What’s in your bag? Three adventurers give us a peek

Posted on 16 September 2021

Three adventurers tell Gear Editor Matthew Sterne what kit helps them beat the winter cold.

Tanika Hoffman

‘There are so many situations where you can find yourself freezing as a surfer. After a surf can be especially icy. Changing in a cold car park in winter, when the air is not helping you warm up at all, is definitely one of those situations and one I often find myself in. That’s where some nifty gear items come in handy and can help get you from cold and wet to warm and dry quickly.’

1 | Hurricane Water Bottle 500ml

‘I’ve had a few flasks that work well for keeping water cold, but not as well with hot drinks. This one does both really well and can keep drinks hot for hours. In winter, I often take a nice warm drink along. I love a hot chocolate after a surf, it warms your insides and makes you feel good.’
R230, surfboss.co.za

2 | Hurricane Wetsuit Mat

‘When you get out after a surf, the cold car parks can be sandy and gravelly but also icy cold on your feet. You’re just trying to get warm and out of the cold, so standing on a changing mat is a huge help and keeps your wetsuit a little cleaner, too. It’s an especially handy thing in winter.’
R400, surfboss.co.za

3 | Below Zero Beanie

‘I often surf with a hoodie in winter, as I find if your head is warm, your body is, too. So, after a surf, I try to not only warm up my hands, feet and body, but also my head. It’s the key to heating up your body fast. This beanie is super toasty and fits really nicely and snugly.’
R399, boardriders.co.za

4 | Boundary Reversible Jacket

‘I love this jacket because it’s reversible so you can wear either side. After a surf I love having the fur on the inside as it feels like you’re putting on a blankie. It’s so nice and fluffy and my preferred way to wear it.’
R2 199, boardriders.co.za

5 | Hurricane Hooded Poncho

‘The changing towel is a lifesaver in winter. If it’s cold and raining, I often put the towel on, take my wetsuit off, jump in the car and just drive home in it. It makes getting changed so much easier. I have a few as I hate them being wet so I rotate between them. It helps you get dry and warm quickly. It doesn’t feel like your towel is going to fall off or you’re going to drop your clothes. Everything is so much easier inside my little changing house.’
R650, surfboss.co.za

Scott Reinders

‘As a kayaker in the Cape, we have to wait for winter rainfall. Basically that means when people are home cosying up in front of a fireplace, we head out. Some paddlers who visit here are shocked at how difficult it is to paddle in cold conditions as you can’t grip the paddles properly. It definitely adds another challenge to our trips and shows how vital it is to have the right gear.’

6 | Cape Storm Fleece Midlayer

‘This is a fleece midlayer. It traps the heat in, like a fur lining would for an animal. It’s a vital layer for me to keep warm on the water while paddling.’ Current equivalent: Men’s Puffadder Fleece, R299, capestorm.co.za

7 | Patagonia Midweight Capilene Base Layer

‘I find a good base layer is essential. You can get quite cheap ones, which don’t keep you as warm. A good one should be able to wick moisture away from your skin. When you’re under all the layers you still sweat, so being able to have that dryness at the bottom is important and I find Patagonia’s to be the best. K-Way and First Ascent are also good and probably second best to this. I’ll wake up in the morning and this is the first thing I put on.’
Current equivalent: Patagonia Men’s Oasis Long Sleeved Crewe, R1 499, goneoutdoor.com

8 | Palm Atom Drytop

‘Drytops use latex to seal their openings shut and are the trick to keeping dry for paddlers. Not only are they fully waterproof, they also trap the heat inside. The neck, sleeves and waist have a latex gasket that sits right against the skin. The gaskets need to be soft because when we’re kayaking we’re constantly moving and anything too rigid would lead to chafing. If this thing is doing its job it should be keeping the water out and you warm and unobstructed.’ Palm is a British company with a focus on white-water gear. Scott ordered his through Paddlezone. Prices vary according to exchange rates and other factors.

9 | Yak Adventure Equipment Chinook Trousers

‘This uses the same principle as the drytop with similar materials – a double-tunnel situation to trap heat in and water out. The latex on the ankles and waist will keep your skin as dry as possible. It’s also a UK-based company but slightly cheaper than the gear from Palm. You can tell by looking at how it’s made that it’s not quite as good.’
Contact paddlezone.co.za for a quote.

Kyle Goetsh (@kyleincpt)

‘I mainly go to the Cederberg or the Koue Bokkeveld to get my time-lapse night shots. The Milky Way is seasonal and best seen in winter, which is when we go. We stay up all night, shooting from 9pm to 3am. We generally camp, unless I’m taking a photography tour out there, in which case we’ll stay on a private farm. It can get pretty cold, especially late at night, so it’s essential to have gear that can keep you warm.’

10 | K-Way 650 FP Men’s Jacket

‘I use this jacket in the Cederberg but also if I head to the Drakensberg. It’s the best one I’ve found to keep you warm at night when you’re standing out in the cold. It has an insulated back and a higher fill rating than other jackets. Remember, we have to go for puffer jackets because a lot of the time we’re hiking and weight is important. It also comes with its own bag, which can double as a pillow.’
Current equivalent: K-Way Men’s Drake ’18 Down Jacket, R1 499, capeunionmart.co.za

11 | First Ascent 3M Gloves

‘I have light gloves for when it’s not so cold but I find that when I’m out shooting astros, even a light breeze can freeze your fingers. Unfortunately, I have to take the gloves off to take the photos but, in between that, these gloves are amazing and my fingers don’t get cold at all. They’re ski gloves so they’re super warm.’
Current equivalent: First Ascent Velocity Gloves, R499, firstascent.co.za

12 | Hip Flask

‘A small hip flask is light and will help you keep warm at night. When you’re standing in the freezing cold, it’s good to have something that perks up your spirits a bit and gets some conversation flowing. You tend to have a lot of deep discussions at 2am in the mountains. It also helps to keep you awake in the dark.’
R149, takealot.com

13 | Nisi Beanie

‘Nisi make ND filters for cameras. It’s the best beanie I’ve ever found. The best part is that it can fold down so when I’m sleeping in a cold place I can just flip it down and my eyes don’t freeze. It’s the little things that often make the biggest difference. It also has a nice fleece inside that’s good at keeping my head warm.’
The beanie was a gift from Nisi and is not widely available, but The North Face has a similar product.
R399, capeunionmart.co.za

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