Dog Hypothermia Info

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Dog Hypothermia Info

Postby HNTFSH » Wed Dec 05, 2007 7:18 pm

From another waterfowler site:

I once read a post where a waterfowler said, " my dog wouldn't continue to go into the water and retrieve if the conditions were too cold for him". That way if thinking can lead to a tragic situation for ANY dog.

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Hypothermia and the retriever
Recognizing and treating the hypothermic canine

http://sports.espn.go.com/outdoors/hunt ... ypothermia

"....the cold, wet conditions of waterfowling are two of the most demanding environments known, and they can create a very dangerous situation for yourself and your retriever — ice.

A well-trained retriever will trust and obey you completely. This makes it our responsibility to not put our retrievers in dangerous situations. Allowing your dog to retrieve on ice is just asking for trouble. For those that do not know, ice is always thinner toward the middle of a pond or river than on the edge, and it is never a good idea to send your dog to retrieve a bird downed on the ice.

If your retriever becomes trapped in sub-freezing water, it will not take long for her to become hypothermic. Most dogs become trapped in these situations when they are not able to get back up after falling through weak ice. Constant submersion in such water temperatures only requires a few minutes for core body temperature to drop so low that you will pass out. Most fatalities from freezing water occur from drowning after their body temperatures, and ability to swim, plummet rapidly sending them to an icy grave.

That being said, it doesn't have to be freezing for hypothermia to occur. Wind chill and constant exposure can also lead to hypothermic producing conditions. Symptoms of hypothermia follow a predictable pattern. The first symptom will be shivering, as the body tries to warm itself. This will progress to weakness, stiffness, and stupor. In the final stages of hypothermia the dog may lapse in to unconsciousness or coma, possibly leading to death.

If you believe that your retriever may be hypothermic, take immediate action to warm him up. If your truck is nearby leave everything and take the dog to the truck. Warm the truck up and put your dog in the floorboard under the heat or blow the heat out the vents toward the dog on the seat. In lieu of a warm truck, build a fire to produce some heat. Vigorously rub your dog. Preferably with a dry towel, but you're not necessarily rubbing to dry him off, as much as you're rubbing to create friction and produced heat and stimulation.

If you have a thermal blanket (the mylar sheets — not the plug-in electric type) in your emergency kit, you can use this as a thermal shield to reflect the heat of a fire or create a small warming chamber in the truck. This is much more effective than simply wrapping him up in the blanket. Of course, if no heat source is available or you will need to carry him a long distance to a vehicle, wrapping him is beneficial and will help trap body heat. If this is the case, even if you have him wrapped continue to rub vigorously to warm and stimulate him through the blanket.

You will know that you are making some progress by watching symptoms reverse themselves until eventually your retriever beings to shiver. This means that the temperature have risen to the point that the brain once again recognizes that he is cold and needs to warm up.

Most long-term hypothermic damage occurs to organs (such as the brain) that have not received adequate blood flow during the event, in which case it may be several days or weeks before you or your veterinarian know the entire extent of the damage.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Here's more detailed info on prevention, diagnosis and treatment of hypothermia in hunting dogs;


Canine Hypothermia Part 1

".... It doesn’t have to be frigid conditions for a dog to show signs of hypothermia, exposure in cold water with some wind is all that is needed. Over the next few days we will discuss the signs and symptoms of canine hypothermia, the treatment if your dog is showing signs, and common sense ways to prevent it; but first I want to provide some basic information of what hypothermia is

Hypothermia is when the core body temperature drops due to exposure to cold. It can be deadly if ignored. A dogs normal body temperature is 101-102 degrees Farenheit. Hypothermia occurs once a dog’s temperature, taken with a rectal thermometer, drops below 97 degrees. The temperature outside does not have to be below freezing for this to occur. In fact studies have show that 55 degree water, with 40 degree air temps and 10 mph winds are prime conditions for hypothermia to occur in a dog. Most of us duck hunters have all hunted in much worse conditions than these.


