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Home > Adventure, Expeditions, Gear > 5 Tips for Cold-Water Paddling

5 Tips for Cold-Water Paddling

Whether you love cold-water sports or dread the changing of the seasons, one way or another it is happening! Cold-water sports can be such a beauty with some light snowfall or changes to the water with dropping temperatures. With the right gear you can enjoy your favorite sport in any weather no matter the season. Here are some of our must-have items for enjoying your outdoor water activities this fall/winter.

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1) Dry Suits

If you paddle in cold water, rough rapids, or you’re out in bad weather, dry suits can offer the best protection. One-piece dry suits are made of nylon with a waterproof polyurethane coating or waterproof/breathable Gore-Tex® laminate. They feature latex gaskets at the wrists, ankles, and neck plus a special zipper or roll-up closure to prevent any water from entering. Staying dry can make the difference between a beautiful trip outdoors to a dreadful one. Since the dry suits are not insulated, pairing them up with long underwear or specially designed fleece liners will keep you warm in those icy waters.

7 people in a raft wearing dry suits getting splashed by the water

2) Rashguards

Revolutionizing the freedom to move! These popular, quick-drying shirts allow for an extra layer of comfort between you and the water! Our favorite part = being able to move while staying dry and warm! Their stretch and form-fitting designs allow you to still enjoy your water sport without being boggled down by layer after layer.

3) Hats and Gloves

The types of hats and gloves you may need will depend on the activity you are looking to do. If you will be kayaking down some rapids topping it off with hauling over a waterfall you may not be rocking a fleece hat. Canoeing through some calm ice topped waters on the other hand is the perfect occasion for all the needed accessories. Gloves are a must since your hands will be active paddling away in the harsh conditions. Make sure your sleeves are long enough to cover all exposed skin all the way to your gloves! Finding the perfect level or grip and comfort is important. Don’t lose that paddle!

4 kayakers in the water paddling down a cold river

Photo Credit: Barny Young

4) Survival Equipment Bag

So, you are out in the cold-water conditions, but you have a map and a buddy and all the right gear. What could go wrong? The ‘what-ifs’ are endless when out in the water exposed to all nature has to offer. Never start an expedition without a handy first-aid kit, a waterproof one at that! Developed in conjunction with U.S. Coast Guard Aviation Life Support, the Watershed Drybag Survival Equipment Bag offers peace of mind in a compact package. All the essentials included such as reflective tape, oral inflation valve, stainless steel D-rings, and bright fabric colors. Trust us when we say it always helps to be prepared!

Orange survival equipment bag product image

5) Select the right Footwear

The type of trip will make a big difference when deciding what footwear to pick out. Regardless of what kind of adventure you are seeking one way or another your toes are most likely going to get wet. Unless you have someone to carry you to your kayak or have this maneuver down to a science, feet almost always get the brunt of the weather. Neoprene booties can work wonders in any cold weather. Neoprene insoles make this paddle shoe warm and comfortable offering all the flexibility you may need!

Stay safe and paddle year-round!

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