Keeping It Light: Summer Kayaking Attire

Adventure awaits as the sun shines brightly overhead, casting its golden rays upon the glistening waters.

With the arrival of summer, kayaking enthusiasts can finally embrace the thrill of gliding through serene rivers and picturesque lakes.

But wait!

Before you set sail, let’s dive into the world of summer kayaking attire.

Discover the secrets to keeping it light, stylish, and most importantly, safe.

Proper Summer Kayaking Attire

When it comes to kayaking, summer is the preferred time for many outdoor enthusiasts. It offers the perfect weather and conditions for a thrilling adventure on the water. However, proper preparation is key to ensuring a safe and enjoyable kayaking experience regardless of the time of year. In this article, we will provide you with all the details on what to wear for kayaking in the summer.

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing your kayaking attire is the type of fabric you opt for. Avoid cotton as much as possible, as it tends to dry slowly when wet and doesn’t breathe well, which can leave you feeling uncomfortable and clammy. Instead, focus on lightweight and quick-drying fabrics such as synthetic polyesters, quick-dry nylons, or the natural moisture-wicking properties of merino wool. These fabrics will keep you cool, dry, and comfortable throughout your kayaking adventure.

It is also crucial to protect yourself from harmful UV radiation. Excessive UV exposure can not only cause sunburn and fatigue but also lead to more serious issues such as dry, cracked, or wrinkled skin. Furthermore, sunburn increases the risk of developing skin cancer, and UV rays reflected off the water can damage the cornea and impair vision. To protect yourself from these risks, it is essential to wear appropriate sun-protective attire while kayaking in the summer.

Understanding UV Exposure And Its Risks

UV exposure is a significant concern when enjoying outdoor activities, especially during the summer. Overexposure to the sun’s rays can have detrimental effects on your health and well-being. Prolonged exposure to UV rays without protection can cause a range of issues, including sunburn, dehydration, fatigue, and increased risk of skin cancer.

When kayaking, your body is constantly exposed to the sun, and the UVA and UVB rays are intensified when reflected off the water’s surface. This increases the risk of sunburn and other related health issues. To mitigate these risks, it is crucial to take necessary precautions and protect yourself from the potentially harmful effects of UV radiation.

Choosing appropriate attire is crucial in shielding your skin from excessive UV exposure. Opt for long-sleeved rash guards and clothing made from UPF rated fabric, which provides enhanced sun protection. These garments offer a physical barrier against harmful UV rays, reducing the risk of sunburn and other related skin conditions. Additionally, consider wearing a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face and neck from sun exposure. Look for hats with partial-mesh designs for ventilation, ensuring optimal comfort even on hot summer days.

Choosing The Right Personal Flotation Device (PFD)

A personal flotation device (PFD), commonly known as a life jacket, is an essential piece of equipment for any kayaker, regardless of their experience level or the weather conditions. PFDs are designed to keep you afloat in case of an accident or emergency, potentially saving your life. However, many beginners may find PFDs uncomfortable to wear during the summer due to trapped heat.

To overcome this discomfort and ensure your safety, it is worth investing in a PFD with good ventilation. Look for models with mesh backs or other ventilation features, as these designs allow for increased airflow, preventing excessive heat buildup. PFDs with chest pockets can also provide additional benefits, allowing you to store essentials like snacks or fishing tackle for easy access during your kayaking adventure.

Protecting The Hands And Neck From The Sun

While kayaking in the summer, your hands are particularly susceptible to UV exposure. Paddling for extended periods exposes the backs of your hands to direct sunlight, which can lead to dry, cracked skin or uncomfortable blisters. To protect your hands from harmful UV rays, consider wearing lightweight paddle gloves. These gloves offer sun protection while providing grip and reducing fatigue, allowing you to paddle comfortably during your kayaking excursions.

Paddle gloves are available in different styles, including fingerless options. Fingerless gloves maintain dexterity, making it easier to perform tasks associated with kayaking, such as adjusting equipment or handling fishing gear. The choice between full-fingered and fingerless gloves ultimately depends on personal preference and the level of protection needed.

