recording of it online somewhere.

Not a black-and-white issue
BNystrom gives very conservative advice about immersion gear, which is probably a good approach considering that some people who don’t have much experience probably won’t make the distinction between conditions where a dunk is uncomfortable and when it’s life-threatening. But in “the shoulder seasons” (the weather is more like fall/spring than winter), on small rivers (the shore is always “right there”) with mild current, it’s not that big a deal to fall out of your boat if you have a change of clothes in a dry bag. If you are wearing wool or good synthetics, you may not even feel like the need to change clothes is all that urgent once you climb out of the water. I’ve had soaked clothing keep me plenty warm for an extended time, but of course, that’s not what you should be counting on - it’s just an illustration of how the right clothing goes a long way toward making the experience tolerable.

I appreciate Brian’s advice…
And I thank him very much for it. It’s good to know the “best practices” for gear and paddling adventures. And it’s also good to have someone there who will remind you of that.

Trust me, I wish I had or could buy a proper drysuit. I really do! There is a compulsive aspect to my OHD (Obsessive Hobby Disorder) whereby if there is a better or a proper way for things to be done in a respective hobby, then I feel compelled to do it that way; sometimes to my financial detriment.

Unfortunately, I have already spent a good sum of money in a very short amount of time on my new paddling hobby (mostly smaller gear here and there), and this spending has been noticed by my wife. We have recently gone through our family finances and have agreed upon a rather restrictive budget for the next year or so. We are trying to save up for a grand vacation in 2016. I made a promise to knock it off with my compulsive hobby spending. So, dropping several hundred dollars on a drysuit is off the table for the foreseeable future.

I swear by that stuff!
It works as good as it’s name, doesn’t it?

OHD. I have that.

Wait till you lose half of a 2nd pair
Then pair the not-missing halves.

I do it with two pairs of socks that are identical…except for color. One blue, one black. They are the same brand and model of sock.

Mostly I use them for puttering inside the house, or for yard work. But I’ve also worn them elsewhere. People here are used to seeing odd styles of dress. I haven’t worn the mismatched pair while wearing shorts–might try it next summer just to see if there are any doubletakes.

Make sure…
You wear them with the aforementioned socks and sandals. It is a spectacularly stylish look!

It wouldn’t be PC to acknowledge
noticing or commenting on your mismatched socks, even if they noticed.

Staunch wearer of socks and sandals
It’s more comfortable. I’d rather see socks than bare toes, anyway. Bare feet, fine. Bare toes peeking out from sandals = jarring, to me.

Is there a minimum “good enough”?
Okay, given the fact that I cannot spring for a full, proper drysuit now, what are some alternatives that can either be used or altered to provide a bare minimum protection if the unfortunate swim does happen? Dry/Semi-dry tops and pants that cost $300+ each are right out for me, too.

What about these waterproof/breathable “splash” pants and jackets that several manufacturers offer? Items like the NRS Endurance jacket/pants, Stohlquist Splashdown jacket and Treads pants, Kokatat Super Breeze jacket and deluxe kayaking pants. All these products are waterproof and breathable. While none of them will keep water out in the event of immersion, they all have neoprene or similar cinches at the wrists, ankles, neck, and waist that would hopefully help slow water infiltration.

Would wearing any combination of these articles suffice to help keep me warm/dry enough until I can wade back to shore and change into dry clothes? Can the wrist/ankle/neck/waist closures be cinched tight enough to keep the majority (if not most) water out for a short amount of time? Are there any aftermarket products available that would help seal up these weak points? I don’t know if there are such things as neoprene or latex “wraps” you can wrap around the ankles and wrists to help form a better seal or something like that.

Obviously, I will have all my insulating layers on under the “splash” jacket/pants, which are the same insulating layers I’d be wearing even if I had a proper drysuit. I’m just trying to see if there are other options I can employ until such a time as I can acquire a proper drysuit.

Our perception of heat loss depends on
the heat gradient at the skin surface. A warm layer of water under a wet suit fools us into thinking we aren’t losing heat by disrupting the heat gradient that normally informs us of cold. It’s an illusion. Heat loss can be considerable, even though that water feels warm.

I can imagine him doing that bit
humor is about all paired socks are good for!

While looking for shoe options…
During my lunch break, I ran to the local Goodwill to see if I could pick up a cheap, larger pair of water shoes or Velcro-strap sandals that would accommodate my multi-layered feet. I found a couple footwear options that should work and will try them out during my paddle tomorrow morning.

While there, I was also checking the outerwear section looking for some coat/snowpants type stuff to help keep warm in the winter during land-based activities. They had a large-size O’Neill farmer john wetsuit. I couldn’t resist purchasing it to see if I could put it to use somehow.

Any advice on how I could use this? Maybe it won’t be effective for truly cold-weather paddling, but when else would it be good to use? Sorry. I’m truly unknowledgeable about such things (as I’ve previously demonstrated).

If it fits properly…
…meaning snug everywhere, it will provide some degree of immersion protection if you layer it under your other gear. If nothing else, it’s a step in the right direction. If you can find a dry or semi-dry top to go with it, so much the better.

Tried it on last night…
And it is pretty darn snug! I’ve never worn one of these before. So, I hope I was putting it on right. The only place wear it was a little lose was in the seat. Is that a spot where these normally have a little space? Or do I just need to try and pull the bottom up higher?

After swearing, promising, and figuratively sticking a needle in my eye that I would start selling off goods and gear from past hobbies, I was given the green light to pick up an inexpensive, used semi-drytop. I got an Immersion Research Session 2.5 jacket on eBay. So, hopefully that combined with the wetsuit and all my other insulating layers and gear will provide me with a modicum of cold-weather protection.

I paddled for a couple of years
with a Farmer John wetsuit and splash top. I was pretty careful not to test it anymore than I had to, and it kept me pretty warm - except for my feet. No matter what I did I couldn’t keep my feet warm. Last time I tried it was December 2011 when I busted the zipper on my drysuit. Nipmuchaunts captured that trip - I’m in the bow:

I usually found that fleece over the wetsuit and under the splash top was enough for all but the coldest days. Neoprene socks and gloves are a must. A good hat helps as well. In the unlikely event that you swim you need to be able to get out of the water quickly, and have a dry bag with extra cloths.

to top it all off
When you misplace a zip-off pantleg of your convertible shorts, you can simply use the leg from another color pair of convertible shorts as a replacement.

Or so I’ve heard.