Winter weather clothing

First summer of kayaking. Looking foreward to the winter. What should the well dressed

safety minded kayaker

wear in northern Indiana while kayaking the lakes

and rivers.

Some helpful sites
You may start here-

Think air temp., water temp., wind, & time you could possibly be in the water.


If you’re going to paddle all winter…
…you’re going to need a dry suit. Start saving your pennies.

I live in northern IL so know the temps you’ll be experiencing. I agree with Brian you’ll need a drysuit, probably by November.

Bill H.

Dry suit
Or semi-dry and stay nearer shore w/r to capsize risk. The ultimate semi-dry solution for winter in northern climes is a wetsuit underneath in terms of dressing for the water, but that is a total sweatbox so kinda impractical for most.

You are talking water barely above freezing, down to the higher 30’s or at least tons of time in the low 40’s. That is what you are dressing for.

I paddle in SE Michigan, pretty similiar to your water and air temps. You are, of course, dressing for water temps.

good layers underneath (wool, capilene/wool or poly fleece - your choice)

I much prefer the drysuits w. the Goretex booties. Dry feet are priceless during cold water paddling. Wool or woolblend socks over the feet (and under the booties) works well for me.

Invest in good water booties w. traction soles to go over the drysuit booties.

some full fingered gloves (or wear light gloves, under pogies, like I do)

for the head, a neoprene skullcap with or without a fleece cap or toque. For very bitter weather I use a half balaclava that protects my neck and lower face. Some use a full balaclava.

drink a lotta water, tote a hot bev in a thermos, use lip balm and keep some vaseline handy to smear on your cheeks and forehead when it’s really cold.

and enjoy!

Used drysuits are available
and will save you big bucks. Look them over carefully.

for all the tips everyone !

Just got a Kokatat Gore-tex
front entry drysuit with relief zip and gore-tex socks for $450 plus shipping on E-bay. That is less than 1/2 price so good deals can be found there. Your local clubs (kayaking / windsurfing/ sailing)might have deals on used equipment also.