Essential Winter Paddling Kit
You will see people wearing dry suits specifically made for paddling. These are expensive, and there are many other ways to keep warm…….
A base layer may consist of a short or long sleeved top and leggings.
Try to avoid cotton, choose a base layer made from polyester or polypropylene as these are better for warmth when wet than cotton. Depending on conditions you may want to consider wearing 2 thin base layers. Avoid thick fleeces/jumpers/cotton sweatshirts, should these get wet they are extremely heavy and cold.
Top Half – Cag Top
There are many designs specific to paddling, some keep you dry (dry cag or semi dry cag) others allowing water to creep in (cag with neoprene cuffs). Basically, they protect you from the wind.
Bottom Half – Wetsuit or Dry Trousers
Perhaps a Long John wetsuit, or neoprene trousers. Worn over a base layer either should be as close fitting as possible without being restrictive. Alternatively dry trousers could be an option for your lower half.
Choose neoprene booties or hard sole shoes especially for water sports. Or why not neoprene socks worn into the shoes? (normally need to buy one shoe size larger to accommodate the socks).
A lot of heat is lost through the head. Consider wearing a hat.
This can be a kayak helmet or a skull cap, or both.
Maybe a beany hat is your preference.
Essentially windproof mits that attach to the paddle and reduce wind chill.
There are many types out there specifically for kayaking and are not expensive. Normally neoprene designed to allow a layer of water in that heats up with body temperature. The kayak specific gloves are even shaped as if you are already holding the paddle.
Note – It will feel strange initially paddling with gloves, the glove thickness kind of gives less sensitivity, but like anything you soon acclimatize to this. Funnily enough when the warm weather comes along it again feels strange taking off the gloves, the paddle shaft feels so small in diameter.