What to Wear When You Canoe in Freezing Cold Water

The type of clothing you’ll have to wear when you go canoeing is similar to the clothing you wear when going hiking. When you canoe, you’re going to be moving quite a bit. The type of clothing you need has to be comfortable, durable, and versatile. It will also have to give you enough protection from extreme cold and wet conditions. When you’re thinking of the clothing you’re going to wear when you canoe, remember the advice you’ll read below.

What Should You Keep In Mind?

  • You should always keep your personal flotation device on you, and you should refrain from taking it off unless you’re safely on land. If you have to adjust your clothing while you have it on, you should instead go somewhere safe where you can take out. If you have someone with you on the canoe, you can tell them to keep the canoe steady as you change. Despite these tips, you shouldn’t take your personal flotation device off on the water unless you have to take it off for some reason.
  • Pick your clothing depending on the temperature of the water and not the temperature of the air. Depending on the conditions, you’ll probably have to wear a dry suit or a wetsuit. You should always dress in layers, with the top layer being the most essential. Make sure that your clothing protects you from the sun because regardless of how cloudy it is, a few hours of sun exposure is what you get when you’re on the water for a few hours. Check if your clothing is made of fabrics that have a UPF rating, and apply sunscreen for added protection.
  • When you’re deciding what to wear, make sure the clothes don’t contain any cotton at all. Clothes made from cotton will stay wet as it keeps water absorbed. Ensure that the fabrics of your clothes are quick to dry. Check if the article of clothing is going to be in contact with your skin. If it is, then you should wear something that is made of polyester, wicking, quick-drying nylon, or any other synthetic fabric. Clothing made from wool won’t dry as fast, but when it’s wet, it will act as insulation. So if you have nothing else, wearing something made from wool is a decent choice.
  • If you’re going to be sitting down for a significantly long time, then you should be wearing clothing that lets you move around in comfort and lets you sit comfortably. If you can find clothing that has fabrics that are resistant to abrasion, then those fabrics are tough enough to withstand the friction it will face against your canoe, sand, or water. If your clothing has any hardware, fasteners, or zippers, check carefully and see if they are prone to rust. Water is known to be a liquid that corrodes metals, especially saltwater. So make sure the fasteners, hardware, or zippers are made of sturdy plastics as they are an excellent alternative. If you stumble upon equipment or gear that is specifically for paddling, then you can be confident that the metal components that they contain are resistant to corrosion.