Colder weather entry

I have been taught to wade out in the water a little bit—straddle the kayak and put my butt in first. This is ok when the weather is nice and warm. But, what do you do in colder weather when you don’t really want to wade in the water and get your feet all wet.

(Oh–this may cause smart remarks and answers from the well seasoned kayakers—but I am asking you to refrain from tasteless remarks. Thanks)

That’s Why I Love Plastic

– Last Updated: Sep-10-05 5:44 PM EST –

In sand or dirt, put the back end of your boat in the water. The cockpit and forward leave on land. Straddle the boat, sit down, get comfy, and push off backwards into the water. Yeah it scrapes and scratches the hull. Who cares?

Or... you can get some Chota mukluks and your feet stay dry even when you walk a ways out in the water.

I will try not to be crass
but if you aren’t willing to swim in it, you shouldn’t be paddling in it. Drysuit with booties should be fine. I use a drysuit with gasketed ankles and 2 layers of neosock under neo booties or Chota Mukluks. Whenever I paddle in cold water, I take a swim first. Preps me a bit for immersion and lets me know my gear is working.

I’m willing
to swim in most water-----just not in October.


– Last Updated: Sep-10-05 9:08 PM EST –

Mukluk Light Boot (MK150)

The Mukluk Light is a 3mm closed-cell neoprene boot that keeps you warm and dry up to the knee. The triple-glued and blind-stitched seams are watertight and comfortable.
Our Price: $56.00

Mukluks or dry suit either one will keep
your feet warm and dry even in cold water. Warm synthetic socks under neoprene booties will keep your feet warm, even though they will get damp. Mukluks rule (I use the NRS Boundary Shoe) when the water is really cold.

You can do as Kudzu
says very easily in a composite boat for far longer. Plastic boats have a very definite lifespan. Composites can be repaired many times, and in the end will outlast a poly kayak. I ran an outdoor program for many years…

Rubber or neoprene boots that go up to

– Last Updated: Sep-12-05 12:00 AM EST –

your knee with keep your feet dry while you get in the boat. Just remember as others have said if you dump more than your feet will get cold and wet.

Edit to read knee not ankle

Yes. Mukluk Lights Feel Great.
Brother Spray! Money is a factor when it comes to boat abuse. So much easier to beat up a $1300 boat than a $3000 one.

Mukluks are good if you aren’t walking much in them. Then slide around on your feet. I’d carry a change of footwear if you plan on spending much time on shore.

Since no one answered your …
question yet, I’ll attempt an answer:

Put your kayak in the water parallel to the shore, but deep enough so that if you were sitting in it, it still would float. The ideal place is in about 6 or 7 inches of water with perhaps a bank that is a few inches out of the water, etc.

  1. Put your paddle across behind your cockpit coaming at a 90 degree angle to the yak. Have most of the paddles length on the bank with just the paddle on the outside edge of the kayak.
  2. While facing the bow, stoop down just beside the cockpit and in front of the paddle.
  3. Using the hand that is closest to the yak, grab the coaming with your fingers and squeeze the paddle shaft to the coaming, (in the center of the coaming). You do this by using the thumb on that hand and wrapping it around the paddle shaft.
  4. Take the other hand and and grab the paddle shaft that is on the land side.
  5. Lean slightly backwards putting your weight on the the land side paddle shaft.
  6. While doing this pick your leg closest to the yak up and into the yak, and then the other leg next. Then let your butt down in.
  7. Make sure you keep a good amount of your weight on the land side of the paddle shaft throughout the whole procedure.

    If you are my weight (160 pounds)or less you shouldn’t have any problem. On the other hand if you are a heavy weight you have to consider that if you have a ultralight paddle you could break it.

    There are different books that show the procedure, which probably makes it easier than trying to follow my directions.

    I got into the yak for many winters using that method until a couple of years ago when I got my waterproof neoprene mukluks.



And you answered his question??

actually yes he did answer
Jack L did answer his question and gave him the pros and cons, (i.e. being careful with an ultralite paddle and weight considerations)

Actually I just learned that technique. Living in Florida I just wade out and plunk my butt in the seat and put in a foot at a time, but it is convenient when you are on a bank.

And your contribution was?



I am starting to think about the cooler weather on the horizon. I know that I am going to have to do something about some warm weather clothing. I have looked and read about various tops and bottoms and so far have ordered an IR semi-dry top. I need to figure out something for the head, maybe bottoms, and for sure feet. (I agreed with your recomendations re a top, but went the semi-dry direction because I think there is more of a chance that Ill go over than you would considering our experience levels.)

I had issues with what to wear on my feet as most of the stuff I tried to start with were too big to fit with toe room for rudder control. Ive been wearing cheap walmart mesh booties which work as well as anything Ive tried.

The mucklucs: How big are they and do they come up to your knees.

Yep, your explaination is good. I am sure given calm conditions I could follow and get in and out without getting wet. But I think that realisticly I would/will wind up getting at least one foot wet.

happy paddling,


I like the Chota “Mucklucks”
I have a pair of “Chota” Calf high boots I wear when the water is a little cool. They are waterproof, and are easty to put on and take off. I have a thin pair of polyester socks I wear under them, but they are very comfortable inside by themselves.

They are waterproof, and warm feet are good to have.

But keep in mind, if the water is too cold to stand in, imagine how quickly hypothermia will kick in if you accidentally go swimming. The bad part of hypothermia is that is sneaks up on you, and you don’t know you are getting it. By the time you realise you have it, it could be too late.

For the cool water, get yourself a 3mm wetsuit, and put the mucklucks on to come up and overlap the legs of the wet suit. This combo works well for the cool water.

Water blocker socks
About October the water temps start changing quickly here too… and if we are paddling after work the air temps aren’t far behind.

The answer really does depend on what clothing someone has. BDS (before dry suit) I would wear (Seal Skinz) water blocker socks under my kickers. I found they only work as advertised for one fall/early winter season. But up to that point you can put them under any regular shoe or boot and your feet will be dry and so (usually) warm. They come up to about the middle of my calf. With that I was OK about getting that lower part of my legs wet. No swimming unless it was from a failed roll etc.

With the dry suit I have been able to move to the camp above - if you can’t get into the water before paddling you probably shouldn’t be paddling in it. But that’s a luxury that requires a dry suit in the northeast, at least for me. As air temps drop your torso will be freezing without a wind barrier top, and at some risk even with one if it starts really blowing. The last fall that I paddled and got wet BDS, I had on an Expedition Jane wetsuit with a rash guard top and a Mystery Top, a GoreTex drytop, water blocker socks under kickers and full hood.

The NRS mukluks come…
…just a bit below the knees.

I have worn them for the past several winters in my QCC-700 and then prior to that in my Eclipse including on our four month Alaska trip.

I like them very much, but I recommend wearing “smart wool” socks in them.

Your feet will end up sweating and when you take them off your feet and lower legs will be completely soaked from the sweat.

They hold your body heat, so even though your feet will get clammy they will stay warm.

My shoe size is 8-1/2 and I don"t have any problem with the toes on the foot pegs, but I would think that some one with a large size might have a problem.



I Think That Is Chuck’s Point
If I read his reply properly, he was saying that since a capsize is always possible, you should not paddle in water that is too cold for your immersion protection. You should be able to wade comfortably with what you wear.


Jacks style will still get the feet wet

– Last Updated: Sep-13-05 1:06 PM EST –

and I took exception to this statement that no one before him answered the persons question. They all did. Sorry Jack.

Then you should not kayak in October