What cold weather gear do you wear and how do you wear it or layer it? What do you start with and how dose your game plan change for winter? Do you put your kayak up or are you a trooper and fish right through the winter? I know I will enjoy your comments and maybe learn something I can use so thanks in advance.
My winter/cold water routine
The very beginning of my routine starts with only paddling water I know and only going out with paddlers with whom I am familiar. I do not want any surprises when the water is cold.
The second part of my routine is to assume that I will spill and get wet, so I bring safety materials to treat a wet, cold person. That usually includes a thermos full of hot tea, high carb snacks (like a crunchy granola bar), a spare set of fleece clothes, a spare paddle jacket, fire starting material, and one of those space blanket things. All of it fits into one dry bag.
The third part is what I wear. My outer wear is the most important. I have a semi-dry top (the neck gasket is neoprene, otherwise it has latex cuffs and a tunnel hull waist) and I wear it with waist high waders with a wide neoprene waist that fits in the tunnel hull of the semi-dry top. VERY little water will get in even in a submersion and I can still swim in it. It’s clumsy, but I can swim in it. The outermost layer of course is my PFD, which goes on while I’m standing on the bank at the put-in and doesn’t come off until I am standing on the truck at the take-out. As far as what goes under the semi-drytop and waders depends on a lot of factors. There’s enough room for me to wear a wicking layer and a thick fleece or wools sweater on top, and I usually wear fleece wader pants on the bottom, sometimes with a wicking layer as well. For a hat, I usually wear a ball cap or a wool watch cap.
Pretty routine stuff for me.
Shoes are usually flats boots - zippered neoprene socks with a thin rubber sole - that are over-sized to fit over the neoprene socks built into the waders.
- Big D
My Favortite Time to be out…
No bugs, ticks snakes, etc…
Two most important things or me personally- warm feet and a warm head:
Inner layer of clothing is a Varitherm wool base layer, pants and shirt. Socks include thin layer of silk socks underneath thick wool socks. I wear a pair of knee high waterproof mukluks for shoes.
Second and third layer- for me, its a fleece zip up and pants underbeath a pair of wind and waterproof shirt and pants.
Hat- simple stocking cap, but also a full head mask that is pulled down to keep my neck warm.
Gloves- neoprene fishing gloves I get a Bass Pro- they hav slits in the fingers for fishing.
Of course- I have most of the items as a back-up plan like big D does- (change of clothes, firestarter, first aid kit, etc…)