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Down jackets for BWCA?


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Hello all,

I bought a nice down jacket for a reasonable price online...I'm thinking I'll use it in the BWCA. It weights only 6 oz. and packs up tiny, so it will take up very little room.

Of course, it's 800 fill down, so it's useless if I get it wet.

So, is it foolish to bring this kind of jacket into the BWCA? I have a fleece that does much the same thing (but it takes up much more room). I've always been happy with the fleece, but we can always upgrade, right? Or wrong?

Carmike

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I prefer fleece and wool over down for the reason you already stated. If it's cold enough to bring a down jacket, you are probably going to want it to be warm even if it's wet. Always a good chance of getting wet when canoeing.

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Yeah, I'm thinking that the plus might outweight the minus, but I don't know. I don't like bringing stuff with that I won't use (I'm a single-portager), but at the same time, this thing will stuff in the pack so tightly that I can't imagine I'll notice the difference.

Any worries about sparks from the fire? I've never owned a down jacket before, but I've seen the mini-damage that sparks can do to fabric. And I imagine having a hole in a down jacket would not be good...

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Would you wear it while taking a nasty portage in lousy weather ?

If the answer is "No", then I wouldn't bring it.

That's my test for clothing items.

If I'm heading into the BWCA or Quittico. I'm wearing wool.

Socks, pants, sweater, cap, etc ... all wool.

All year. Same items in July as May.

I don't bring anything that can't get wet.

On a day trip or car camping i like to have a down vest handy.

I'm ALOT more comfortable (and effective) without the sleeves.

Yea ..... I got pipes like Arnold. laugh

(when he was 10)

Check out your comfot level wearing those sleeves paddlin', fishing, doing camp chores, etc.

That might decide it for you.

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I don't bring that much wool....either it's too bulky for me to carry or, if it's smartwool, an entire outfit of that stuff would bankrupt me. smile

I am trying to slowly upgrade to Merino wool products, but finding stuff that's reasonably priced (and that fits) is tricky.

That being said, much of the fun of the BWCA and the Q(or talking about the BWCA and the Q) is seeing different people's perspectives on what to bring. I have very different clothes with on a trip in May vs. one in July or August. For example, in May I won't bring any shorts with, and in July I wear nothing but shorts. Works for me, and yours works for you. smile

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hmmm ... that did seem snarky, it wasn't meant that way Mike.

Lets try another way.

I never worry about "bringing" or "carrying" extras cloths.

What I put on at the entry point works in all conditions.

I don't consider wool to bulky to carry, because I never carry it.

In fact,

I'll wager I "carry" less clothing than ANYONE on this site.

A single ziplock sandwich bag suffices.

That is the beauty of a natural fiber.

Hot or cold, wet or dry, always an excellent choice.

If you're "wearing" wool, you don't need to "carry" that jacket.

Trade offs.

And it is fun to see how others do it.

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OK ... a buddy reminded me of another advantage of wool.

I'm so accustomed to it I overlook this but ...

You'll never get bit through your clothing wearing wool.

I don't care how bad the horseflies / skeeters are.

The "Dirty Dozen" got his back while he was humping the canoe.

He had "Cat Scratch Fever" the rest of the trip.

Went home with pine resin on the back of his shirts. laugh

Ah ..... good times, good times.

I didn't get touched. laugh

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PW - Where have you found good wool pants? I haven't found much that isn't a blend of wool and synthetics.

I like wool, but it's tough to find sometimes without paying more than my mortgage.

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Lots of people keep their life vest dry and use it as a bulky undervest with fleece under it and vynil or gortex outside of it when it's wet. It's worked for me but i don't care if i look like a dork.

Like everyone said wool, fleece, newer goretex (old will get wet in a soaking storm.). As someone said, the doubling as a pillow could justify bringing it. Then again the BWCA is all about simple and getting away from "perfection through owning a million different things".

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What's primaloft?

Its a synthetic insulation material. i have a nice midweight insulated jacket from NorthFace with it, called a Redpoint. its meant as an insulating later for mountain sports, but i wear it as a primary jacket in all weather. it fits under my raincoat, and breaks down super small. stay real dry, and dries out quick when damp.

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In the outdoor skills class I had in college they were pretty anti-down or cotton. "Cotton kills" as they used to say. Wool keeps you warm whether its wet or dry as mentioned earlier and in the BWCA that's a top priority. For the first major test of what we'd learned (3 nights in the BWCA mid-october), the difference between a good trip and an unforgettably-awful experience was your rain gear. I learned that the hard way....

Frog Toggs, fleece, and Smart Wool. Will never leave without them =)

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Hello all,

I bought a nice down jacket for a reasonable price online...I'm thinking I'll use it in the BWCA. It weights only 6 oz. and packs up tiny, so it will take up very little room.

Of course, it's 800 fill down, so it's useless if I get it wet.

So, is it foolish to bring this kind of jacket into the BWCA? I have a fleece that does much the same thing (but it takes up much more room). I've always been happy with the fleece, but we can always upgrade, right? Or wrong?

Carmike

I guess in my mind you answered your own question. You said its useless if it gets wet so that to me means leave it at home. If you can't wear it during nasty weather then its uses are too limited even though its small and light weight.

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I'm a big fan of down, and I generally stay out of the wet down debates for no other reason than my down doesn't get wet. A few precautions, some other quality gear (dry-bags,rain-gear), and you shouldn't have that much to worry about.

All my sleeping bags are down as well. I'm a comfort guy, down is comfy warm.

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No one plans on tipping their canoe on fishing opener. Did you put your down vest in the dry bag anticipating this? I'm being a bit of a smartass, obviously, but I'm serious about the outcome. If you are relying on this down vest to keep you warm, it won't do much good when it's wet. Same goes for a down sleeping bag. Personally, I'll carry the extra weight and bulk and stick with wool or synthetics. To each their own.

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