Waterproof fabric question

Posted by: james__12345

Waterproof fabric question - 09/12/11 04:05 PM

I have a trip to Cherokee National Forest planned for some time in the next month or two. We are planning to do some gold panning. The problem is, we're a little concerned about the temperature of the water for long term exposure, and about being that wet and dealing with the air temperature (knowing how quickly hypothermia can set in when wet). I have looked for some waders, but I cant find any that are light/cheap enough for us. I saw on quest's site that they have some heat sealable fabrics that they list as being usable for drybag and stuff like that. I am thinking about buying some of the material and making some waders for us to use along with some pool shoes (that I plan on taking along for water crossings anyway). I'm just not sure which of the matierals they have would be the best choice, and would like to know if anyone has any experience with any of them.
The available fabrics are
WT/SQ YD=approx, 5.9-6.4 oz. 200 denier 100% nylon
WT/SQ YD=apprx. 4.4 oz. 70 denier 100% nylon
I know very little about these two types of fabric, so I dont know which would be more durable for that type of use. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Posted by: FredMT

Re: Waterproof fabric question - 09/12/11 06:34 PM

How cool of temps do you expect? I go wading for hours in the Beartooths without problems. I do carry a pair of guide pants for above 10k ft. (sometimes lower) but the light weight does not keep me warm. They supposedly breath, but you still sweat in them. If you have water on both sides of a thin piece of fabric, the heat transfer happens just as fast. You would need to wear a thermal layer under the waders. The waders only keep the thermal layer dry if you do not sweat in them. Long story short, I just wear a thermal layer like a wetsuit if I'm trying to save weight. Thermal + waders is better, but if you eat more and wear a vest (synthetic/ sleeveless for water) you may find it just as comfy. If you know someone with a freezer bag sealer, you might look into that option.
Posted by: james__12345

Re: Waterproof fabric question - 09/12/11 07:02 PM

Average temp in the area at that time is about 58 from what I can find. The average low temp is around 44. I dont really know about water temp, but I suspect it will be rather cold, since it will all be mountian streams.
Wet suits would be way to bulky for us to take, our packs are about full as it is. They are also expensive, which is part of what I'm trying to get away from.
As far as the bag sealer, the material I'm looking at seals with just a regular iron according to the directions. I'm just not sure which weave to go with for durability.
Thanks for the suggestions though.
Posted by: FredMT

Re: Waterproof fabric question - 09/12/11 10:20 PM

Ok, let me clarify. I mean that I use my mid weight/ mid layer that I can get dry before dark (long johns) as a wet suit. I have also heard of many people successfuly using the long bags from their seal a meal to make cheap waders. The bags (tubes) come on a continuous roll...
Posted by: james__12345

Re: Waterproof fabric question - 09/12/11 11:19 PM

Thanks for the clarification. I scuba dive, so to me a wet suit usually means a 2-7 mm thick neoprene suit. I had actually considered using a wetsuit, but I decided it wouldn't work. Thats why it hit me that way I guess.

I see what you mean about the bag, I had thought about trash compactor bags as a similar idea. The thing is, I knew they would be pretty bulky to fit into the shoes, and figured they wouldn't be too durable. I guess the food bags would probably hold up better than the trashbags, but I really dont know.
Posted by: FredMT

Re: Waterproof fabric question - 09/13/11 12:42 AM

I have also put on my rain pants to wade in and wool socks. Even though you get wet, they make a surprising difference in fast moving water. I usually bring waders if the daytime highs do not get to 70.
Ps. The Beartooths are real mountains with cold water. Ha-ha just joking
Posted by: FredMT

Re: Waterproof fabric question - 09/13/11 12:58 AM

Oh yeah! As to your original question, I do not know much. Search for myog air mattress on Google because I do not remember which forum. You are needing to get in touch with a guy called Bender (if I remember correctly). He is the expert on that stuff.
Found it. http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/...thread_id=24850 . It is a long thread and goes through the whole learning process. Might not have the exact same fabric, but may give you the info you need to get started.
Posted by: finallyME

Re: Waterproof fabric question - 09/13/11 01:09 PM

Have you looked at the wiggy's ones? I have no experience with them. Something to look at.

Wiggy's waders
Posted by: FredMT

Re: Waterproof fabric question - 09/13/11 02:22 PM

I have contemplated Wiggy's for a long time now because they would be good for quick water crossings. For fishing, they may fall prey to abrasives too quickly. I would like to get a pair in my hands to see if the shoe portion is soft enough to fit INSIDE a pair of pool shoes. I wear my expensive waders with pool shoes in mountain lakes. In fast streams l always wear my felt soled boots. I am not worried about me falling and getting wet. I just don't want to rip my waders. The one time I did use pool shoes, I could see the abrasion caused by the sand coming down stream, so I won't do that any more. May think about using some protective gaitors. One good thing about myog heat sealable fabric is that if you ruin them you can always reuse the material for lightweight pillows, gloves, drysacks, etc. That being said, I think I would go for the lightest weight fabric and some replaceable gaitors/sand guards. Gold panning kicks up a lot of sand. Just go for the best case scenario, and if they don't last then I have some kool fabric to make other stuff. I also keep thinking there should be some lightweight felt option to sew to the bottom of my pool socks, but it might be easier to sew a top onto a felt replacement sole.
Posted by: james__12345

