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When planning a kayaking adventure, it is essential to know the water temperature where you will be paddling. That is the safest measure to determine what to wear on a kayaking trip to specific locations. Having the proper paddling attire will help keep you comfortable and safe. Whitewater enthusiast can be especially vulnerable to the temperature extremes of warm sunny days and the near freezing snow-melt temperature of the water.
It is safe to say that no matter where you are going to paddle, your decision of what to wear paddling should never include clothing made of cotton or similar water-holding materials. Materials such as polyester, nylon, or similar synthetics draw water away from the body. Dress made from these fabrics are great to layer on and off as needed and are especially suited for warmer waters and tropical locals. Right closed toe, waterproof shoes with a pair of shorts, light top, and a hat are excellent choices to begin paddling in warm water environments.
Your paddling environment must determine what you are going to wear on a kayaking trip. A good rule of thumb is to always dress for the probability of immersion, factor in the water temperature, and you're off to a great start. Whenever the temperature of the water is a few degrees below your body temperature hypothermia can be a devastating problem without the proper attire.
Even if your kayaking trip starts out in calm waters, you should always expect the unexpected situations that can quickly arise. The weather can change conditions rapidly, or you could reach for something and roll. You may need to rescue a paddler or swimmer in distress, or a wave may seemingly come out nowhere to knock you over. Wear the proper attire to keep you safe.
An excellent solution for what the wear on a kayaking trip when you will experience warmer days and colder water is a breathable dry suit. All drysuits are designed to keep you dry in cold water. Dry suits have latex seals at the ankles, wrists, and neck openings to keep you dry. Something to consider when purchasing a dry suit is that you will need to make sure that it is large enough to fit over your PFD, as well as, other layers of synthetic clothing that you are wearing underneath.
When the weather is sunny and somewhat warm, the breathable dry suit allows your excess body heat to escape and prevents overheating during great paddling.
The breathable dry suit should be included in your selection when deciding what to wear on a kayaking trip in more frigid waters.
The other option to keep you comfortably warm when paddling in moderately cold waters is a wetsuit. Wetsuits come in several different styles that vary in the amount of body coverage, such as, shorts-style with short sleeved, down to your wrists and ankles total coverage, or vest styles. Wetsuits are generally tight fitting and somewhat movement restrictive and thus the style variations for preference and use. Wetsuits hold water against your body that has warmed from your body heat. This process creates an insulated barrier of protection. These cold water options should solve the questions of what to wear on a kayaking trip.
You are going to get wet no matter where you paddle so dress appropriately and enjoy the adventure.