Whitewater for Kids: Staying Warm

Right now I’m up to my eyeballs in trip preparation.  Packing everything that the 5 of us need and will eat can be quite the chore.  As I helped the kids assemble their clothes, I couldn’t help but laugh at what we had before us.  If I didn’t know any better I would have thought that we were packing for a ski trip.  Yes, wool socks, baselayers, fleece and windbreakers were abundant.  You see, we’re getting ready to do some rafting and kayaking and it’s inevitable that the kids will get quite wet.  We quickly learned that cold kids are miserable kids, so we pack on the layers.  Since we’re not really willing to shell out big bucks, to have our kids in wet or dry suits, we use what we have.  Oh, and it’s almost identical to what they wear skiing.

Long wool socks (crocs are great on top of these)
Synthetic thermal bottoms (polypro is a great cheap option)
Fleece pants

Merino wool top (we like these icebreaker ones)
Fleece sweatshirt
Windbreaker

When it’s extra cold, they wear a wool hat.

Essentially, we wear clothing that pulls moisture away from the body, dries fast, and can help maintain your body temperature even when wet.  NO COTTON!  Okay, so people look at us a little funny when our kids have so many layers on, but having them be toasty and wearing a big smile, is so worth the funny looks!

Tell me, how do you stay warm in cold water?

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