How to stay warm when paddling throughout the fall and winter seasons.
Whether you are an avid kayaker, a new stand up paddle boarder, or a seasoned canoer, there is no shortage to the amount of views and areas that you can explore each and every season-- a calm lake or pond in your town, an advanced river with rapids and drops, or even the long stretch of the ocean with the sea life swimming below.
And while the fall weather offers wonderful sights and smells for any outdoor enthusiast, the cold water temperatures
that occur during this season often make water sports and paddling a little more dangerous and difficult than they are in the summer months.
Many people believe that you have to be immersed in freezing cold temperatures and frigid waters in order to suffer from ailments such as frost bite and hypothermia, but the truth is, your body's core temperature can actually drop from a wide range of temperatures-- including ones that you may come across in the fall season.
However, while hypothermia is no joking matter, you shouldn't let a little cold water and chilly breeze stand in your way if you are looking to get into the water this fall season
. As long as you adequately prepare yourself for the change in temperature, you can paddle off after the sights of the season while staying safe and warm throughout your entire trip.
Here are just a few tips for preparing the fall weather and dressing properly for cold water paddling:
When Do You Need Cold Water Gear?
· You will be more than 1/4 miles away from shore and the water temperature is less than 60°F.
· Both the water temperature and the air temperature are below 60°F.
· You expect that you will be repeatedly exposed to cool (less than 70°F) water in cool or mild weather.
It's also important to remember to wear more protective clothing than what's indicated when the weather conditions are particularly challenging.
A wetsuit is a tight-fitting neoprene garment that doesn't necessarily keep the water out, but instead traps a thin layer of water next to your body, where it is warmed. However, it is important to note that a wetsuit is a base layer, not outerwear. Therefore you should not wear anything under your wetsuit or it may compromise it's ability to keep you warm.
Many paddlers tend to choose a Farmer John style of wetsuit
, as they offer full leg protection but no sleeves for less constriction when paddling.
If you are still chilly with your wetsuit on, you can also load up on layers to protect yourself from the elements. Layers also help you to be more comfortable when paddling and heading outdoors, as you can add or remove each garment as the conditions change around you.
If you are heading outside and into the water this upcoming fall season, be sure that you are properly prepared for the elements and temperature outside. As long as you take necessary preventative steps to dress warm and stay safe, you will ensure that you have a fun, comfortable trip each time you head the water.