=============================

Canine Hypothermia Part II- Signs and Symptoms

Hypothermia can be divided into 3 categories or stages.

1) Mild: The dog begins to shiver and connot control the shivering. Your dog will begin to act lethargic or tired. Typically at this stage the dogs temperature is between 96-99 degrees F.

2) Moderate: Once a dog’s temperature falls into the 90-95 degree F. range it lose it’s ability to shiver. The dog will lose coordination and appear clumsy, at this point the dog may lose consciousnous. If it gets to this point, your dog life’s is in serious danger.

3) Severe: 82-90 degrees F. At this point your dog will have collapsed, it will have trouble breathing, the pupils will be dilated and the dog will be unresponsive. If hypothermia gets to this point it is critical that the dog be warmed quickly and taken to an emergency vet center.

Like most things, if you pick up on the signs early, it is very treatable and will have no long suffering effects on the dog. Keep and eye on your pup when it’s cold out so you can be sure he can share the blind with you again next time.

===========================

Canine Hypothermia Part III- Treatment

So now that we know what the signs and symptoms are we notice that are dog is shivering and seems clumsy and uncoordinated. Hypothermia is suspected, so we grab our Field First-Aid kit and check the dog’s temperature; it’s 94 degrees F. What now?

At this point the number one factor is to remove the dog form exposure to cold, and prevent any further heat loss. For most of us duck hunters that will mean drying the dog. Use towels, your coat, anything you can that will absorb the water from the dog. The next step is get the dog out of the wind. If you are in a blind this will not be too difficult, but if you are hutning from a boat or in flooded timber you may want to use your coat to make a wind block for the dog. Body to body contact can help as well. This doens’t mean you have to get naked and huddle with the dog, but pulling the dog close or opening your coat and huddling with the dog will help the dog warm up. If you can get the dog to your truck, put the dog in the floor board, crank the truck and use the heater. This is about all that can eb done in the field, but anytime you have to do any of this an emergency vet visit is needed. Once at the vet’s office their are number of things they cna do like warm fluid IV’s and flushing stomach or rectum with warm isotonic fluids.


===================

Canine Hypothermia Part IV- Prevention

Perhaps the easiest way to deal with hypothermia and your dog is to aviod it. This does not mean you cancel those cold weather duck hunts, but a few precautions should be taken when the mercury drops.

The first thing is transporting a dog to the field. If you have a dog box, put cedar shavings in the box to help insulate it. If you use the plastic or wire crates, use an insulated kennel cover. This will keep the cold wind of the dog as you drive to your hunting location.

Once you arive, put a neoprene vest on your dog. The neoprene vest does a great job at keeping the body warm even when wet. There are several manufactures and several models to choose from.

Keep the dog from sitting in the water. Sititng in the cold water will zap the warmth right out of the dog; so use a dog stand or find a spot in the boat or blind that is dry for the dog to sit.

Kepe your wet dog out of the wind. You can do this buy hanging a piece or burlap or placing the dog behind a brush pile. Anything that will help keep some of the cold wind of will be beneficial.

Dry the dog often. Try and help keep the dog dry, use towles, or better yet a chamois cloth, to dry the dog off when the shooting slows down.

Keep a bumper in your blind bag. If it’s bitte rcold and the shooting is slow, throw bumper (on land) a few times and let the dog run some to retrieve it. Just getting the dog up and getting the blood flowing will help add warmth.

Hypothermia is serious and kills hunting dogs every year. Knowing the signs and symptoms, having some basic knowledge of first level treatment may one day save your dog’s life. There is no better cure than prevention, so use good sense when the temperatures are cold, and you and your buddy can enjoy a lot more cold mornings together."
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Postby Goosehunterdog » Wed Dec 05, 2007 7:39 pm

This is VERY interesting and more people need to be aware of this!! I never hunt a dog in ice due to the hazards!! Good Post
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Postby HNTFSH » Wed Dec 05, 2007 7:51 pm

There were certainly some things in there I didn't know or hadn't thought of. What came to mind are two things...Ice Danger and OB. This article talks about hypothermia and ice but I'm reading too many posts on various sites where guys obviously do not have OB control of their dog and are hunting them regularly.

