ANYONE FALL IN DEEP WATER WITH WADERS?

Duck Hunting for puddlers like Mallards, Sprig (Pintails), Black ducks, Widgeons, Woodducks, Teal, and other ducks.

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ANYONE FALL IN DEEP WATER WITH WADERS?

Postby elkmo » Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:10 pm

I can only imagine what it would be like to go in deep water with waders on and heavy clothing. Any first hand experiences that anyone could share. Does the wader belt reduce the water flow in and the air inside keep you bouyant, but make it tough to keep your head up? Does the water pressure squeeze the waders tight so getting them off is difficult until they fill up equalizing the pressure and then they are easier to get off? My first reaction would be to shed the waders asap, and go from there. I will be hunting big water from a boat next fall and considering not putting the waders on while traveling in the boat.
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Re: ANYONE FALL IN DEEP WATER WITH WADERS?

Postby B.E.Nelli » Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:10 pm

Do a search on YouTube...I watched a video awhile back of a guy who tested this theory. In his experiment he used heavy 5mm waders. They floated him like a life jacket. He couldn't sink himself even if he tried. He was fully clothed and I don't think he had a belt on either.
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Re: ANYONE FALL IN DEEP WATER WITH WADERS?

Postby 2500hdon37s » Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:31 pm

You'll be fine with waders on.
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Re: ANYONE FALL IN DEEP WATER WITH WADERS?

Postby WSUWESTON » Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:25 pm

Neoprene waders in deep water was no problem. I floated. Fast current is what I am scared of.
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Re: ANYONE FALL IN DEEP WATER WITH WADERS?

Postby Duck_Stank » Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:15 am

I'd rather not try it or find out, find the post about the guy floating reassuring though. Fast water is no good also scares me.
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Re: ANYONE FALL IN DEEP WATER WITH WADERS?

Postby waterfowlist » Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:07 am

I had a buddy when he flipped his boat tell me it was hard as heck to swim and they wanted to pull him under. This was on the Mississippi river during flood stage. Sure air in your boots will float you but tip your body the wrong way. He went completely under initially when the boat flipped. His waders weren't skin tight like the guy on YouTube. No way you can take them off in deep water. The water will be compressing the neoprene right to your body. Keep your phone in a plastic bag in an outside pocket. No way you will be able to reach down into your pocket. As a former competitive swimmer I think its hard to swim in full clothes in water especially with shoes on.
Just wear a life jacket!
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Re: ANYONE FALL IN DEEP WATER WITH WADERS?

Postby :-) » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:21 am

"Just wear a life jacket!" X2





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Re: ANYONE FALL IN DEEP WATER WITH WADERS?

Postby elkmo » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:35 am

Life jacket for sure. Great idea on the phone in a bag on the outside. Throw in cold water, and the inability to swim with them on and you become almost 100% dependent on outside help, which I don't think they could get to you fast enough with a call. Just a bad deal all the way around.
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Re: ANYONE FALL IN DEEP WATER WITH WADERS?

Postby Greenheadindy » Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:16 am

I fell in over my head last year. No issues with my waders holding me down, but the cold water sure takes your breath away. I had to strip down and start a fire to avoid freezing to death. I did shoot a mallard drake in my underwear though- will never forget that morning.
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Re: ANYONE FALL IN DEEP WATER WITH WADERS?

Postby hockymvp » Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:22 pm

That is an awesome story man! You sir are a trooper. I would have shot some birds in my underwear too! Normally you can't pay me to get out of the blind!
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Re: ANYONE FALL IN DEEP WATER WITH WADERS?

Postby Garand » Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:11 pm

There is a great thread over on the other duck forum(I believe) where a Coast Guard rescue swimmer tried out various waders and clothing combinations in their pool. He jumped in, then swam 50yrds in the gear and excited the pool to simulate crawling out on bank.

Long story short, none of the waders (neoprene or breathables) tried to "drag him down" but his hunting coat in one test was very burdensome and had to shed it.

The take away from the report was, don't panic, and make sure to always wear your PFD.
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Re: ANYONE FALL IN DEEP WATER WITH WADERS?

Postby Greenheadindy » Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:14 pm

hockymvp wrote:That is an awesome story man! You sir are a trooper. I would have shot some birds in my underwear too! Normally you can't pay me to get out of the blind!