Re: Waterproof fabric question - 09/13/11 09:27 PM

Thanks for the link. I hadn't saw those before. I dont think that design is really for me though. I dont really like the idea of my boots going down inside them and dragging whatever mud or rocks or whatever is on them into the waders. From the sound of it, they count on the boot inside for support (they seem to have just enough sole to protect the material), and for proper fit, so it doesn't sound like they would work without the boot inside. Also, I would rather my boots not get wet if they did spring a leak. I hate wet shoes worse than just about anything. If my idea with the heat sealable fabric doesn't work out, I may come back to those though.
Posted by: Samoset

Re: Waterproof fabric question - 09/13/11 10:33 PM

As an avid fly fishermen, there's nothing that substituts a good pair off wadders. The truth be told I hike in them most of the time to keep from having to carry them in pack especially in cooler weather, frogtogs makes afforadble enough breathable wadders. Check cabelas . I Honestly doubt you will be able go make a pair that you won't swet out in five min for cheaper.
Posted by: frenchie

Re: Waterproof fabric question - 09/14/11 08:57 AM

1 mm neoprene (jersey on both sides) is very easy to work with, sews well, and could be a good alternative, lighter than a wetsuit or waders.
1 mm neoprene "tights" and sandals or trailshoes?
Posted by: Wolfman

Re: Waterproof fabric question - 09/16/11 12:51 AM

Hi James,
A few questions;
1) How high do you need the waders? Do you plan on going hip deep?
2) What about just taking your dive booties, a decent pair should keep your feet and ankles warm, if not dry or dryer. Ware with a pair of warm shorts and with all the bending and working the pan your legs should stay warm, or at least OK. Bundle up on top and it would help a lot.
3) Cheapest option I can think of it two HD trash bags and some duct tape to keep them tight. Just wrap the extra around your leg and secure with some tape. Cut the tape to remove and you can use them again. One thing though, if the water is mountain fed, as in snow or glaciers, it is going to be between 35 and 40 degrees, you don't want to stand in that kind of water for a long time, you legs will go numb! I know! smile

I have only paned a few times, but I don't remember getting that wet, we mostly just got the sand from the edge of the river. Although I do remember one guy who had a gas pump, metal trough and a bunch of other stuff, he stood in the middle of the diver (Low and slow) and filled a wheelbarrow full of muck for the trough. But this was not a camping set up!

Also on the Wiggy's Light Weight Waders; "They are made from 200 denier coated oxford nylon upper and a rubberized sole with all seams taped." I think that was one of your original options.

Posted by: james__12345

Re: Waterproof fabric question - 09/16/11 01:39 AM

I really dont know for sure how deep I would be going, but it wouldn't be more than what hip waders would take care of.

Dive booties do absolutly nothing what so ever to keep you dry, neither do wet suits. That is a common misconception with people who dont use them (I thought the same thing before I started diving). They trap a layer of water between you and the suit, and once you warm that water with body heat, it stays there (assuming the suit fits nice and tight) and stays warm. That layer of water, and the neoprene it self keep you warm, but not dry. Also when worn in a walking in the edge of the water type of situation they fill with water, then try to pull off of you whenever your foot comes up, especially if it comes out of the water. I discovered that issue when wearing them on the beach in place of shoes after doing some freediving.

I thought about the trash bag idea (compactor bags specifically), but I figured I would get better durability and comfort out of something able to be fitted. I also really like making stuff, and I thought the waders would be a fun project to try.

Panning is new to me, I just recently got my pans and started getting them broke in and practicing some. I might be overthinking the whole thing a little, but thats just how I am. I always tend to be a bit over prepaired, but after some experences I've had out riding atv's and my being over prepaired making things work out alot better, that habit has been reinforced to the point that I tend to stick with it.
Posted by: james__12345

Re: Waterproof fabric question - 09/18/11 12:44 AM

Looks like I will be going with the compactor bags. My aunt suprised me tonight telling me that they are coming Wednesday (last I knew they weren't coming till October). There wont be time to get the material ordered and the waders made before then. Lows are only supposed to hit the mid 50's, so it shouldn't be too bad.
Posted by: james__12345

Re: Waterproof fabric question - 10/01/11 08:22 PM

We couldnt find any bags that weren't scented, and I didnt want to use those. We ended up just using the pool shoes and shorts, and the water wasn't nearly as cold as I had expected (no where near as cold as the local creek here). We didn't have any trouble getting to cold at all. We did find a bit of gold, but thats a topic for another thread. I do still plan to make the waders for future use in cooler weather though, so I'll post the results later once they're made and tested.