That seems like a disaster waiting to happen to me. OB seems to be a factor for some when it messes up their hunting so they try to fix it but it's more important to keep the dog safe and alive IMHO.
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Postby Iowawaterfowlnut » Thu Dec 06, 2007 4:13 am

Thanks HNTFSH, Great post, it should be a sticky!
and we can't forget about Ned and his 18,000 different loads shooting 4 million feet per second with 99% pellet count at 240 yards
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Postby Dep6 » Thu Dec 06, 2007 2:59 pm

Thank you HNTFISH, I learned some things I didn't know. Great Post!!
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Postby HNTFSH » Thu Dec 06, 2007 3:04 pm

Glad there's some value :thumbsup:

Being in management I am an expert at cut-n-paste of other peoples work. :yes:
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Postby Brydog » Thu Dec 06, 2007 6:16 pm

You da'man Al,
If it saves one life it was worth posting it up ! :thumbsup:
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Postby HNTFSH » Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:26 pm

A poster that responded to the Hypothermia post had this to share which quite frankly - about made me sick as well (putting myself in the situation he describes). While most would have figured out the danger before the deed - it's possible to get caught up in the excitement sometimes:


I almost lost my dog last year to Ice! I found a pocket of open water that was holding some birds. When we rounded the corner, the sky went black from the amount of birds using this hole. I got two, and my buddy got one. The dogs immediately went to work to retreive the ducks.
One duck that I shot landed back in the hole, my dog went in to get it, but then could not get back out of the hole onto the ice. The ice kept breaking. I knew she was in trouble when she dropped the duck and was only concerned with getting out of the hole she was in. She could not get out, and I could not go get her. She eventually stopped trying, and just lay with her head on the ice whinning.
I wanted to throw up!
I asked my buddy if I should shoot her. That's when he stood up and said lets go. We started to walk away as if we were just going to leave her there. She got so upset that we were leaving her that she somehow summoned the strength to get herself up onto the ice.
When she reached shore, we dried her off with our extra clothes, and got her running around. She was fine after that. Ducks were circling overhead trying to get back into this hole, but we wouldn't take anymore shots. We went home!
If it hadn't been for my buddies quick thinking, I would have shot her. It was that gut wrenching!
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Postby MacMan » Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:24 pm

HNTFSH wrote:A poster that responded to the Hypothermia post had this to share which quite frankly - about made me sick as well (putting myself in the situation he describes). While most would have figured out the danger before the deed - it's possible to get caught up in the excitement sometimes:


I almost lost my dog last year to Ice! I found a pocket of open water that was holding some birds. When we rounded the corner, the sky went black from the amount of birds using this hole. I got two, and my buddy got one. The dogs immediately went to work to retreive the ducks.
One duck that I shot landed back in the hole, my dog went in to get it, but then could not get back out of the hole onto the ice. The ice kept breaking. I knew she was in trouble when she dropped the duck and was only concerned with getting out of the hole she was in. She could not get out, and I could not go get her. She eventually stopped trying, and just lay with her head on the ice whinning.
I wanted to throw up!
I asked my buddy if I should shoot her. That's when he stood up and said lets go. We started to walk away as if we were just going to leave her there. She got so upset that we were leaving her that she somehow summoned the strength to get herself up onto the ice.
When she reached shore, we dried her off with our extra clothes, and got her running around. She was fine after that. Ducks were circling overhead trying to get back into this hole, but we wouldn't take anymore shots. We went home!
If it hadn't been for my buddies quick thinking, I would have shot her. It was that gut wrenching!


