spare clothes

I am packin gup my gear for the season. I started to think about the spare clothes I carry. I don’t wear jeans and a tee shirt in my boat, but I seem to usually throw a set of clothes like that in my bag.

So what clothes do you have packed as spares? I mean I have a pair of nylon pants I pack some times, but if I were all wet, trying to get warm, they wouldn’t help much. I usually have a tee shirt and a flannel shirt. layers, but still cotton.

It is not that I am paddling the artic here, but I want to start a little earlier in the season this year. Prepare prepare prepare.


In all except the warmest weather, my dry bag contains a pair of fleece pants and a fleece top or expedition weight synthetic top. As you said, if you dump and get wet, you’re going to want to warm up as well as dry off.

Except in Summer…

– Last Updated: Mar-14-07 11:43 PM EST –

...and sometimes even then if the weather is cool, I carry a complete set of polypro longjohns, wool pants, a wool shirt, and wool socks. Obviously many trips call for more extra clothing than that, but this is the minimum that I carry every time out unless it's a short trip in hot weather. I still haven't ever needed this stuff, but it really isn't hard to bring along.

too much gear
I carry way to much, on all but the shortest trips I have…

clothes - extra Icebreaker tops and bottom, down jacket, socks, caps, gloves, neck gaiter

gear - bivy sack, tarp, MHW 45degree down sleeping bag, small alcohol stove with alcohol, and one days worth of food

I try to cover myself and have enough for someone else just in case.

Obviously down isn’t the best choice in a damp environment, as money permits I try to replace down with synthetics.

I agree that fleece is the best, and
probably the least expensive, way to go. I always carry fleece pants, fleece top, wool hat and socks. The only reason to carry spares is if you get cold and wet. So something that will be warm, even if it gets damp, is the only thing that makes sense. I have a set that lives in a dry bag in my boat and once or twice a season I take them out of the bag to launder them, and then put them right back in.

Clothes Bag
I have a cotton scrub shirt, rain coat, nylon shirt, nylon pants, fleece vest, fleece gloves, wool socks, a candle with lighter and a couple of the extra large hand warmers. In winter I add a fleace jacket and some fleece pants and often a thermos of coffee. WW

I second fleece sweatpants and top plus a wool or fleece stocking hat.fleece is avalible cheap at Walmart and is light,warm,and drys fast-keep away from the fire though.I don’t know if you were talking if o overnights,but my biggest luxury in camp is a dry pair of socks and sneakers after a long day of wet feet.


In my clothes bag…

– Last Updated: Mar-15-07 9:40 AM EST –

No matter what the season, or the length of the trip; I always carry a complete (head to toe) change of clothes, which is appropriate to the season I'm paddling.

During the Winter that would include polypro longjohns, wool hat, wool socks, gloves, full rainsuit,fleece vest, fleece jacket, and if the forecast looks "iffy" I'll also carry a splash jacket & pants.

Yes, that is more than a complete change, but I like the ability to "layer" up or down, as dictated by the weather. Othere items I might carry are a polypro hat, rain hat, and dry top.

I tend to travel heavy; weight and preparation of gear has never been a problem to me. I'm from the plan ahead/what if school, as opposed to the I forgot(cop out)/suffer needlessly school.


Thank you all
I do actually do basically all paddling in the summer. I also usually dump durring my final exit a few times seasonally. I then decide to change or just go home damp.

Thanks again, this will give me more to think about for the next month as it starts to warm up. Also with friends getting into paddling, they turn to me for every little thing. They will, of course, find out that most things are just common sense, but until we all get out there I am the answer machine.


The “Unhappy Bag”
This is called an unhappy bag for two reasons

  1. You only open the bag if you are unhappy and need the stuff in it

  2. If you need the stuff in the bag and you left the bag at home you are also unhappy

    Anyway, my bag always includes: supplex shirt, supplex pants, rain jacket and pants, long sleeve polypro shirt and pants, neoprene gloves and booties, fleece top, rain hat, polypro watch cap, some antiseptic and spray on bandage, extra eyeglasses, and that most necessary item for over 50 paddlers, ibuprofin.

    This bag is always packed and kept in the car throughout paddling season. As the temps cool, I’ll add extra fleece of the jacket, socks, and gloves variety.

What about old army surplus wool
trousers and shirt? Cheap, highly effective even when wet, wind resistant, itchy yes, but warm. Burrito-roll, vacuum seal, stick 'em in your bow/stern and forget about them until you need 'em.


my bag system
first, Keep my bags w. my cartopping stuff so I can’t forget them at home :smiley:

In the 6L bag (clothes bag)

  1. spare swimsuit (makes a good first layer)
  2. Bike & exercise wear - light yet heat trapping,

    quick dry, packs down tight.
  3. Fleece vest, fleece jacket, medium thick leggings.
  4. thin wool socks
  5. Winter/early spring: fleece hat, gloves.

    Medicine bag - fits in a 1L rubber zip bag.

    A few medicinals, ace bandage/clips, extra whistle, tweezers. Energy Bars. Extra matches. This clips to the 6L clothing bag which lashes inside the rear hatch.

    Essentials bag - 3L drybag clips behind seat, ready to clip onto PFD if necessary:

    mirror, fat sticks & matches, tube of water,

    skeg tool, noseclips, wax for sealing zippers, duct tape, short oak flat trim for paddle splint, flexible tape for drysuit/drytop repair.

    My prescription sunglasses (old set, laminated dark w. extra UV protection).

hypothermia bag
is what some of us term it…even in the south in summer once dunked and in the wind anyone can chill…in mine is a primaloft anorak (hood important) and primaloft full side zip pants…its yesteryear stuff as far as backpacking due to weight but perfect to keep permanently assigned to a dry bag entitled ‘hypothermia bag’ via big black magic marker…if not you then someone else may need…in the same bag a tube tent, a 3 day Mainstay, the survival kit sold here on (though maybe better in the PFD), a mini-saw, et.

awesome winter array
heavy duty like up here for Michigan winter…what size drybag will store all of that? I’m thinking the anorak and pants are pretty puffy, or do they really pack down?

I paddle a low volume kayak w. a big rectangular aft hatch. Wonder what else I could stuff in there to protect from cold - a space blanket would prolly suit my situation better.

Much of my paddling is during cool
to cold weather and I bring along a change of clothes warmer than what I’m wearing on the water. Polypro, nylon, fleece and some wool. No jeans, no cotton. Rain gear always, for rain and as an extra windproof layer. I don’t have a wetsuit or drysuit. After a swim, the more, the warmer, the better.