How To Dress For Kayaking

Want to learn about how to dress for kayaking? How you dress for kayaking will depend a lot on how warm or cold the water is that you'll be paddling in. For warmer water, a bathing suit and perhaps rash guard will suffice, with an outer layer packed in a dry bag in case it rains. However, if you are paddling in cooler water, you will need to make sure you bring a base layer, an insulating layer and an outer layer to protect you from the elements.

  1. Put on a base layer. If you are paddling in warm tropical waters, a base layer might just consist of a rash guard. Rash guards are short or long sleeved tops made from spandex which offer some protection from sun and chafing. Cooler waters will require something warmer like a thin shirt made from a fabric like polypropylene that wicks moisture away to keep your skin dry.

  2. Wear a layer of insulating clothing. Unless the temperature drops, you probably won't need an insulating layer in warm water. However, in cooler water a farmer john and a long sleeve paddling shirt  will help keep you warm. A farmer john is a type of sleeveless wetsuit worn to keep your core warm. Paddling shirts are typically any type of top that can be worn while paddling. For colder waters look for one that keeps the wind out, while allowing perspiration to escape

  3. Place an outer layer on. If the water temperature is between 55 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, then your outer layer can simply be a paddling jacket, which is a waterproof shell jacket similar to what you might wear while skiing. However, if you are paddling in cooler waters, consider wearing a dry top or drysuit instead. Dry tops and drysuits are both waterproof and made from breathable fabrics. They are roomy so you can move about in them and are loose fitting so you can wear as much warm clothing as you need underneath, depending on how cold the water temperature is.

  4. Don't forget to accessorize. In warmer tropical water you will need to remember to bring a hat, sunglasses and sunblock. If you are paddling in cooler temperatures below 55 degrees, remember to bring gloves, a rubber hood, thick socks that wick away moisture, and neoprene boots.

Tip: Always bring more than you think you need. Even if it seems like a nice day outside, you never know when the weather might change.





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