This made me ill - I put myself into your position - I wouldn't have shot Jaz nor left her. . . The time, money, emotions I have into her - ghees - I might have attempted a rescue. This entire post has made me think more about this that I've ever considered. I have a Chessie and while they are known for enduring the elements, I noticed last weekend she was hesitant about going in the water for a blind retrieve.

thanks for the post!

m
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Postby HNTFSH » Tue Dec 18, 2007 2:59 pm

MacMan wrote:
HNTFSH wrote:A poster that responded to the Hypothermia post had this to share which quite frankly - about made me sick as well (putting myself in the situation he describes). While most would have figured out the danger before the deed - it's possible to get caught up in the excitement sometimes:


I almost lost my dog last year to Ice! I found a pocket of open water that was holding some birds. When we rounded the corner, the sky went black from the amount of birds using this hole. I got two, and my buddy got one. The dogs immediately went to work to retreive the ducks.
One duck that I shot landed back in the hole, my dog went in to get it, but then could not get back out of the hole onto the ice. The ice kept breaking. I knew she was in trouble when she dropped the duck and was only concerned with getting out of the hole she was in. She could not get out, and I could not go get her. She eventually stopped trying, and just lay with her head on the ice whinning.
I wanted to throw up!
I asked my buddy if I should shoot her. That's when he stood up and said lets go. We started to walk away as if we were just going to leave her there. She got so upset that we were leaving her that she somehow summoned the strength to get herself up onto the ice.
When she reached shore, we dried her off with our extra clothes, and got her running around. She was fine after that. Ducks were circling overhead trying to get back into this hole, but we wouldn't take anymore shots. We went home!
If it hadn't been for my buddies quick thinking, I would have shot her. It was that gut wrenching!


This made me ill - I put myself into your position - I wouldn't have shot Jaz nor left her. . . The time, money, emotions I have into her - ghees - I might have attempted a rescue. This entire post has made me think more about this that I've ever considered. I have a Chessie and while they are known for enduring the elements, I noticed last weekend she was hesitant about going in the water for a blind retrieve.

thanks for the post!

m


Luckily this wasn't my story. I reposted from another site but I
agree totally that we always have to consider the surroundings. Funny...just an hour ago I snuck out and stalked Pheasant for a couple hours and we were working a wetland with 8 foot deep canals, all of which had thin ice. A few times working the edges the dog wanted to walk across the ditch and hunt the other side.

I kept thinking about the story and calling him off it. :yes:
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WHAT DOG FIELD JACKET DO YOU USE?

Postby MacMan » Wed Dec 19, 2007 9:52 am

I have a Hodgman neoprene - it's been used 3 weekends and is tearing at several seams - it's the right size; however, Jaz movement is quite impeded. I need something else that will fit and protect without chaffing her. I heard there is one on the market with a handle on top for lifting the dog.

Any suggestions?
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Re: WHAT DOG FIELD JACKET DO YOU USE?

Postby PADuckhunter » Sun Dec 23, 2007 11:10 am

MacMan wrote:I have a Hodgman neoprene - it's been used 3 weekends and is tearing at several seams - it's the right size; however, Jaz movement is quite impeded. I need something else that will fit and protect without chaffing her. I heard there is one on the market with a handle on top for lifting the dog.

Any suggestions?


Here is one that has handles cut into it available from Mack Prairie Wings http://www.mackspw.com/Item--i-AVE031S

# The Boater's Dog Parka Features 5mm neoprene
# Sewn-in webbing harness
# Exclusive grab handles
# D-rings eliminate the need for a collar
# 16 cubic inches of closed cell foam floatation
# DuraStretchTM is the toughest outer fabric available
# #10 molded zipper & cold- weather pull tab
# 1" Velcro for torso adjustability
# Neoprene zipper protector
# Tapered cut for maximum body coverage
# Double bar tacked seams
# Glued & stitched just like waders
# 5 sizes to fit any dog
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Postby MacMan » Sun Dec 23, 2007 12:46 pm

Hey Bro,

Thanks for the info/data - this is precisely what I need and it affordable. I am truly disappointed in the Hodgeman effort. . .


c ya
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Postby lnester » Thu Dec 27, 2007 12:06 pm

Mac: I have the same problem with my Hodgman. The damn thing ended up giving my lab a rash under both front legs...I even had to put him on antibiotics to fight off an infection he was getting in that spot.

