What To Wear For Kayaking? A Complete Guide

What To Wear For Kayaking? A Complete Guide

With kayaking, you can discover new places, get active, and learn new skills. To enjoy your time on the water, however, as with all outdoor activities, you must dress appropriately for the weather. Similar to other outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking has clothing requirements. Discover how to wear kayaking gear by reading this article.

Basic Guidelines

There are some rules that apply regardless of the weather; these are the fundamentals.

Safety First

While on the water, you should always wear a life jacket or personal flotation device (PFD). A kayak-specific lifejacket will give you the freedom you require because some people find that wearing a life jacket while paddling is restrictive. The following equipment could save a life: set aside any concerns about looking ‘cool’ and put one on.

Move Freely

Avoid wearing constrictive clothing when kayaking. Make sure your attire doesn’t limit your movement and that it keeps you comfortable for extended periods of time sitting down.

Dress For The Water, Not The Weather

Even though it may be warm outside, if you get into the water, the discomfort of the colder water could ruin your fun; in more serious situations, you could even develop hypothermia. Consider wearing a wetsuit or dry suit, and make sure to check the water’s temperature before you enter.

Wear Layers

When participating in outdoor activities, it’s generally advised to dress in layers, and kayaking is no exception. Thin layers give you the flexibility to adapt to shifting weather conditions, provide the best insulation to keep you warm, and are typically looser to retain movement and support your body’s ability to regulate temperature.

Sun Protection

In Australia, you must always wear sun-protective clothing. Being on the water means getting sunburnt, even on cloudy days. Although wearing UPF-rated clothing is also a smart move, sunscreen is a necessity.

Avoid Cotton

Cotton is best avoided in your layers because it absorbs water and dries slowly. When kayaking, quick-drying clothing is your friend. Try wearing quick-drying nylon or polyester fabric that wicks moisture away from your skin.

Check Your Materials

Sand, water, and rough materials on your kayak are just a few of the things that kayaking can throw at you. Choose fabrics that can withstand this wear and tear by looking for abrasion resistance.

In salt water, some fasteners and zippers may corrode. Plastics are an excellent substitute. You can anticipate that kayaking clothing will be corrosion-resistant, though.

What To Wear For Kayaking? A Complete Guide

Waterproof Your Valuables

Even on the calmest of days, you can anticipate that if you capsize, your valuables will at the very least be splashed, if not completely submerged. It’s wise to spend money on a few waterproof cases for your priceless possessions, like your phone.

Dress For Kayaking In Mild Conditions

We’ve compiled the following list of what to wear in mild weather to assist you in getting ready for your paddling trip:

  • Underwear: A swimsuit can be used as the first layer for brief outdoor activities in warm weather. Try sports bras and activewear that aren’t made of cotton and are appropriate for outdoor activities if you prefer something different or more comfortable.
  • Tops: For water sports like paddling, rash vests are a good option. Their advantages include being stretchy, having high UPF ratings to protect against UV ray damage, and being quick-drying. They work well as a layering piece beneath clothing or a wetsuit due to their form-fitting construction. You could also use wool or synthetic layer.
  • Mid-layer: A fleece or synthetic mid-layer will probably be helpful if the weather doesn’t call for a wetsuit or dry suit. A short-sleeved wetsuit, however, will keep you warmer if you capsize in cold water.
  • Bottoms: Be sure to focus on choosing comfortable, quick-drying clothing for your lower body. It’s a good idea to wear board shorts or quick-drying clothing. Due to the constant movement of paddling, it is best to avoid wearing very thin materials, such as yoga pants.
  • Outer layer: A breathable and water-resistant jacket will do just fine if you’re going on a brief outing in mild weather.
  • Footwear: Your feet need to be protected and your footwear should be light and water-resistant. Anything without a back strap should be avoided because they unlatch too easily. Thongs and water sandals can be uncomfortable because they tend to fall off and collect sand and gravel.
  • Accessories: Never leave the house without a hat with a wide brim or cape, as well as a means of fastening it to your head. Consider a floating glasses case that you can attach to your kayak or yourself as well. Glasses have a propensity to stick tenaciously to the seabed.
  • PFDs: Keep your PFD or lifejacket on hand no matter the circumstances. Accidental drownings that involve paddlers wearing PFDs are uncommon. They keep you afloat when you’re swimming and also keep your core body warm.

Dress For Kayaking In Cold Weather

For cooler weather, in addition to the clothing listed above for mild weather, take into account the following modifications and/or additions:

  • Mid-layer: The bare minimum of protection in these circumstances is a wetsuit. A dry suit is for air and water that is colder. Even though a swimsuit is typically worn underneath a wetsuit, it is not necessary to wear any additional layers. You’ll need some non-cotton long underwear for your dry suit, and if the weather is particularly chilly, you can layer a fleece on top of your underwear.
  • Outer layer: You’ll need a quality waterproof and breathable jacket, as well as rain pants if there’s going to be a lot of wind or rain. You might want to think about getting a paddling jacket since they have neck and wrist fastenings to keep the water out.
  • Footwear: You can modify your clothing with waterproof socks or paddling booties for colder and wetter climates. Non-cotton socks can also increase the warmth inside your shoes.
  • Hats: An additional layer of warmth and sun protection is offered by a beanie that fits snugly under your other hat.
  • Gloves: Gloves for paddling offer protection from blisters and chilly weather. Some paddlers favor pogies, which attach to the paddle and let you grip it directly while still shielding you from the elements.
  • Spray skirts: While not strictly clothing, spray skirts in a sit-in kayak keep the cold water out and the warm air in.

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