What to Wear Kayaking in Cool Weather
Kayaking is a fantastic outdoor activity that allows you to explore serene waters and get closer to nature. However, when the weather starts to cool down, it’s essential to dress appropriately to stay comfortable and safe on the water. Here’s a comprehensive guide on what to wear when kayaking in cool weather.
1. Base Layer: Start with a moisture-wicking base layer to keep your body dry and warm. Opt for synthetic materials or merino wool for superior insulation.
2. Insulating Layer: Add an insulating layer like a fleece or a lightweight down jacket to trap body heat. Choose a layer that allows for freedom of movement.
3. Waterproof/Windproof Layer: Invest in a high-quality waterproof and windproof kayaking jacket. Look for one with adjustable cuffs and a hood to protect you from water splashes and chilly winds.
4. Bottoms: Wear quick-drying pants or leggings made from synthetic materials. Avoid cotton as it retains moisture, making you feel colder.
5. Footwear: Opt for neoprene or waterproof boots to keep your feet warm and dry. They should have a non-slip sole for stability on slippery surfaces.
6. Gloves: Wear waterproof gloves or pogies to protect your hands from cold water and wind. Look for gloves with good grip for paddling efficiency.
7. Headwear: Keep your head warm with a beanie or a neoprene hood. It will prevent heat loss and protect your ears from chilly winds.
8. Sunglasses: Don’t forget to wear polarized sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays and reduce glare from the water.
9. Personal Flotation Device (PFD): Always wear a properly fitted PFD, regardless of the weather. It not only keeps you safe but also provides an extra layer of insulation.
10. Dry Bag: Carry a dry bag to store extra layers, snacks, and other essentials. It will ensure that your belongings stay dry even if you accidentally capsize.
11. Layering: Layering is key when kayaking in cool weather. It allows you to adjust your clothing according to your body temperature and the changing weather conditions.
Common Questions and Answers:
1. Can I wear a wetsuit for kayaking in cool weather?
Yes, a wetsuit can provide excellent insulation in cold water. However, it may restrict your movement, so consider a neoprene drysuit if you prefer more flexibility.
2. Do I need a spray skirt in cool weather?
A spray skirt is useful in cool weather as it keeps water from splashing into the cockpit, keeping you drier and warmer.
3. Should I wear a hat under my helmet?
Yes, wearing a thin hat under your helmet can provide additional warmth and prevent heat loss through the head.
4. Can I wear jeans while kayaking in cool weather?
Jeans are not recommended for kayaking as they absorb and retain moisture, making you feel colder. Stick to synthetic or quick-drying materials instead.
5. How should I dress if it’s raining?
Invest in a high-quality waterproof jacket and pants to keep yourself dry during rainy kayaking trips. Layering is essential to adapt to changing weather conditions.
6. Can I wear a cotton hoodie while kayaking in cool weather?
Avoid wearing cotton hoodies as they absorb moisture and take a long time to dry. Stick to synthetic or wool materials for better insulation.
7. Are there specific shoes for kayaking?
While there are dedicated kayaking shoes available, any waterproof or neoprene boots with a non-slip sole can work well for kayaking.
8. How do I stay warm if I capsize in cold water?
Wearing a proper drysuit or wetsuit, along with a PFD, will help insulate your body and keep you afloat until help arrives.
9. Can I wear a life jacket over my clothing?
No, it’s recommended to wear a PFD directly over your base layer to ensure a proper fit and maximum safety.
10. Should I apply sunscreen while kayaking in cool weather?
Yes, even in cool weather, harmful UV rays can penetrate your skin. Apply a waterproof sunscreen to exposed areas before heading out.
11. How do I prevent my hands from getting cold while kayaking?
Invest in a good pair of waterproof gloves or pogies to protect your hands from cold water and wind chill.
Remember, staying warm and comfortable while kayaking in cool weather is essential to enjoy your experience fully. Dressing appropriately and layering your clothing will help you regulate your body temperature and make the most of your adventure on the water.