Last hunt, it was 10 degrees and icy. I hunted him without a vest and he did fine. Labs are made for these temps...

I will never buy another neoprene vest for my lab. I think it's a ripoff and I don't see how they help insulate the dog. The vest gets wet and keeps the dog colder than if they could shake and get rid of excess water. I know I will get flamed for this opinion, but until I'm talked into believing otherwise, I will stick to it.
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Postby MacMan » Thu Dec 27, 2007 12:17 pm

Hey Inester,

No man - no flames - My bro, also BrownDawg owner said, why in the heck do you think they bred these guys to begin with - she don't need not stinkin' vest. Well, I felt responsible to take care of her in the areas we hunt - Arkanasas doesn't get THAT cold; however, it's the flooded timber, sticks and submerged stuff that I was initially protecting her from. Are you going to return you vest?

The Avery vest looks to be the best bet for me. . .
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Postby lnester » Thu Dec 27, 2007 4:06 pm

The Avery looked good. I think the Cabelas is really good too and has an adjustable velcro section in the back. It's supposed to help for dogs that are "hard to fit".

I'm not taking my back, since I already made some cuts to adjust the leg openings. I'll just chalk it up to experience I guess.
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Postby MacMan » Thu Dec 27, 2007 5:07 pm

I didn't cut mine; however I ALMOST did. I took it back to Sportsman's Warehouse and they swapped it in on an Avery - which they didn't have when I got Jaz's. . . It seems to still be tight, I will experiment with it before I use it. The manager (who authorized the return) told me off to the side. The vests sucks like the waders. LOL
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Postby chris_7882 » Wed Jan 09, 2008 6:26 pm

I hunted my dog all season with a avery. It worked great! I don't use the vest as much for warmth as I do for cuts. My dog is always getting into everything on a retrieve. He takes the straigtest line possible to the bird and nothing stops him! He hit a barb wire fence with the vest on. If it was not for the vest, it would have torn him wide open. Unless it is too hot, I hunt my dog with it on every time I go out. Eighty pound black lab by the way.
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Postby mojolabs » Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:34 pm

avery dog vest are the bomb. the one with the handles to pick your dog up and load him into a boat, blind , whatever. they also come with two floatation sleeves on each side to help with the bouyience of the dog while in water. Used one this year with MOJO and we loved it. Only problem is the zipper pulley broke but was easliy fixed and actually works better now. Also, MOJO does not like to put on his vest but once it is on he is fine. Just dosen't like getting all dressed up to go hunting.
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Postby MacMan » Tue Jan 15, 2008 9:06 pm

mojolabs wrote:avery dog vest are the bomb. the one with the handles to pick your dog up and load him into a boat, blind , whatever. they also come with two floatation sleeves on each side to help with the bouyience of the dog while in water. Used one this year with MOJO and we loved it. Only problem is the zipper pulley broke but was easliy fixed and actually works better now. Also, MOJO does not like to put on his vest but once it is on he is fine. Just dosen't like getting all dressed up to go hunting.


MOJO, I love your dogs name lol. . . did you modify the Avery any? I was fixin' to and wanted to hear if someone had to do that before. YES, it's a killer vest. I even bought my Bro one for his dog - he says - hell, he's a chessie - he don't need no stinkin' vest. Well, I say when your dawg is diving into the crap we hunt in, he better have one.
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Postby peteyg » Fri Feb 22, 2008 2:01 pm

I wanted to clear up a misconception. These dogs, labs, were not bred for this type of cold . . .they were bred, and cross-bred to higten their retrieving instincts. Certain breeds were in facts made for colder climates, such huskeys, st. bernards, etc. Thinking that this breed is a cold weather water dog can lead to the problems listed above.

