Snow has come early and the fall colors are in full swing. Leif Anderson and I still took the chance to get out and kayak Colorado’s Gore Canyon. Despite freezing temperatures, the water felt just fine.
For the last few years I have been using Adventure Medical as my main first aid kits. I stumbled upon them when I was trying to find an ultralight kit for mountain biking. Since then I have purchased several Adventure Medical First Aid Kits and they can be found in my rucksacks and now in my kayak as part of my “When it all goes wrong kit“.
Keeping warm is often difficult when you paddle whitewater during the winter. I find that the one area that is difficult to keep warm are my hands. I’ve tried neoprene gloves (which work once warmed up), the woollen/washing up glove combo and various other bits/bobs.
Many years ago I owned a pair of pogies (aka paddle mitts), I can’t remember the brand but they were blue/fluorescent yellow. They did a good job of keeping the wind off until they got wet, which meant my hands got wet and cold. Roll on ten years or so and I picked up a pair of Palm Rivertec Pogies. The ones pictured below are still used and must be well over 10 years old. Palm do a modern take on the Rivertec Pogies called River Tec Paddle Mitts.
Pogies are designed to be fastened onto paddle shaft. Your hands go inside of the pogies and grip the paddle shaft as normal. Compared to wearing neoprene gloves or indeed any gloves at all improves the general feel and control. Some paddlers do find them restrictive as your hands need to be removed to access pockets, pull your spraydecks rip cord etc. In addition some designs can be difficult to get your “last” hand into.