Wet trip? Let’s talk water proof


Waterproof jacket
The BARCOM Expedition Personal Equipment checklist lists; 1 x Waterproof jacket & trousers as required items for the BARCOM expeditions. But what does this actually mean?

The jacket (hardshell) must be waterproof, windproof and to a level that will actually keep you dry and safe. There are various fabrics and price points that will achieve this, BUT the jacket must be rated as such to help save your life in poor conditions. The suggested jacket has a level of over 20,000mm hydrostatic head waterproof rating. Accepted will be anything from 11000 upwards but be aware if the weather turns bad this will only keep you dry for a limited period of time! Anything under 15,000 is not going to keep you dry in heavy rain. 5,000-10,000mm is only rainproof and waterproof under light pressure and is unacceptable. Being in rain for a prolonged period means that a set of waterproof pants are also a requirement, waterproof pants use the same rating system.

A hydrostatic head test is a test used to measure how waterproof something is. Once a garment has been tested it is given a waterproof rating- the hydrostatic head rating.
In a hydrostatic head test the fabric is pulled tight under a sealed tube of water. Water is then poured into the tube and observed to see how much water can be added before the water starts to leak through. For example, a hydrostatic head rating of 3,000 means that 3,000mm of water was in the tube when it started to leak. The higher the hydrostatic head rating the more waterproof the material is.


Think about standing around for a few days in the rain … choose the wet weather gear that will keep you safe.

* Choosing a waterproof jacket [Paddy Pallin]
* All about waterproof fabrics [Paddy Pallin]

Various wet weather options on display

Various wet weather options on display

Cold weather clothes
The BARCOM Expedition Personal Equipment checklist lists; 3 x sets of cold weather clothes. If it is wet, it will get cold and the wind chill will make it colder, throw in at least one long sleeve thermal top (NOT compression wear). Merino or synthetic is fine.
A Polar fleece jacket or vest is also a good cold weather choice. Temperatures will drop at night, think about throwing in a beanie or a Buff for when it gets dark.

wet wet wet

Areas of light flooding into low lying areas alongside the Murray

The BARCOM Expedition Personal Equipment checklist lists; 1 x Pair gumboots – these are for walking around on shore in damp conditions. Gumboots will help keep your feet dry, you may have another set of waterproof boots that you would prefer to use rather than the gumboots
Gumboots are not to be worn on the raft as they act like an anchor if you fall into the river.

— cheers Darren

* Let’s talk water proof [PDF]


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