Cold weather?

Well----- Winter’s here I guess!

I went out this morning and thought I’d go up the river from the lake and see if I could find some deer. I got to the place I usually put in and found ice. I knew there would be some, but not near as thick as it turned out to be. I have been seeing a thin sheet and up to about 1/4". This morning it was so thick I could not get through it. So I loaded up and came home. On the way I stopped to talk to a neighbor who was fixing his shop door. He saw my kayak and said “what were you thinking”? It’s 8 degrees!

The last few mornings it was about 28 to 35 degrees so I didn’t bother to look before it got light. So before it was light I am sure is was even colder then 8F and with the 12 MPH wind it froze the lake over much thicker then I had guessed. I was able to walk out on it quite a ways.

The weather forecasters say it’s going to warm up to the mid 50s in the coming week, so I may have a few more chances, but I don’t know for sure. What I do know is that the 2021 kayaking season is going to come to an end for me pretty soon, if it hasn’t already.

Should always be aware of water temp, air temp, and forecast.

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Yup, my paddling season has ended and it’s more than frustrating. When the temps are near the freezing point, I don’t go near the water. But soon enough I’ll be showshoeing and skating on it as some consolation.

I’d have to agree as much as is possible Paddledog, but the forecast was for temps in the high 20s and low 30s, not around zero like we got.

Our weather reports are not usually very accurate unless you live in a city or large town.

Also the wind was low. It was forecast to be 6-7 MPH. We got 12 MPH, but that’s not too far off for this area.

Water temp? The only way we have to get that is to go down there and see. It’s not something that gets reported in the mountains. We have only 3 water temps here. “Warm” “Cold” and “Hard”. So right now the lake is between “cold” and “hard”. It may go back to “cold” for a week or 2, but in December we can bet on “Hard”, and once it gets there it will not go back to “cold” until Spring.

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Bring your own thermometer. I use my own test gear in addition to forecast.

Kestrel meter.

I bought the one above.

Please describe what you are wearing for such canoe trips.

Not sure this applies to your situation but I’ve found that breaking our river’s shore ice regularly with a driveway ice scraper works well; once it gets an inch or two thick it becomes a major project.

Ours are hibernating for the winter.

It is really nice as this was our first season paddling to add dreaming and planning for next year into our winter routine. Kind of like looking at seed catalogs and planning the garden while relaxing around the fireplace. I wasn’t sure about the outside storage but seeing the boats every time we walk to the cars is a nice reminder spring is just around the corner. :canoe:

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Ditto here, our first year season paddling, sad to pack things away, and also glance over at the hibernating boats each time I get in the car.

I noticed you’re from “colder up” PA, so no wonder it’s time out now and you’ve had flurries. I passed there a few years ago on my way to the Rock & Roll Museum. This was on the way, somewhere unpaddleable (unless you’re a surfer) not far from you.

No response on the clothing question.
That usually means street clothes. Please tell us I am wrong.

Ppine, I went back to look and I don’t know who you are asking. I may not be alone there either.

For myself, I wear a full wet suit top and bottom, and a dry top (splash jacket with latex gaskets) with a poly fleece shirt in-between. ( If you were asking me)


Why stop?


Nice post, and a good reminder of how fast conditions can change when the water is already very cold. I suspect the reason for the comments about clothing is that you didn’t mention that you were wearing thermal protection. Seems self-evident to those of us - like you and me - who know how dangerous paddling on cold water can be, but for the many thousands of new paddlers who are flocking into the sport, it’s another story. They have no idea. I invite any paddlers reading this thread to visit the National Center for Cold Water Safety website: Also, here’s a short video:

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My gawd PD you are a heavy lifter! Me I would slide in the water!


I pull it up off the floater bow first which can be 58’’ to the bulkhead. Then I always launch it bow first. It seems much easier to get in. So to do that I have to spin it up over the neighbors fence. I press it up with mostly one arm in cockpit and other hand pushing up a bit on the side. Then I have to step around a bit when it’s up high to missed the light poles. Real tricky when it’s windy. Libra XT tandem 22’ right side of picture goes up bow first and back in stern first. No way to spin that. Crazy it seems to be normal getting into that opposite of the other single kayaks. Guess what ever you get use to. That’s the Solstice 17’7" long the others are all 18’10" long they’re worse in the wind. Longer is harder to avoid light poles too. One on my property and one on neighbors. I’ll be 69 very shortly.

Head south, went from the mountains of wv to coastal plane in sc, gained about 8-10 degrees, ain’t cheap though- gas prices for rv, state park camping amenities, etc. The price of paddling flat water. I can only take so much cold water splashing me in the chest in wv this time of year. So I try to paddle in the south a wee bit each winter

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One year we got sick of the cold and paddled the Lower Colorado River in February. The put in was Blythe, CA and we take out was right above Yuma. It was a very interesting trip but not much daylight. It was unseasonably cold with frost every night. Hard to get a fire going in the desert. But it was quiet and beautiful. Lots of critters around. A few nights we could not see anything man made and no lights.