Also, counterintuitively, hunting labs are more prone to hypothermia. These are working dogs that will typially have less body fat. Fat is a key insulator for dogs. A good hunting dog will naturally be leaner than a house lab because of the running, swimming, etc.

I think it's always a good idea to use a vest. In fact, in open water such as a bay, canal, etc., I think it's good to use a lifevest. I wear one, so why wouldn't I give one to the dog. He may be a better swimmer, but I won't panic if I get in trouble. Good for the goose, good for the gander type of thinking.

And for the guy that brought his dog in ice and though he had to shoot him, man, what a dope. Like my dad always says when fishing, there are a million fish, but only one you. I'd subscribe that to the dog as well. There will always be more birds, but only one best friend.

Just thought I'd share.
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Postby MacMan » Fri Feb 22, 2008 2:26 pm

peteyg wrote:I wanted to clear up a misconception. These dogs, labs, were not bred for this type of cold . . .they were bred, and cross-bred to higten their retrieving instincts. Certain breeds were in facts made for colder climates, such huskeys, st. bernards, etc. Thinking that this breed is a cold weather water dog can lead to the problems listed above.

Also, counterintuitively, hunting labs are more prone to hypothermia. These are working dogs that will typially have less body fat. Fat is a key insulator for dogs. A good hunting dog will naturally be leaner than a house lab because of the running, swimming, etc.

I think it's always a good idea to use a vest. In fact, in open water such as a bay, canal, etc., I think it's good to use a lifevest. I wear one, so why wouldn't I give one to the dog. He may be a better swimmer, but I won't panic if I get in trouble. Good for the goose, good for the gander type of thinking.

And for the guy that brought his dog in ice and though he had to shoot him, man, what a dope. Like my dad always says when fishing, there are a million fish, but only one you. I'd subscribe that to the dog as well. There will always be more birds, but only one best friend.

Just thought I'd share.


Great input on this man; I had almost forgotten about this thread - I invested in two different vests this year and ended up using the Avery which I found to be fantastic - especially the handle on top and it does have some floatation as well. My dawg is a Chessie and could probably handle whatever Arkanasas has to throw for winter weather; although, the jumping from a tree stand in nasty flooded timber bothered me the most. I could see her jumping on a broken branch penentrating her chest or abdomen - thinking that, was all it took to ensure she had a vest.
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Postby peteyg » Fri Feb 22, 2008 3:50 pm

I'll have to look into that vest. I use now the one I bought from Cabelas. It's reversible . . .plain black on one side, orange on the other. It would be nice to find a good thick one with orange on one and Max 4 on the other. The other eversibles I found were thin. This one is 5mm neoprene. They say kevlar, but it's not like you would think. Pretty durable though. I took him upland hunting in a few corn feilds. If it were'nt for the vest he definitely would have a chest puncture or cut. Diving over those sharp things can be brutal.

I really wish someone made a good camo insulated life vest. I have a great Ducks Unlimited one with Max 4 that I where on the boat. I wish they had one for dogs . . .maybe with some neoprene lining inside for warm. I take him out on the bay a lot.
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Postby MacMan » Fri Feb 22, 2008 3:58 pm

Hey man, some dude on here was working on sewing his own - I'm thinking about taking mine to a tailor and getting him to a) cut it for her size pefectly and b) increasing flotation that I can remove when not hunting near a river currents.
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Postby peteyg » Fri Feb 22, 2008 4:13 pm

I guess great minds think alike, because I had the same idea. I found a few sites that sell the camo fabric. I'm thinking of ordering a sheet and having someone who sews (maybe a tailor, good idea) sew it on to his boating vest, which has plenty of bouyancy and thick protection. That would offer great protection, anf flotation, but I'm not sure about warmth. I guess I could just put the vest over the neoprene . . .though I'm not sure how awkward that would be. I'm pretty bundled up out there, but I don't have to run or swim. :biggrin:
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