It was close to a mile walk to the spot so no way I was leaving after hauling all that gear out. I'm beyond glad that my buddy had his survival kit to start a fire, or I would have been in trouble. I always carry one in a waterproof bag now, and take some dry clothes along. The worst part was that I had to decide whether to put my soaked waders back on to walk out or go barefoot. I chose barefoot and my feet hurt for a week. Still was totally worth it when I got that greenie- he's on my wall.
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Re: ANYONE FALL IN DEEP WATER WITH WADERS?

Postby SPatrick » Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:52 pm

I found a 12 foot ditch when I hopped off the bow in what I thought was knee deep water a few years back. Like what was said earlier the cold takes your breath away, but the waders don't try and drag you down, it almost felt like it was a life jacket. I had to swim about 30 yards to the levee and was fine. However, I do feel every duck hunter should hop in some cold water with waders on once with some spotters around, so they know how they will react if they ever do go in over there head. It is a pretty intense and scary situation.
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Re: ANYONE FALL IN DEEP WATER WITH WADERS?

Postby Andystew » Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:03 pm

I was on a boat that capsized in the middle of a lake. Fortunately everyone survived, but we all definitely learned a few lessons.

1.) Wear a life jacket no matter how shallow or far you think you are going. For 90% of our trip, we could walk beside the boat. When we crossed the lake, the boat went under. No one was wearing a life jacket, but fortunately for us, there was a second boat right behind us.

2.) Don't clip your shoulder straps on your waders. If you go under, you probably won't be thinking clear enough to undo your shoulder clip. You want to be able to just rip down the front of your waders to get out of them.

3.) Always wear a wader belt. This may sound contradictory to my shoulder strap lesson, but a wader belt will help keep water out of your waders. It will be much easier to take off than a shoulder strap.

4.) Keep an extra set of dry clothes in the car. Once we walked back to the car, we all had an extra set of clothing. It would have been even more miserable to be wet and cold while in the car.

5.) Keep your car keys on you and not in a blind bag, or on the boat. It would have really sucked to get back to the car and then realize that you can't get to your dry clothes - or drive anywhere.
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Re: ANYONE FALL IN DEEP WATER WITH WADERS?

Postby fireman1293 » Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:48 pm

Andystew wrote:I was on a boat that capsized in the middle of a lake. Fortunately everyone survived, but we all definitely learned a few lessons.

1.) Wear a life jacket no matter how shallow or far you think you are going. For 90% of our trip, we could walk beside the boat. When we crossed the lake, the boat went under. No one was wearing a life jacket, but fortunately for us, there was a second boat right behind us.

2.) Don't clip your shoulder straps on your waders. If you go under, you probably won't be thinking clear enough to undo your shoulder clip. You want to be able to just rip down the front of your waders to get out of them.

3.) Always wear a wader belt. This may sound contradictory to my shoulder strap lesson, but a wader belt will help keep water out of your waders. It will be much easier to take off than a shoulder strap.

4.) Keep an extra set of dry clothes in the car. Once we walked back to the car, we all had an extra set of clothing. It would have been even more miserable to be wet and cold while in the car.

5.) Keep your car keys on you and not in a blind bag, or on the boat. It would have really sucked to get back to the car and then realize that you can't get to your dry clothes - or drive anywhere.



I would have to disagree with your comments about shedding your waders. I'm a member of our Water Rescue team and have thought about this scenario several times.

1. Neoprene waders are similar to a wet suit. They float and the water trapped inside will keep you warm as your body heats it up.

Besides wearing a PFD I would float on my back with my knees to my chest and back stroke to where I was going, you would be more relaxed and less likely to panic. Plus its not at strenuous to back stroke.

Also, if you are in a flowing river, do the same as above and keep your feet downstream. If you angle your body towards the bank the current will push you there. Currents flow in straight lines in rivers and bounce of the bank in straight lines, similar to a game of pool.
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Re: ANYONE FALL IN DEEP WATER WITH WADERS?

Postby Anoldhuntersc » Thu Jan 16, 2014 6:41 am

I agree keep waders on. The majority of our hunting is on tidal rivers and bays. We always wear waders. Actually do it for safety. They will float you. Always wear PFD. We pack our heavy jacket if cold and we always wear a Float Coat or Float Jacket. Highly recommend if hunting rivers.
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ANYONE FALL IN DEEP WATER WITH WADERS?

Postby Nelliboy2 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:30 am

I took a swim a couple years ago in November. We were hunting in 40-50 mph winds. Long story short my boats anchor pulled lose so I took off after it. The boat got out to the point I was chest deep. I proceded to hit a log and went head over heals. For the first 15 secs or so while they were filling up They really didn't seem to float me but didn't pull me down either. Once they filled up they floated me like a life jacket. So much I couldn't get my feet back under me.

