Each year as the temps drop I try to spread the word about dressing properly for kayaking and canoeing during the winter months. And these recommendations are just as important for anyone hanging around the water from now through the first half of the year. Heck, that is why these sports are called “water sports”. There are always a few unseasonably warm afternoons before the water starts to return to comfortable temperatures. Every year we hear about people on the water, needing to be rescued or worse, when there is a nice sunny day. People forget that just because the air temp may be nice on a sunny day, that the water takes a considerably longer time to warm.
Growing up around the water I always saw news reports of people falling in the water and becoming hypothermic in a matter of minutes. The water only needs to be a few degrees lower than a person’s body to substantially lower one’s core temperature. Always wear the proper warm weather attire. Depending upon the activity, this attire may include waders, dry suits, or a combination of dry pants and a dry top, but always be prepared for the worst case scenario. And of course, always wear your personal floatation device.
Do you carry a pair of jumper cables in your vehicle, just in case? Do you have a fire extinguisher in your boat or kitchen, just in case? Well, shouldn’t you dress properly around cold water, just in case?