Kayak Gear And Clothing
There is minimum gear that each paddler must carry. This is prescribed in Transport Canada boating regulations.
Canadian Legal Requirements For Paddling Canoes, Kayaks and Paddleboards
For other information regarding basic paddling gear check out PaddleTV YouTube videos. Sample links are provided below.
Always wear proper clothing and footwear for the water temperature in case of immersion
Multilayered clothing (several layers of thin garments made of synthetic materials) is very comfortable. Never wear cotton garments which can become waterlogged and take a long time to dry. Wool, however, is an option because it will keep you warm, even when wet.
Take special care of your feet. They are the first part of your body in contact with water. Neoprene booties or neoprene socks are sure to improve your day.
In April, May, and June, the water is still very cold relative to air temperature. Hypothermia is among the most insidious dangers of sea kayaking. Therefore, it is important to be properly clothed, fed and hydrated, and to know when to rest to minimize risks.
Drysuit versus a Wetsuit
Dry suits are worn by kayakers to keep them warm and dry when they are in a cold paddling environment. For colder water paddling or extended periods even in moderate temperatures, a waterproof dry suit offers the wearer the best full-body protection against exposure. Dry suits made from nylon or Gore-Tex fabric, are designed with latex gaskets at the neck and wrists to completely seal the suit. The drysuit keeps clothing dry, but it doesn't provide much insulation.
A neoprene wetsuit is an ideal garment offering protection from the elements while kayaking. It protects against the sun and cold, while keeping you comfortable. The neoprene wetsuit will absorb water and create a barrier of warmer water created by body heat. There are different options for wetsuits. Ask your fellow HOC paddlers what they wear if they want to extend the season or going to larger bodies of colder water during the season.
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