Simple additions to your cool weather paddling kit to keep you warm and confident this season.
There is nothing like getting out in the Fall and Winter to paddle. I am always partial to the lesser crowds, often spectacular weather, and greening hillsides. The downside to this is sometimes that spectacular weather is preceded with a heavy storm or chili weather. Over the years I have paddled there are always items that are on the wish list to better equip yourself for paddling a variety of conditions. Usually, these items seem to be big-ticket items Drytop, Drysuit, Paddle, Drydeck, better sprayskirt, etc.. and because they are expensive they often have to be planned for and possibly you won’t own all of them immediately. However, thankfully there are some smaller items that you can add to your kit that will make paddling in the cooler & coldest months much more enjoyable. Here are 5 small items to always have in your cooler weather paddling kit to make you more comfortable out on the water.
Skull Cap – Add a layer of insulation to your skull with a neoprene or fuzzy rubber cap. You lose a lot of heat once your hair is wet or when you are rolling. There are many types out there, some cover your ears, some don’t, some have a neck strap to keep it in place some don’t. All styles work well it is mostly personal preference. This is an ideal extra layer to have as a backup for a friend since it isn’t very big and stows great in the pocket of your PFD or in a drybag.
Pogies, Mittens or Gloves(depending upon your preference): Gloves can give you agility and warmth, Mittens keep the fingers together and are warmest. Pogies go around you and the paddle giving you the best grip while warming you.
Here are some recommendations:
- Check out the Toaster Mitt for a great Mitten
- Hyper Hands for a great pogie
- The Maverick Gloves
- Looking for a really inexpensive option: try dishwashing gloves under your gaskets.
Thermos – Nothing like a hot drink on the water. Try a little Chai or hot cocoa with a tablespoon of Baileys for flavor, another favorite is heating up your favorite lemonade. Use a thermos that does not use glass as its insulating interior if it is a metal thermos make it a koozie with an old neoprene wetsuit sleeve to keep it toasty.
Water Bottle (Filter bottles rock, you never run out of water) – If you remember to stay hydrated your body will stay better insulated if your cells are happily hydrated… it makes sense we are mostly made up of water. (However on that note, definetly water the plants frequently if you let it build up in your bladder your body will heat it and not you
High Energy Food! Yep Chocolate is OK on the water :O) Try a Kate’s Real Food bar, they pack as much punch as a meal. My other fall back is a candy bar like a Snickers! Keep one on hand for you and a friend.
With these items, you are sure to be more comfortable not to mention popular out on the water. Warm paddlers make happy confident paddlers, with a little extra prep you will have lots of awesome days out this fall and winter. Happy Paddling -Gigi