Kayaking is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, but some people wonder if you can kayak in the winter. Can you or can’t you?
You may be thinking, “in what world does anyone go kayaking when it’s cold and snowy?”
But there are places where this is possible. There are even ways to make your kayaking experience more enjoyable in colder conditions.
This blog post will help answer any questions about whether or not it is possible for one to kayak during the winter months. We will discuss how cold water affects paddling, gear considerations for winter paddles, safety tips for
Can You Kayak in the Winter? Yes, No matter how cold it may be outside, you can still paddle your kayak if the water isn’t frozen over.Even if it’s cold outside, kayaking in the winter can be a lot of fun. There will be very little other boat traffic so that you can expect a peaceful and calm trip.When you go kayaking in the winter, you’re sure to view things differently. Wildlife, landscape, and even water may all appear or feel different. Things change with the seasons, and being outside in the cold is a fantastic opportunity to see these changes.
It’s easy to become stuck in a rut during the winter months. Exercising indoors is more common than not, and after a few weeks, you may become bored or unhappy. Winter depression exists, and being outside in nature is an excellent approach to counteract it.
Consider bringing your kayak to a nearby river, stream, or lake instead of jogging on the treadmill or using the rowing machine at the gym. You’ll get great exercise, some fresh air, and some much-needed time outside in nature.
How to Do it Right?
Get the Right Clothes
Nothing surpasses clothing for immersion when both the air and the water are chilly. At the very least, this necessitates the use of a wetsuit.
On the other hand, a paddlesports-specific drysuit offers a considerably higher level of weather protection and comfort, including waterproof booties that keep your feet dry as you launch and land. They’re pricey, but they last a long time and allow you to paddle 365 days a year.
Be prepared to take your time when out on the lake. It would help if you never were hurried. That is when mistakes may be made, and blunders on the water in the winter can be disastrous.
Take your time, take in your surroundings, and concentrate on what you’re doing. It will help you relax and enjoy the experience while also making it more straightforward to kayak securely.
Make Sure to Get Warm Inside
A drysuit is like rain gear. It just keeps you dry. Warmth comes from the layers that you wear under it. Fleece does not work as well as paddling because it doesn’t keep you warm enough.
Nothing beats good old-fashioned fleece for paddling. Quick-wicking fabrics, such as capeline, are excellent in the summer, but they get sweaty when you stop moving and aren’t producing BTUs.
Wool is excellent, but it does not withstand the abrasion of paddling as well as it does hiking and skiing. So it’s a fleece. For chilly temperatures, many winter kayakers use one-piece suits.
Watch Your Hands
Your hands will become cold if you are constantly in the water. People have different ways to keep their hands warm. Some people like neoprene gloves, which you can wear on your hands.
Others like pogies, which are attached to the paddle shaft that goes into the water.
They’re a little warmer, but they have an effect on your grip on your paddle and are more challenging to get your hands into and out of.
When you’re paddling, your body generates heat. When you pause to scout a rapid, halt for lunch, or deal with whatever circumstance occurs, you become freezing very quickly.
As soon as you come to a halt, put on a warm jacket over your drysuit, a cap, and stop the temperature loss. Another alternative is to use a small portable shelter that you drape over your gathering to trap everyone’s body heat. It’s essentially the same as bringing a lovely warm room with you.
Do things to make you feel more comfortable. To be warm, have a drink or lunch with a thermos of hot water or rapid-boil burner. Warm clothes left in the car at the take-out will keep you warm during the shuttle.
Rapid-energy foods can assist someone who is severely cold in swiftly regaining physical energy, lowering the danger of hypothermia.
Why Should You Go Kayak in the Winter?
There will be no crowds due to the cold weather.
Many expert paddlers store their gear during the winter, and beginning paddlers can’t get safely paddle in the winter unless they know how to roll. Thus the river is much less crowded. Nothing beats the illusion of having a whole lake or ocean to oneself.
Before, during, and after a cup of hot chocolate.
To remain warm before, during, and after a winter paddle, you’ll need clothes, maybe some mats, and a hot beverage. Why not bring the most delectable drink on the planet: hot chocolate? Just remember to have water with you.
In the winter, there is plenty of adventure.
You would assume that after the rapids of spring and the waves of summer, there is nothing left to do in the cooler months, but there is. You can take on t with the appropriate equipment.
Winter kayaking is relaxing.
When the people have dispersed, the sea is peaceful. Listen for splashes from the fish or the smooth roll of the waves. There isn’t anything more tranquil than cold weather kayaking.
The Winter shoreline view is breathtaking.
There are lots to see when the temperature cools, from ice formations to stunning sunsets.
You could come across some animals.
Animals are busy preparing for the colder weather in the months leading up to winter, so you might be able to catch a glimpse.
It may be a fantastic task.
There’s no denying that cold weather paddling takes more preparation, expertise, and understanding of safety methods than summer paddling, but that’s no excuse to forgo the season. You can take on the brisk seas with a few simple suggestions on how to withstand the cold in a kayak.
Examine the weather and the sea.
The weather will have a significant impact on how pleasurable your paddle will be. In the winter, it is not just the hot or cold that is a factor. Rain, snow, and sleet make it hard to see. But also wind can be a problem because it makes your boat unstable and adds to how cold you feel.
Don’t forget that the Environment Agency’s website contains a very handy river and sea-level tool.
Prepare for your session.
You are more likely to be prepared for the conditions if you organize your session. Being well-prepared makes life much simpler, both on and off the water! If your session is entirely in the gym, you won’t need to think about a wetsuit or drysuit, but if you’re going out on the water, some things to consider are:
- Paddling Location
Moving or tidal water would necessitate additional concerns than a canal route, such as increasing river levels (particularly essential in winter) and shifting tides.
- Your session length
If you are gone all day, it is good to plan carefully. But if you are only gone for an hour, it is not hard to plan. Planning will make your session more fun for everyone!
- Let people know
Let a friend or family member know where you’ll be paddling and when you plan to return. Tell them what to do if you don’t ‘check in’ with them by the time you’re supposed to return.
Paddle in a social setting.
Paddling in groups, no matter how large or little, is always recommended, but especially in the winter for two reasons:
1. If you fall in and/or get into difficulties, there will be someone nearby to assist you before hypothermia or other weather-related ailments set in, and
2. With limited daylight hours in winter, most sessions will take place in the dark. Thus paddling in groups is safer.
Be sociable whenever possible. You can always find like-minded paddlers, whether you meet them at a club, center, organized event, or through social media groups. There are several choices, so remain together on the water whenever possible.
Take a phone or a VHF radio with you.
If you go into difficulties, especially paddling alone, you’ll need a method to summon assistance. Always keep your phone in a waterproof pocket or Aquapac, and if you’re paddling on the sea, get a VHF radio and a personal locating beacon. If the worst happens, these basic pieces of kit can save your life.
Bring extra clothing.
When you get off the water, you should change your clothes, especially if you’ve gotten a bit wet! Always bring a backup set of clothing to change into after your water session and take a hot shower if one is available. Driving home with drenched clothes isn’t ideal, especially in the cold.
Consider food and drink.
It depends on what you are doing. If you are only going to be on the water for an hour, then a hot drink in a flask will be enough.
On the other hand, if you have an epic adventure ahead of you, you should think more carefully about the food and water you carry.
Pack a lot of food and drinks to eat and drink. You might need food for energy and water to stay healthy.
Drink plenty of water.
Even if the weather isn’t the Mediterranean, your body will lose water during exercise, so make sure you have extra water with you. Consider bringing a hydration pack with you so you may drink while you’re on the go.