9 Important Tips for Winter Kayaking
When it's cold and snowy outside, you can't beat spending your time in a kayak - the water will never be so cold and the views will never be so beautiful! Having said that, this season also brings with it some challenges and risks that people need to be aware of.
In this article, we'll discuss 9 important tips for winter kayaking to help ensure your next adventure is as safe and rewarding as possible.
1. Do Some Research Beforehand
This may involve speaking to others who've done winter kayaking, reading books or going online. If you don’t learn about the environment in advance, you could be in for an unpleasant experience and put yourself at unnecessary risk.
By doing some upfront research, you can be adequately prepared and kitted out accordingly. Visitors to https://www.watersportswhiz.com demonstrate peoples' desire for reviews of the different kayaks, equipment and accessories available. It's possible to learn about everything from must-see paddling spots to what you need to wear, and from the best waterproof walkie-talkies to kayaking while pregnant.
2. Dress Wisely
You'll want to be comfortable and warm while kayaking, wearing additional layers for extra insulation. In contrast to cotton clothing, layers of materials such as polyester, fleece or wool work best to keep you warm in the winter. Be sure to dress in wind-proof and waterproof layers if possible.
Choose a pair of mittens that allow you to move your fingers easily. You'll also want a hat or headband that covers your ears - most heat escapes from our heads, so keeping them warm is important. Bring a change of clothes and shoes with you in case you get wet.
3. Protect Yourself From The Sun
It's easy to forget about sunscreen when the days are shorter and there isn't as much sun. It can still be dangerous without waterproof sunscreen on these colder winter days. Sunglasses will not only improve how you see through the water but will also protect your eyes from UV rays.
You should wear a hat or other head covering while out kayaking because extended sun exposure can increase your chance of skin cancer. If possible cover up with clothing made of tightly-woven fabric which allows less sunlight to filter in.
4. Bring Snacks
You need to bring snacks such as granola bars or trail mix to help keep your energy levels up whilst on the water. Other examples include peanuts, pretzels, jerky, fruit bars or chocolate bars. You don’t want to have to stop paddling in order to eat, so it’s best to bring food that you can easily consume while on the go.
Dehydration can quickly set in during winter kayaking, so it’s important to drink regularly and take in lots of fluids. If you're going on a long trip, it might be a good idea to take a break and eat a proper meal at some point. You could pack some soup, stew, chilli con carne or burritos. Be sure to pack all of your food securely so that it doesn’t end up getting wet or falling out of your kayak.
5. Avoid Fast Water And Rocks
Rapids and strong currents can be a problem, and the flow of water may change due to rain or snowfall. If you are going into rapids, go slowly and carefully approach them from upstream so that you can avoid tipping over when things get rough. If there is an extremely fast current near your destination it’s best not to try landing there. If you are a beginner, you should aim to avoid areas with rapids and strong currents because you don’t want the kayak to flip over.
Another thing that can cause problems is rocks in shallow waters or rapids. It's wise to stay away from them altogether if possible, especially since they may have slippery ice covering them. Even if there isn't any ice on top, don't get too close in case your kayak hits one and flips over. Also, be aware of ice floating on the water's surface.
6. Wear Protective Equipment
A life jacket (or personal flotation device (PFD)) will help keep adults or children afloat in the event of an emergency. They come in different shapes and sizes and can either go over your shoulders like a backpack or around your waist. It should be worn with the correct strap arrangement and be properly fitted: too tight and it will be uncomfortable, too loose and it won't do its job properly.
Armbands are also a great way of staying afloat in water, or if you have trouble swimming. Life vests are best suited for open waters where there's no place to swim towards if you get into trouble.
7. Check The Weather Conditions
Before heading out on the water, always check the weather reports and be sure that it's safe to kayak. Winter weather can be unpredictable, so it's important to know what risks you will be taking if you proceed.
You should plan your route and dress up according to these reports and if there is a chance of ice forming on the surface of the water, postpone your trip until conditions improve.
8. Carry A First-Aid / Emergency Kit
This could include :
- Bug repellent
- Pain relief (acetaminophen, ibuprofen)
- Waterproof matches or lighter
Also, be sure to bring duct tape just in case something goes wrong with your boat. It's always better to have too much than not enough, and you should pack according to where you are going.
9. Bring A Dry Bag
Bring a dry bag for your phone, wallet, and car keys, etc. such as a ziplock bag or waterproof case. This will protect your possessions from getting splashed and if the bag goes overboard you may be able to retrieve everything in a dry state.
Hopefully, you have found these 9 tips helpful and are ready to do some more online research. Once you've done all you need and are fully prepared, you can look forward to your next trip and the pleasure that it will bring you.