I wouldn't worry about it. However when I got to the boat I couldn't climb in, so I ended up leaning in and driving it to shore. So I could stand up. I was in supermags.


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Re: ANYONE FALL IN DEEP WATER WITH WADERS?

Postby Greenheadindy » Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:57 pm

SPatrick wrote:I found a 12 foot ditch when I hopped off the bow in what I thought was knee deep water a few years back. Like what was said earlier the cold takes your breath away, but the waders don't try and drag you down, it almost felt like it was a life jacket. I had to swim about 30 yards to the levee and was fine. However, I do feel every duck hunter should hop in some cold water with waders on once with some spotters around, so they know how they will react if they ever do go in over there head. It is a pretty intense and scary situation.


I like the idea, but I'm guessing it wouldn't be too long before someone had a heart attack. I know it was hard catching my breath for the first few minutes- it is definitely a wake up call when you go in.
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Re: ANYONE FALL IN DEEP WATER WITH WADERS?

Postby Echospartan » Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:00 am

Once while wading to retrieve a downed bird, I stepped over a under water ledge and nearly drowned. My waders filled up and weighed me down tremenously. It was extremely hard to swim with waders full of water and while holding a gun, I tired quickly but still held onto that gun! I eventually made it across the pond into shallow water and got that bird which I nearly gave my life for. I was not wearing a wader belt and had my jacket tucked into my waders. It never occurred to me to try and strip the waders I just kept kicking until I could touch bottom. So yes going under with waders is extremely dangerous and the waders hinderd me greatly.
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Re: ANYONE FALL IN DEEP WATER WITH WADERS?

Postby aunt betty » Wed Jan 22, 2014 1:54 pm

Been there done that and here is some advice.
My truck has a chipped key. Will not run on the "entry" key.
I have two chipped keys. One is ALWAYS inside the truck. I keep one of the entry keys hidden in a magnet box.
That way when I fall in or lose the main key...I have a backup no matter what. This tip COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE or your whole crew.
INTERNET CREDIBILITY is...an OXYMORON. :moon:
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Re: ANYONE FALL IN DEEP WATER WITH WADERS?

Postby Honk-n-quack » Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:53 pm

Never did but I have tried it before to see what it was like and I found it easiest just to bounce off the bottom into the air and take a quick breath and keep doing that until i get to shallow water. I also use a wading stick for wading unknown waters to check for depth. I also marked it with different depths. Knee, hip,waist etc. and I have a red band on it that marks waist deep because thats when I start to get a little nervous.
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Re: ANYONE FALL IN DEEP WATER WITH WADERS?

Postby clymerfowler » Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:15 am

went through the ice last December on a frozen creek in God knows how deep of water. i never touched bottom. gun in one hand and drake mallard in the other. i always where my waterfowl jacket over my waders and when i went through and under i bobbed right back up because my jacket delayed the water from going into the waders long enough for me to through my gun up and pull my self out. my jacket was frozen solid in seconds as it was 1 degree that morning according the the thermometer in my truck.
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Re: ANYONE FALL IN DEEP WATER WITH WADERS?

Postby sehunter1 » Sat Feb 15, 2014 1:25 am

I fell out of my boat on the last day of the missouri season. Like most I popped right back up but the real issue was catching my breath. Ice was a few inches thick so I crawled on it then slid back in the boat. Scared me more than anything, I rarely hunt solo but this was one of the "rare" days. I'd be interested to know if those that felt pulled down by waders were wearing neoprene or a rubber/vinyl wader.
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Re: ANYONE FALL IN DEEP WATER WITH WADERS?

Postby moreychuck » Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:13 am

i fell in fast deep water with snow on the ground years ago couldnt get my head up and was suking water in once i kicked the waders off i could get my head up I have used loose hip boots since i have spent more time in the woods then most people will ever do cold water isnt something to take chaces on and things do go wrong
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Re: ANYONE FALL IN DEEP WATER WITH WADERS?

Postby wstober » Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:46 am

Neoprene wetsuits make you float hence why divers where weight belts. Why would neoprene waders be any different. Personally I have been swimming MULTIPLE times in waders and never sank. Also if you do get water in them and it is not too cold think about leaving them on until you can get to warm/dry clothing. You body will warm the water in the waders while the neoprene insulates you from the environment.
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