With the proper gear, you can paddle all year long!

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!

Dave Graves
Assistant Manager
ACK – San Marcos