How To Stay Safe While Kayaking in the Winter

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Staying active in your favorite outdoor activities is possible, especially if you love kayaking. It’s a calming activity that’s enjoyable at all times of the year. If you want to try kayaking in the winter, remember that there are some additional requirements needed to stay safe on the river.

Check the Weather

There’s nothing more dangerous or disappointing than planning a trip and encountering undesirable weather. Failing to check the weather before a trip increases the risk of suffering dangerous weather conditions, like disorderly waves, rainstorms, strong winds, and freezing temperatures.

When you know what to expect from the weather and can prepare accordingly, you minimize the chances of confronting the extremities of winter.

Stay Away When It’s Too Cold

Even though you aren’t swimming, that doesn’t mean you won’t encounter a splash in the water at some point during the journey.

Any water below 60 degrees Fahrenheit can cause your body to go into shock from the cold. This rapid temperature change can damage the body’s blood pressure and breathing patterns.

The only way to kayak in cold water temperatures below 60 degrees is to wear the proper clothing.

Dress Appropriately

Always dress in layers to keep your body warm, dry, and comfortable. Start with a breathable base layer that wicks away moisture and traps warmth. Then, add a thick layer atop the base layer. Don’t forget to keep your hands, feet, and head warm, too. Fleece is a popular, desirable material to layer up with! To finish off your kayaking attire, wear a waterproof jacket and pants.

Entering and Exiting the Kayak

Another way to stay safe when kayaking in the winter is to practice how to enter and exit the kayak properly without tipping it over. You want to avoid falling into the cold water as much as possible. Develop the habit of carefully stepping in and out of the kayak while on the shore. Mastering this routine will keep you safe from frigid water temperatures.

On your next river trip, take a moment on the shore to make a campfire coffee to keep yourself warm. Then, you’ll find peace out on the river, even during the cold winter months of the year.

Written by Emma Radebaugh

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