Friday, November 23, 2007
Seasonal Paddling Advice
If you live in a northern climate, here's some tips real Canadian kayakers use to insure their safety while paddling in different temperature regimes. You may have your own version of these guidelines, but they work well for those who haven't a clue...
65°F /18°C - Stop kayaking to avoid dangerous over-heating or add ice to cockpit.
60 / 15 - Paddle at reduced speed, use cooling rolls frequently. Drink lots of... ah... beverages to avoid possible de-hydration.
55 / 13 - Remove remaining clothing to avoid over-heating. Haul in the beer net you're dragging behind the boat before the contents explode in the heat.
50 / 10 - Remove T-shirts. Paddle nude. If squeamish, fill cockpit with ice water.
45 / 7 - Wet down T-shirts to maintain normal body core temperature. Check that others have done the same.
40 / 4 - Replace long sleeve T-shirts with short sleeves ones. If you don't have a T-shirt, use a marker to paint a logo of some kind on your chest.
35 / 2 - Switch from shorts to long pants in falling temeratures, reverse otherwise. Use your paddling knife to make shorts if you don't have a pair.
32 / 0 - Send dry-suit/top/pants out for repair estimate. Seriously consider getting the work done next year, if possible, maybe.
30 / -1 - Put on dry-top (the one with the broken neck seal) or your wool paddling sweater.
25 / -4 - Put on dry-pants, first removing any under-garments. Use woolen hunting pants if you don't have any real paddling clothes.
20 / -7 - Match seal on dry-suit and pants to reduce water seepage. Be careful of raw neoprene seals on dry skin.
15 / -9 - Use T-shirt and shorts under dry-suits. Leave zippers open at least half way to maintain normal core temperatures.
10 / -12 - Do up dry-suit zippers, if they still work, duct tape them if not. Consider using that hot glue gun they gave you for Christmas if you paddle often in big seas.
5 / -15 - Switch to long sleeved shirts and pants under the dry-suit. Duct take or hot-glue the neck seal tears. Keep wrists open for proper cooling.
0 / -18 - Wear woolies under the dry-suit if you think a wet exit may happen or you're a wimp. Fleece if not. Duct tape wrist seals if you still have them. Look for your mitts if you plan on paddling in cooler weather.
Armed with this information, I don't want to hear about anyone getting into trouble out there due to their own foolishness. Ya hear?!
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Excellent and timely Michael. I enjoyed this. I hope you get many more days on the water before winter sets in to put this advice into practice.
I have seen the light. Have I ever been doing it wrong :)
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