Having returned from our most recent canoeing trip with clients to Loch Awe I'm spending a little time reviewing my evening notes and looking at the equipment I took to see what worked well and what I may do differently next time. In this quick blog I'll highlight what I took for evening wear and how it performed.
I opt to take a small dry bag with a set of clothes to wear in camp during the evening on canoe trips. Often the weather is wet, or there's water in the boats as we're travelling ans as such when we get to camp after a day's hard paddling we're damp in day clothes. My typical routine has been to find a good place to pitch camp for the night, then as a group we secure the boats and unload our gear. Once the water filters are running, and a fire is lit with a kettle on we disperse to get ourselves set up for the evening.
It's at this point I assess how wet, and therefore how cold and uncomfortable I could become if a sat around in the gear I've been wearing. We'd been lucky this Easter as we'd not encountered much rain or snow, and despite the cold we'd stayed dry and warm during the evenings. However after running the river section of the trip we'd all gotten soaked, so that evening a change of clothes was very welcome.
Our routine stayed the same as the previous two nights, but that evening as we all went to setup our personal sleeping arrangements I looked at my dry-bag of spare clothes with eager eyes. While the fire boiled the kettle I changed into those dry, warm clothes ready to relax by the tidal Loch Etive and watch Orion hunting across the night sky.
Here's what I carry:
- Vivobarefoot Tracker Boots: comfortable, highly packable, and with ankle support
- A wool hat: I actually wore this hat most of the trip as it was cold, but being wool it's still warm and cozy even if it's a bit damp (I carry a spare in my ditch kit if needed).
- Merino Buff: as warm as light fleece around the neck, these are an excellent way to 'level-up' your outfit without too much bulk
- A medium fleece: light, warm, synthetic...you know the type.
- Merino base-layer top: I think this one is around the 175g weight (I've had it years), ideal to wear under other layers.
- SealSkinz waterproof socks: I like to look after my feet at the end of the day, having had wet feet all day it's great to get them powdered and into a warm set of sock guaranteed to keep them dry around camp.
- Alpkit dry-bag: this one is around 6 or 8 liters. I lilke alp-kit dry bags for a couple of reasons, one being that they're durable and the other that they're narrow in cross-section so pack very neatly into a pack.
- Lightweight trousers: I was recently sent a pair of these RevolutionRace Gpx trousers to try out and I figured a canoe trip would be a great way to break them in across a variety of environments. They worked great, they're tough in the high impact areas and flexible in the rest. Importantly for this trip they pack up small and dry fast. I was quite impressed with them, and have been wearing them constantly since.
That's what I carry for dry clothes during canoe trips, to ensure I can relax and enjoy the evenings even if I've had a hard wet day.
I hope you find it useful,
All the Best