Got Any Hot (weather) Tips?

Last year I bought 2 Arctic Cool cooling towels (one for each leg). They don’t feel nearly as clammy as draping a regular wet rag over yourself. I like them and always take them when it’s hot because they help.

The safety green item is just a regular T-shirt that I happened to be wearing last weekend when I realized that powerboaters seemed to be reacting to me sooner. Then 2 powerboats passed me going in same direction and then another 2 came around a bend towards me…and then 3 jetskis also came around the bend and fanned out and went through any available gaps so we ended up with 8 (effin) lanes of traffic! So while I normally hate high visibility stuff I thought that maybe I should wear that shirt more often on summer weekends.


Drink drink and drink. Large brim hat, sunscreen, no cotton, long sleeves, gloves.


Heh! Imagine your paddle is a snow shovel.

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And sunglasses even clear offer UV protection


not for everyone, but if you want to avoid the sun (good source of vitamin D, but also quite hot), paddle when there is no sun.
I paddled every day of '20 and '21, missed a couple (hurricane) in '22, so far so good for '23.
Mostly paddling pre-dawn.
(FL paddler)


Well, there’s the common sense stuff - wear light colored clothing, a hat with a large brim and good ventilation, etc, but you know all that…
One thing I like in really hot weather paddling is to look for shallow water in the shade of an island. Set up a camp chair in about three feet of water, preferably with a bit of current, and relax in it with a nice cool beverage. If you have to be out in the heat, IMHO there’s not much that you can do that’s better. Do your paddling and camp set up and break down early and late in the day and avoid setting camp too close to trees that block a breeze. Hot weather and mosquitos can be a pretty miserable combination.
An exception to the preceding camping strategy might be considered if its the kind of hot weather that might be followed by serious thunderstorms or, heaven forbid, a tornado. That sometimes happens when its really hot, you know.

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Hydrate and add some electrolytes. I’m not a fan of warm water so I have a couple of soft freezer blocks (they are made for orthopedic injuries but conform nicely around water bottles and can be stuffed into a Camelback bag) to keep my beverages chilled. Water bladder with water and a separate bottle in day hatch with water + electrolytes.

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I just want water, who cares if it tastes like tepid dog milk.


I take half gallon juice containers and freeze ice in them. I leave some room and top off with water and one scoop of powdered gatorade per jug. Keeps the inside of the boat cool (I wear a sprayskirt) and I have a cold drink with some electrolytes. I like the straw hats in the truck stops because they hold up better than the big box stores. I wet the hat a lot to help stay cool. Everybody says cotton kills but I like cotton in hot weather. I can wet a t shirt and it really helps… I limit my time on the water to 4 hours.

Cotton won’t freeze you on hot days but I still prefer polyester .

I have a ridiculous hat I bought in Loreto Mexico that looks like the Frito Bandito but it covers my shoulders while out on the boat. My husband always says “are you really going to wear that thing?!”Like he is hoping I’m not.

My other tip is that we recently bought two huge Stanley style thermos mugs (Amazon 20 vs 50) and each morning I fill them with ice and unsweetened herbal tea with mint or lemon. He fills his with soda stream water and lemon. I think they might be 140 ounces. They fit in the cup holders and we have them all day. So we are not tempted to get something sugary just because we are thirsty.

We have all kinds of water bottles and thermoses but these are a game changer because they keep the ice all day, hold a lot, fit in the truck, and have a big handle with a glass straw.

