OC/VIDEO: Winter Whitewater on the Colorado River -- Two Week Grand Canyon trip

I bought a bunch of gear for this trip. A few reviews:

I wore a Stohlquist Shift drysuit, which worked wonderfully, even while swimming in Havasu Canyon or jumping into Elves Chasm, and the "stand-by mode" was great for cold mornings and packing/unpacking camp gear.

I used a Kodak PIXPRO SP1, which worked well, but the lens did get a bit steamy inside on the warmer days. I suspect it leaked a little water.. but never stopped working.

NRS Paddle Wetshoes were amazing, fantastic grip on rocks and kept me warm. I wore a pair of neoprene socks over my drysuit booties which reduced friction and really helped to get the shoes on and off.

NRS Big Water Guide PFD was fantastic. Did not get in the way of rowing or paddling, was easy to adjust, and the pockets were so very useful.

Camelbak Bootlegger -- I wore it under my PFD and greatly appreciated having water always available.

NRS Livery Helmet -- fit my large head well, and the Seirus Quickdraw Hat underneath provided warmth and face/neck covering when I needed it on the colder days. I put an NRS helmet visor on it which worked well and could be flipped up to be completely out of the way.

Immersion Research Union Suit -- I wore this and a Patagonia Expedition Suit under the dry suit, along with a capilene silkweight base layer. I was expecting to wear the suits one at a time, but had to wear both together on the coldest days. They worked well, but I am to sad to see the union suit starting to pill already.

My down anorak from backcountry.com was fantastic, kept me warm and I used it as a pillow / extra head insulation on cold nights.

I wore NRS crew gloves the whole time and they started to degrade towards the end of the trip. I brought NRS toaster mitts, too, and would have worn them on the colder days, if I could have got them on. Way too tight on the wrists, impossible to put on wet hands, effectively useless (and I have skinny wrists).

My Zissou 6 sleeping bag from Sierra Designs worked well but the zipper would leak cold air in when I turned onto my left side. The little down tube that runs along the zipper can easily get pushed out of the way if you roll onto it. I learned not to do that.

My Marmot Traillight tent fit me, my pack, and my drysuit comfortably, and kept out the rain and hail and wind quite nicely. On a high-wind night at 68 mile camp I guyed it out for extra stability and it held like a rock. There was significant condensation inside on some nights which I think came from strong temperature swings in the early AM, but it stayed on the rainfly and did not drip into the tent.

Lowa Renegades are comfortable, lightweight boots that I now wear daily. Not sure how they'd stand up to backpacking, but they were great for day hikes and scrambling.

Finally, the Whitis/Martin "Guide to the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon: Lees Ferry to South Cove" guided us safely and well down the river, and I highly recommend it. I made a little paracord harness for it to strap to the raft, and it held up well to sand, waves, and freezing.

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