What does a world-class kayaker wear?

Australian freestyle kayak team member Lachie Carracher's secret weapon

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2009 Australian Young Adventurer of Year, Lachie Carracher, battled the Asahan River in Sumatra while wearing one of his Merino tops. Lachie is a new convert to the natural benefits of Merino wool apparel, which he now takes on all his expeditions.

LIFE ON THE EDGE

Australian freestyle kayak team member Lachie Carracher spends much of his life battling rapids and whitewater in remote areas across the world.

The young adventurer has a passion for the outdoors and he “follows the river” as many nomads and travellers have done throughout history. He has led first descent expeditions into Laos and Nepal, and most recently in Indonesia and China.

A convert to the natural benefits of Merino apparel, Carracher now wears it on all his expeditions.

“I don’t know how I did without Merino on the roads and rivers of the world,” he said. “I’ve recently returned from a three-month tour of Asia and wore my Merino almost every day.

“In the hot and humid jungle of Sumatra along the Asahan River, I wore a lightweight Merino T-shirt a lot - both on and off the river. I was very impressed with its breathability and how it saves you from the sun. And very importantly, it didn’t stink, even when it was wet for over a week in the jungle.

“We then went up into the cold mountains of central China where I was wearing heavier weight Merino tops and bottoms as the sole layer under my kayaking dry suit. They kept me warm in the chilly climate on the Salween River, which comes straight from Tibet. But the Merino also kept me comfortably cool when I was exerting myself paddling the big waves and huge rapids.”

Carracher wears Merino apparel produced by Tasmanian manufacturer Smitten Merino. The company sources fabric spun from superfine Merino grown in Tasmania and the Australian mainland.

A member of the Australian freestyle kayak team for a number of years, Lachie competed in a range of events in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. He was named the 2009 Australian Young Adventurer of the Year by Wild and Outer Edge magazines.

He has travelled a long way since his growing up in country Victoria, venturing into some of the most remote corners of the earth using the rivers as his guide. His Merino apparel now goes with him on all his expeditions.

“I’m stoked by my Merino garments - they’re versatile and look good. They are a well needed addition to my travel kit. The garments are super-soft and lightweight, allowing me to layer without uncomfortable bulk. But they’re also tough enough to withstand the rigours of my travels - and able to be washed in the washing machine when I eventually get home.

“My Merino gear is definitely getting a lot of use.”

Early 2011 Carracher finished another epic trip - the first person to solo paddle the mighty Fitzroy River in the Kimberley in the peak of the wet season. He finished the Fitzroy in a record five nights. He hopes his trip will raise awareness and funds to preserve the natural heritage of the Kimberley.

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