As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
Kayaking is a wonderful hobby. It is a way to enjoy the outdoors through a boat and river while also enjoying yourself along the way.
Thanks to the use of kayaks, you could take a surprising amount of things with you as well, for instance, if you wanted to kayak for a couple of hours then stop for a huge picnic or wanted to take large photography equipment, it is entirely possible due to the space in the kayak if you bring along something to keep them dry.
As such, kayaking is a hobby that can take place during any season. Spring, summer, fall, and winter are all possible kayaking seasons, depending on where you live. However, any season can have extreme or adverse weather, giving them their own unique problems.
One of the worst seasons for difficult weather is summer. The sweltering heat and suffocating humidity don’t go particularly well with a long period of exercise on a boat. If you wear the wrong thing, it may prove disastrous for your journey, so it’s important to plan first.
But what is the right thing to wear when kayaking in hot weather? Today, we will take a look at this question in detail and give you tips on how to make your trip a summer fun day rather than a heatwave hell.
Table of Contents
Essential Equipment, No Matter The Weather
In spite of its growing popularity and people’s willingness to take risks for enjoyment, you should not assume that kayaking is the most tame or easy of sports.
You are still out in the wild on rivers that run very fast and go over dangerous rocky rapids. As such, it is essential to know what you should always bring with you when kayaking, no matter the weather.
The most indispensable item is a life jacket or buoyancy aid. These pieces of clothing may not look the most dapper or trendy, but they are essential to kayaking, even if you are confident in your swimming.
When kayaking you are at the mercy of the elements and no matter your strength, a raging river or a riptide at the shore will always be stronger than you.
Should you try to swim or fight your way out of these currents as well, you will only wear yourself out and make yourself more susceptible to drowning. A life jacket will help you in these situations, so always wear one.
Sunscreen and a hat are a must, even on cloudy days. You may not see much sun, but you don’t know how strong the UV rays are, and they are the ones that damage us.
Without sunscreen or a hat, you leave yourself open to sunburn or even sunstroke. Bring sunglasses too, as sunlight will bounce off the water and into your eyes.
Any clothes you bring, make sure they are appropriate and, most importantly, quick drying. You will spend as much time in the water as on land, and the water will sap your energy and heat.
If you are still getting chills from wet clothes on land, then you could be heading for disaster. Make sure all your clothing dries quickly to avoid this.
Finally, lots of clean water and some snacks are vital. You will be doing exercise for hours, which will cause your body to lose a lot of water and energy.
Dehydration can cause confusion and impaired decision-making skills, which is a serious concern in the wilderness with no chance of help. So, bring a liter or two of water and some trail snacks couldn’t hurt to replenish energy.
What To Wear When Kayaking In Hot Weather?
When kayaking, it is important to not use the heat of the air or the ambient temperature of the region you’re in as a guide. The temperature you should be using as a guide is the water temperature.
This is because the majority of your time in a kayak will be spent in contact with the water and though air temperature has a great effect on the body, water has an even greater one, and it can sap the heat from you very quickly.
Due to this, it can be difficult to strike a balance between warm enough clothing and clothing that dries quickly when you leave the water.
Yet, there is clothing available nowadays that most people own that is perfect for this. Swimsuits or wetsuits will dry quickly and should keep the worst of the cold water off, while drying in the sun and not making you too chilly.
If you are uncomfortable in a swimsuit or wetsuit due to the material or other reasons, then appropriate shorts and a wet or water t-shirt will be perfect.
An appropriate pair of shorts are shorts that will dry out quickly and not be too heavy, like athletics shorts or board shorts, whereas a water t-shirt is like a wetsuit in how it repels water, but it is not so form fitting and more comfortable to wear.
Even with these articles of clothing, the bright sunlight will mean you may need another thin layer that offers UV protection for your skin.
Rash guards are a good idea for this kind of protection and are thin enough where they won’t be a bother in the heat. If you are uncomfortable with rash guards, then consider getting a large, thin shirt that you can put over your body. It’ll keep off the sun’s rays and should dry quickly as well.
What Can Help Beat The Heat?
We’ve talked about what to wear when it is hot, but sometimes that summer sun can beat down on a person too much. Therefore, it is vital to have strategies that can cool you down or get the sun off your back when required.
This one may seem obvious, but when people are caught up in a fun activity, it sometimes goes unnoticed. Take regular breaks in the shade.
Exercising in the sun means that you need to take breaks, even on the river, and you should find a safe and secure area that has shade to stop for at least five to ten minutes every hour or so. You run the risk of dehydration, heatstroke, and other problems if you don’t.
Bring more water than you think you’ll need, if on a cool day you bring a liter, bring two liters this time just in case.
Summer heat will make you lose fluids more quickly than you realize and finding clean, drinkable water in the countryside is hard, so bringing extra water is a must. This is also true of snacks and food, so make sure to bring a couple of trail treats just in case.
If it is possible in the place you are kayaking, and it is safe, take a dip in the water! Wild swimming is an amazing experience, and you can jump into the water at any point to cool off.
Just remember that the water will be colder than the ambient heat, so make sure you don’t spend too long swimming and lose the strength to kayak.
Lastly, don’t push yourself too hard. Summer is not the time of year for extreme and strenuous exercise. Our bodies already strain to keep us cool, and adding more pressure to them through exercise is a bad idea.
If you feel like you are reaching the limit of what you can do today, there is no shame in turning back and trying again another day.
Kayaking in summer is a true joy. It conjures up thoughts of time spent with friends, wonderful walks through nature, and constant exploration of the world around us.
However, it is crucial that we know what to wear when kayaking, especially during hot weather. If you are caught out at those times, you could put yourself in danger, but if you follow the right advice, you’ll have the best of times.
Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.