You are probably starting to notice a slight trend in topics related to colder weather paddling. I think it is pretty obvious why, just because the temps are dropping, doesn’t mean that you have to put your kayaks in storage yet! This is especially true for those in the southern regions. If you prepare yourself with the right gear and take some safety precautions, you’ll find a number of activities that involve kayaks throughout winter.
For those looking for a little alone time, get out there! Now is the time when the water isn’t full of tubers, swimmers and recreational power boaters. I know lots of people that specifically go out in the winter because there are fewer people to dodge and the cooler overcast weather is very refreshing compared to burning up in the summer heat. For some ideas on cooler weather gear check out this recent blog post about winter weather apparel from a fellow ACK employee.
Time to take some photos! While much of the country is in the middle or maybe even past the peak season for fall foliage, many still have an opportunity to take some great photographs from the water. The reflection of the red, orange and yellow colored leaves on the water makes for a brilliant photograph. Fresh snow on the banks of a river also provides a great backdrop for your pictures. Make sure you use a dry box, case or bag to keep your camera equipment safe.
For all the hunters out there, hunting season is in full swing and kayaking is a great way of getting to those hard to reach locations. I utilize the Hobie Gun Mounts which helps secure my rifle to my yak while I go duck hunting.
Fishing is an ongoing year round sport regardless of where you are. For a more comfortable and somewhat “dryer” ride consider a sit inside kayak. Half of your body will be protected from the elements providing a more comfortable paddling experience but some models with larger cockpit openings still make it easy to keep you gear close at hand. For more warmth and protection you can add a skirt. One example of a great fishing sit-inside kayak is the Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 Angler.
No need to put off your kayaking until the springtime, with the proper gear you’ll be paddling all year long — unless of course your favorite watering hole freezes over!
Okay, maybe not over but I amongst many other Texas football fans, are probably starting to loose some interest in football this season. My faith in both the Cowboys and even the Texans is starting to dwindle. With two recent wins, there seems to be a small sense of hope for the Cowboys but my mind is already off the couch and in the water which brings me to this — think of it an as an opportunity for some Sunday winter paddling!
With temperatures staying relatively mild for most of the southern half of the state, it’s not that difficult to plan an outdoor paddling adventure. However, when preparing for paddling even in the mildest of winters, your focus needs to be on layers for both comfort and safety. For many parts of Texas, daytime highs can easily reach into the upper 70s and in some areas farther south, the low 80s but those temperatures can fluctuate dramatically within a few hours. Daytime highs in the upper 70s can easily turn to low 50s just after sunset. Ever heard the saying, “If you don’t like the weather in Texas, just wait…”? Well, there is a reason for that. Texas is known for sudden weather changes so it is always important to be prepared.
Start with a base layer using the Hydrosilk Long Sleeve Shirt, partnered with the Endurance Pants and Jacket along with a pair of high-top paddling boots like the Cross-4 Wetshoes. I also recommend you take along dry bag with you because chances are you may have to shed some of those layers depending on what time of the day you are paddling and you’ll want a dry place to store them in case it cools off again.
For those of you that are not blessed the mild “winters” we experience along the gulf coast of Texas you may need to add a few items. A Farmer John wetsuit between your base layer and splash jacket will do the trick. Consider the Stohlquist Splash Down Jacket with a built in hood as a substitute for the Endurance Jacket. I would also suggest the Stohlquist Mooners II Dry Pants as an upgrade to the Endurance Pants. The Mooners have latex rubber ankles cuff covers, which well help keep you dry. Top it all off with NRS HydroSkin Wetsocks and a pair of Rogue Gloves with neoprene cuffs to help keep both your hands and feet warm. Visit our apparel section to view our complete line of dry and splash wear, regardless of your destination, you’ll be sure to find something that meets your needs.
So if you are done with football or just need to get out of the house over the holidays, outfitting yourself with proper apparel will provide a more comfortable and safe adventure this winter.