I'm still canoe tripping! I'm not sure whether it has to do with Global Warming or just the fact the I refuse to believe the season is over until the lakes and rivers freeze up solid. Whatever the reason, I'm still paddling and camping out. The passion is still there I guess. However, I'm also getting older, which means dealing with the cold just isn't as fun as it used to be. So I splurged and jacked the credit card up buying some warm clothing this Fall. I love this type of shopping - basically because after a few test runs out in the cold, I know the money was well spent.
Here's what I bought myself. The following items, or gifts to me as I like to call them, are gear I researched a great deal prior to the late season. Yes, I know what you're thinking, "All the products are from Outdoor Research?" Quite honestly, I've been a big fan of this company for years. It began with their canoe hats. I love their canoe hats. But this fall/winter stuff overtakes my OR hat fetish. Costly? Yes. Worth it when the temperature drops? Absolutely!
Aspect Pants - Outdoor Research
These pants are amazing. Seriously. They're rated as "weather-resistant" but I'd up that rating to almost darn-right water proof. I wore them on my last paddle, which happened to be in a snow storm at minus seven, and had three giant standing waves crash down on me in mid-rapid, unsuspectingly. I was totally dry and warm after the incident (but haven't talked to my canoe partner since who happened to steer us into the waves in the first place). These pants also have incredible breathability with a cozy high loft fleece interior. And with its gusseted ankle cuffs mixed with an overall soft (and light) shell fabric, I'd highly recommend them.
Chaos Jacket - Outdoor Research
A couple years back I bought an Outdoor Research Transcendent Sweater Down Mini-Jacket and practically lived in it. I then upgraded to its big brother - the OR Virtuoso Jacket - which was a good replacement for winter but not necessarily needed for late fall. So I decided this year on something in between: Outdoor Research's classic Chaos jacket. It was a simple design, with no fancy flare to it - but it has to be the lightest and warmest jacket I've ever owned (insulated with PrimaLoft). The Windstopper shell definitely kept the cold wind out. And in a surprisingly cold drizzly morning I still stayed dry and warm, which is darn good bonus during these dark days of global warming and odd weather patterns.