What is the number one thing that every new kayaker wants to know? What to wear kayaking is usually topmost on the minds of new kayakers. And, don’t try to joke around and say, “Clothes.” That’s one joke that is not likely to go over too well over here at Find More Outdoors. But, in all seriousness now, what you wear is extremely important. You don’t want to be dying of the heat because your have got clothes that are too bulky. By the same token, though, wearing the absolute bare minimum on a cold winter’s day is also going to make for an uncomfortable session.
How do you know what to wear?
- The climate.
- The area and how quickly the weather might change.
- What the chance is of you getting dunked in the water.
- How cold the water will be.
Do be smart about this – do keep a change of clothes with you in a watertight bag or in your car – that way if you do get caught off guard it is no big deal.
Dressing for Warm Weather and Water
It doesn’t come much easier than this. Think about what you would wear to the beach. Now thing protection from the rays of the sun and staying cool. A long-sleeved cotton top, for example, will help to keep the worst of the sun off your back and arms, but still be cool to wear. Dress in light colors so that some of the heat is reflected.
Dressing for Warm Weather and Cold Water
How you dress will depend on whether or not you might go into the water. If it’s just a casual paddle on mild waters, you can chance dressing for the warm air. If you are going whitewater rafting, on the other hand, you are probably going to get wet. In that case, wearing a wetsuit to stay warm and dry makes sense. You could alternatively choose a windbreaker if it is waterproof.
Don’t dress for the cool weather you are feeling at six in the morning when you first set out. It is going to warm up later on. You are far better off wearing several layers or thinner clothes. These are more effective at retaining heat and allow you to customize your level of warmth throughout the day.
Start off with a layer that insulates you and that can draw perspiration away from your skin. Cotton, wool, or sport’s fabrics do this. Make sure that these items are comfortable and sit well on your skin. Then you can start building up layers. Maybe an extra t-shirt for added warmth, and then the outer layer that protects you from the elements. The outermost layer must be waterproof and windproof. To that end. Look for gaskets that you can use to prevent water coming in at the wrists and necks.
What About the Feet?
Don’t forget your tootsies here. Again, dress for the kind of conditions that you are experiencing. Neoprene booties can help to keep your feet dry and warm. If you are more concerned about getting warm, choose some river sandals. There are lots of options when it comes to shoes.
Just make sure that you are able to brace them properly and that the soles are flexible.
Dress for the weather conditions that you are expecting and always expect to get wet. If you are in a cold area, with cold water, you need to guard against hypothermia. As a result, invest in a good dry or wet suit.
No matter what the conditions, always dress in layers and take an extra change of clothing with you. That way you are prepared for anything.