And you know ice is impossible to find in Europe, the first thing I bought was a Chinese ice maker for the counter.


another advantage of the ‘early’ paddles is what you might see out there.
This morning, I saw the ‘fingernail’ moon rising in the east.
I then saw, in the south-east (the direction I was paddling) a red ball of fire heading up (you know, not a meteor heading down).
I checked the time, it was 3:12am.
After getting back, checked the news:
yes, SpaceX - launched at 3:10

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I’m always on the lookout for a good, ultra lightweight paddling shirt - they are hard to find. Hat, sun buff, lightweight gloves, lots of Gatorade work for me. I also ditch the full sprayskirt in the summer and just use a Seals splash deck. Keeps me a LOT cooler and keeps out 90% of the water. I’ll use the real skirt if I know I am going into rough water but typically during the summer here in Central FL I stay pretty close to shore since there is always the possibility of a storm blowing up. Heat indices routinely over 100F here; I can still do my “normal” 10-12 mile paddles but hold off on the really long trips until the fall.


long pants, long sleeves, brimmed hat, sunglasses.
I have skin cancer problems so now I wear gloves for rowing and wear a buff around the neck. Any sign of red skin and I cover up the face.
Cotton is fine in the heat.
Staying wet helps with cooling, especially the face and head.
Take time to drink. I just ran a river that was so fast, it was hard to stay hydrated. There was always a rapid up ahead.
Bring a cooler. It is much easier to drink beverages that are not hot.


If you’re a good swimmer, the water or air aren’t dangerously cold, and you want to accept a little extra risk, an inflatable PFD can be cooler to wear than a regular one. I paddle the Maine coast in the summer and use an inflatable there, but there is the risk that the water can still be somewhat cold. I’m comfortable in the water so I figure that offsets the risk a little. I also paddle inland lakes a lot in Ohio, where it can get hot, and there I use a belt-pouch inflatable which is even cooler. Both are set to inflate manually only. I have to pull the “rip cord” to inflate, which admittedly adds another element of risk if I suddenly become incapacitated. But I prefer that to having it inflate if I slip getting in and out near shore.

I highlighted the risks but to summarize, they are: what if it doesn’t inflate? (must blow up by mouth); what if I can’t pull the rip cord (I’m in trouble)?; on the belt pouch, what if I can’t pull it up over my head after inflation?

@MohaveFlyer a hat like that provides great protection, and it looks great. The only problem would be high wind days. You could solve that by carrying a smaller hat for wild weather.

@ppine I also prefer a cotton t-shirt with swimming shorts (tried wicking fabric, not for me) - wet is wet. Long sleeves is a good idea, but not sure I could stand it. The air temperature has been unseasonably cool so far this year, but summers on the Chesapeake Bay are typically hot, humid, and the wind often makes it either harder to paddle or it kills the effect of an 8 to 10 mph wind when it follows. I fill two 2-liter soda bottles with water and gave up trying to keep them cold.

Hard to imagine long trips in Florida, especially as the water temperature climbs.

Gulf water temps will hit 90F by the end of the month. Not refreshing at all. Many local paddlers only do short trips, early morning trips or don’t paddle at all in the summer here. I’m part lizard so it really doesn’t bother me at all, but I realize most people don’t tolerate it as well as I do. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are real and dangerous.

I know what it’s like here with 80° water temp and 95° air temperature. The relationship between water/air can be deceiving as covered in the other threads. Water that’s 62° feels warm with 70° air. This weekend, the air temperature was 82° to 87°. Inland air was 87° but air temperature on the water was 82° due to the 72° water moderating the warmth. Even though the water was 10° warmer than the beginning of the season, it felt cold by comparison.

Yep, the springs here are 70-72F year round. They seem so warm in the winter, and downright freezing in the summer!

Yeah, that was my thought as well. But I read someone else saying they found long sleeves quite comfortable, so I got a couple and wore them exclusively last summer. I found out I like them, perhaps better than short sleeves, still sorting that out, but at least as well as short sleeves.

The long sleeves keep the sun off your arms, obviously, but that helps keep the heat off too, more than you might think. And if you are feeling hot, it is very easy to wet the sleeves, and that does a surprising job of keeping you cooler. And I find wetting the sleeves more comfortable than getting my short sleeve shirt wet.

I recommend giving it a try, you might be surprised how much better it is than you think it will be. I was.