In addition to protecting your hands, it is essential to pay attention to vulnerable areas like your neck and ears. Sunburn in these areas can be particularly painful and uncomfortable. Using a neck gaiter or Buff can help minimize sun exposure and keep you cool while kayaking. These versatile accessories provide additional protection for your ears and the back of your neck when wearing a ball cap. You can even dip them in water to cool down during hot summer days. Furthermore, a Buff can be used as a face mask for emergency first aid care, offering additional versatility and functionality.

Additional Gear And Equipment For Summer Kayaking

When preparing for a summer kayaking adventure, there are several additional gear and equipment considerations to keep in mind.

  • Polarized sunglasses are essential, as they reduce glare from the water’s surface and block harmful UV rays, ensuring optimal eye protection. We recommend Rheos Gear Sunglasses, as they offer polarized nylon optics and float if accidentally dropped in the water, preventing potential loss or damage.

  • Wearing a wide-brimmed hat is another crucial step in protecting your face and neck from sun exposure while paddling. Look for hats with a partial-mesh design to promote ventilation, keeping you cool and comfortable during your kayaking expeditions.

  • In terms of footwear, it is important to choose options that protect your toes and the bottoms of your feet. Neoprene paddling booties or sturdy hiking sandals with a back strap are highly recommended. These options provide excellent comfort and protection, allowing you to navigate rocky shores or slippery surfaces with ease.

  • If you plan to kayak in colder waters, gloves may be necessary to keep your hands warm. Choose gloves specifically designed for paddling to ensure they offer the right combination of insulation, flexibility, and grip.

  • Finally, remember that regardless of weather conditions or experience level, wearing a life jacket or PFD is absolutely essential for every kayaking adventure. Accidents can happen at any time, and a properly fitted and properly rated PFD can make a significant difference in preventing incidents and ensuring your safety on the water.

To ensure the longevity and proper maintenance of your kayak during the summer season, it is essential to invest in proper kayak storage. Cedar log storage racks are highly recommended, as they provide safe and convenient storage for your kayak, protecting it from damage and prolonging its lifespan.

In conclusion, summer presents a fantastic opportunity for kayaking adventures. However, it is crucial to stay prepared and properly dressed to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. By understanding the importance of UV protection, choosing the right personal flotation device, and equipping yourself with the appropriate gear, you can enhance your summer kayaking experience and make the most of your time on the water. So, gear up, protect yourself from the elements, and embark on unforgettable summer kayaking adventures.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should you wear for kayaking in the summer?

When gearing up for kayaking in the summer, it is essential to prioritize sun protection. Alongside sunscreen, opting for clothing that shields you from harmful rays becomes imperative. Donning long-sleeve rash guards or garments made from UPF rated fabric ensures that you are adequately safeguarded throughout extended periods spent on the water.

What clothing should you wear for kayaking?

When preparing for kayaking, it is crucial to prioritize dressing according to the water temperature rather than the air temperature. Considering wearing a wetsuit or dry suit can ensure you maintain warmth and comfortable during your activity. Additionally, dressing in layers, particularly on the upper body, can help regulate your body temperature effectively. It is also essential to prioritize sun protection while out on the water, as even on cloudy days, you are still exposed to harmful UV rays. Therefore, wearing appropriate protective clothing, such as a hat, sunglasses, and lightweight long-sleeved shirts, can help shield you from sunburn and other sun-related risks.

What should a beginner wear when kayaking?

When it comes to what a beginner should wear while kayaking, it is essential to prioritize staying dry. It is recommended that they wear a highly waterproof jacket to ensure their underlayers remain dry throughout the activity. Additionally, for cold weather conditions, polyester leggings and waterproof shorts would be suitable attire. However, even in warm weather, it is advisable to bring along the leggings as a precautionary measure.

Do you wear a bathing suit for kayaking?

The choice of wearing a bathing suit for kayaking ultimately depends on the type of kayaking you plan to engage in. If your adventure involves tackling turbulent whitewater rapids, wearing a bathing suit is highly advisable. The nature of these rapids ensures that you will encounter splashes and waves that might leave you drenched. In such scenarios, a bathing suit will provide you with comfort and the ability to dry off quickly. On the other hand, if your kayaking endeavor involves calmer conditions, you have the freedom to wear any outfit that suits your preferences. Whether it’s casual shorts and a t-shirt or a wetsuit for added insulation, the choice is yours as you’ll be able to stay dry and comfortable throughout your journey.

Leave a Comment