Cold weather kayaking

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Jaybo777
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2007 4:45 pm

Cold weather kayaking

Post by Jaybo777 » Sun Oct 05, 2008 3:42 pm

What clothes do you folks wear when kayaking in the colder fall days? I know jeans are not good, and want to find a better suited pant in particular for kayaking this fall.

Later in the fall/winter I will be wearing a Kokatat dry suit so pants won't be as much of a decision.

SF48
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:10 pm
Location: SE Massachusetts

Post by SF48 » Sun Oct 05, 2008 6:07 pm

I've yet to kayak in truly cold conditions, primarily because I don't have the proper gear for it. The latest I've been out here in Massachusetts is late October. I wore my usual lightweight shorts and T-shirt, and spray jacket. The inside of the kayak is surprisingly warm because of the confined conditions, especially if you have a spray skirt on. A towel thrown over your legs will help to keep them warm too. The reason I stick to lightweight shorts is that if I wind up in the water I want to be able to swim efficiently.

KayakJack
Posts: 117
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2007 4:36 pm
Location: New York City

Re: Cold weather kayaking

Post by KayakJack » Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:03 am

I always stay away from cotton because it absorbs, traps moisture and holds it against the skin. The moisture can be either water you're paddling in or your own sweat.

On the top, I usually wear a dri-fit shirt to wick away sweat and if it is chilly, I throw a shell/windbreaker made of waterproof nylon material on top.

On the bottom, I wear my Kokatat paddling pants. It's made of nylon and is waterproof. Underneath, I wear UnderArmour to wick away sweat and to keep warm.

I wear neoprene boots that reach up to my calves on my feet.

Depending on how cold it is, I will wear a wool hat and wool socks.

My life vest also acts as an insulator so that helps me keep warm on my upper torso. The spray skirt also helps trap heat inside the kayak.

Jaybo777 wrote:What clothes do you folks wear when kayaking in the colder fall days? I know jeans are not good, and want to find a better suited pant in particular for kayaking this fall.

Later in the fall/winter I will be wearing a Kokatat dry suit so pants won't be as much of a decision.

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PJohanson
Posts: 672
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2007 5:48 pm
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada

Post by PJohanson » Sat Oct 11, 2008 7:00 pm

Well, I have two standards of clothing.
Year-round I wear a neoprene wetsuit with short arms and legs when I'm going any farther from shore than I care to swim (about 200 yards/metres). I may go out to nearby islands with friends in my Necky Eliza plastic kayak, travelling ten or more kilometers, going a kilometer or so offshore, with some currents.
Over my shortie wetsuit I wear polyester running shorts and t-shirt in summer, or merino wool longjohn pants and shirt or sweater in late autum through spring. I have a paddle jacket that keeps water out and warmth in while paddling, worn any time of year in the wind. (Merino wool or polyester are the only fabrics to wear besides neoprene or inside a drysuit. Cotton will just get wet and cold and you could die of hypothermia.)

The second standard of clothing is worn in my Dragonfly in my sheltered home bay in warm weather: running shorts and t-shirt. I dress like this only when I'm within swimming distance of shore (about 100 yards when I'm alone).

Year-round, I keep a cold weather cap (thin neoprene lined with poly fleece) clipped inside my PFD. If I get dunked, putting this on will trap heat around my head, and may be a lifesaver. Already, on several outings that turned out more windy and rainy than expected, the cap has warmed me up and made me feel more comfortable and stronger instead of weak and shivering.

Year-round, I have neoprene booties to wear, but in summer in the Dragonfly I go barefoot with the boots clipped on my deck bungee.

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