-- Last Updated: Jun-01-13 4:11 PM EST --
For the only long trip I took in a rainy area, I did not use my Gore-tex drysuit because I had heard that in prolonged use in salt water, the membrane pores would clog unless rinsed with fresh water fairly often. I do know that unwashed salt-soaked items never fully dry, whether or not Gore-tex. They become crusty. Found this out during the first few days of the trip, after I had left my sprayskirt unrinsed for too long. However, if you're in daily soaking rain, you could just hang gear out in the rain to rinse it. Our rain ended for a long, unusual heat spell after the first part of the trip.
For rain gear, I brought a poncho for land use. For on the water, I wore fuzzy rubber. Both were adequate, but I should mention that I washed out the fuzzy rubber in streams whenever done for the day (if possible). Yes, that meant donning cold, wet gear the next morning sometimes. But better than cold, salty wet clothes.
The coated-nylon rain jackets that two of our party wore during the wet time became unbelievably stinky after being stowed wet in their hatches. Being near them brought to mind the smell of puke, like the smell of wet tents that are stuffed for a while without air-drying first. My coated-nylon poncho did not suffer from this because I hung it up whenever possible, plus its sleeveless shape allows faster drying. Maybe the newer silicone-coated lightweight ponchos are less prone to the infamous "tent stink." I don't know.
The 3-layer Gore-tex that used to be called XCR has a new name. I'd stay away from the lighter Gore-tex varieties for this kind of trip.
YakCatcher Rod Holder
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