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What to Bring page; Trips and Classes

 For all trips on the water you need to consider a couple of things.

1. WATER - Know what the water is like [how cold? How likely you will be in it?] The water in Antietam Creek is always cold. Winter 40's, Spring early 50's late 60's, Summer 70's. If the Air is cold, windy, cloudy, rainy you will have a problem if not dressed or prepared properly. You will not be able to get warm if you get wet. If the air is warm, you won't have a problem if you get wet since you can just get out of the water dry off and the air will warm you up.

2. WEATHER - Think thunderstorms and wind, hot and cold, wet and dry. Know what the weather is like and will be like on the trip. [here is a local weather link] The weather on Antietam creek is Hagerstown weather, generally similar to Washington and  Baltimore. Every now and then we will get showers and storms that don't make it over the two Mountains between Antietam Creek and Balt./Wash. Since the creek is in a gorge it doesn't suffer winds like Dorothy, Dorothy, but wind is always a consideration. It makes you cold and makes you work harder. Lightening Link http://www.outdoored.com/Community/wikis/articles/lightning-hazards-amp-safety.aspx

3. Read REALITY CHECK. HERE'S A LINK  but don't forget to come back here. Also here is a link to Atlantic kayak article on paddle clothing

  1. for Always :   1.Wear clothing other than Cotton next to your body [polypro, silk, synthetics, wool etc. NOT Cotton. Wet Cotton always makes you colder. Jeans don't work well.] In clear sunny weather above 75 degrees this is not a big deal. But if it rains and storms while you're out there, even if it's 75,  it can become a frigid experience as well as a big deal]
    2.Carry an outer layer that is a wind breaker /rain stopper. A plastic trash bag can work about as well as a $300 Gortex Parka. Under the outer layer and over the "next to your body layer" wear an insulating middle layer poly or wool.
    3.Wear shoes that can get wet and wont fall off when you turn over or need to pull your boat off of a rock. River shoes are great , old sneakers work just as well. Flip flops won't work. $200 Nikes will get dirty and wet but work just fine.
     4. Carry drinking Water with you .
     5. Bring your own life jacket for really tiny kids and pets; OR LET US KNOW IN ADVANCE IF YOU PLAN TO ARRIVE WITH 12 KIDS and a Schnauzer EACH of whom WEIGH 42 POUNDS. We have a limited # of PFD's for 50 pounders and glue and duct tape to ensure a perfect fit if you have more kids than we have small jackets.
    6. Don't forget lunch and a snickers if you haven't made arrangements for us to supply same. Cameras are nice. Lots of photo ops. Make sure you can keep them dry in an upside down boat or rain storm.
    7. EYE GLASS RETAINERS. Everyone who paddles more than twice is required to lose one pair eyeglasses. Leave your loose rings on the window sill above the sink. Make sure you have the strainer in the drain.
    8. Zip lock bags for your cell phone [if you must], wallet etc. and they may still get wet. Use a zip lock in a dry bag. and they may still get wet.
    9. and 10. Make sure your car keys are where they wont get lost. Your pocket won't necessarily make that happen. see reality check
  2. FOR SHIRT SLEEVE WEATHER   Hat, sun screen, lip stuff, sense of humor, dry bag of dry clothes. light gloves if your hands are dainty. More water. Bug Spray [we have only 6 bugs on the whole creek], Sun Glasses, personal meds,...more later.
  3. FOR COLD WEATHER  1. In really cold Winter weather you need a wet or dry suit. Sometimes both. 2. Moderately cold late Fall, early Spring. Rain suit, Paddle suit over poly pro or wool insulating layer and a wicking layer next to your skin. Wool socks. Note that Down filled coats are worse than worthless on the water if they get even a little wet 3. Dry bag with dry clothing and something to start a fire. Know the 120 degree rule. Also the 5 50s rule.
  4. RAINY WEATHER   1. Rain suit over poly pro fleece & a wide brim hat to keep rain from running down your neck. 2. Take a big trash bag and use it as a poncho. 3. Dry clothes in a dry bag or dry place at the take out. 4. Wool socks . You still need to dress for the water and especially wind in rainy weather.  
  5. Here's another link to Reality Check . It's worth a read .      

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Revised: February 19, 2014.