Kayak all year round – in summer and winter time

Not all outdoor activities can be pursued year-round, but one exception is, believe it or not, kayaking! You might think that canoeing is more of a summer activity, but one should not underestimate how beautiful it can be to take a few paddle trips out on a lake surrounded by frosty landscapes and snowy trees. The only thing that determines how your experience out on the water will be is your clothes and your equipment.

It’s really all about the right clothes and equipment, regardless of the season. A very important tip is to dress for the water temperature and not for the air temperature! In the spring the air may seem warm, but the water is still freezing cold after the winter. If you dress in your summer outfit and fall in, it can get really cold quickly!

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Summer kayaking

The season when most people get out their kayak, as it is usually warm, sunny and comfortable in the water. It's also easier this time of the year because you don’t need as much equipment and planning. One important thing that many people may forget is that you need to protect yourself from the sun. When you are on the water, the sunlight is reflected and therefore amplified, so you’ll get a sunburn much faster. Bring a light jacket or a thin long-sleeved shirt that you can wear on your upper body and arms to protect your skin from the sunrays. On the other hand, it can get very hot in the cockpit, so we suggest that you wear either shorts or just swimwear on the lower body. Besides that it is also advisable to give some thought to materials so that you don't choose clothes that start to chafe when you get wet from water or sweat.

Winter kayaking

In winter, paddling is very different, the days are shorter and the temperature is very low both in the air and in the water. If you capsize, the consequences can be serious. It is therefore important to be prepared for everything, such as icing up of the kayak, equipment and clothing. You should also remember to bring both ice bolts and ice axes, as these can be of great advantage when you go ashore. As many know, it can get very slippery on the rocks along the water; there can even be layers of ice on them.

A must-have when paddling in winter is a proper dry suit. It keeps you dry and even if you capsize, it can keep most of the water out. The water that gets in stays between your skin and the suit and is warmed up by your body temperature. To regulate the temperature when paddling with a dry suit, you can follow the layered clothing principle. You should wear a base layer directly on the skin; and you regulate the temperature by adding more layers of wool or synthetics. You can also add a neoprene hood and boots to protect those parts of the body where most heat is dissipated. Wear a pair of thick woollen socks under your dry suit and a pair of extra soles in the neoprene boots. Your feet can get very cold, especially if your toes get wet. It is also wise to bring a pair of extra gloves so that you have a dry pair when you take a break for lunch.

While you are paddling and therefore are in motion, you can get quite warm, but if you take a break for a snack, it can get quite chilly. In other words, it's better to pack a little more so that you don't have too few clothes with you and the whole trip is spoiled.

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Spring kayaking

After winter comes spring, and the sunrays slowly start to feel warmer. However, do not let that fool you! Because although the air is warm, the water is still freezing cold from winter. Therefore, we recommend that you paddle in a dry suit in spring as well. You can still regulate the temperature layer by layer, start by putting on a base layer and then see if you need more layers. If you capsize, you will be grateful that you are wearing the suit. Otherwise, you can wear the same clothes that we recommend for autumn. The most important thing is not to underestimate the cold in spring.

Fall kayaking

During fall the air may feel a little crisper, but the water is still quite warm after the summer. The layering principle applies here too, with a warm base layer directly on the body, and then you regulate the temperature with intermediate layers. As a last layer we recommend a waterproof kayak jacket with ventilation, which should preferably be easily closed around the wrists and neck. On the bottom you should start with long underwear and then go with neoprene pants or waterproof kayak pants, which also should be easy to close at the feet and waist. Protect your hands and feet with neoprene gloves (so-called poogies) and shoes. A beanie keeps your head warm, which has an effect on your overall body temperature.

Packing list – good to bring

  • Clothing for paddling
  • Change of clothes
  • Rainwear, shell clothing
  • Kayak or canoe
  • Paddles
  • Life jacket
  • Spray cover
  • Reserve paddle
  • Pump
  • Paddle floats or drift anchor
  • Repair kit
  • Flashlight, headlamp
  • Sun block

  • First aid kit
  • Knife or multifunctional tool
  • Map and compass
  • Toiletries
  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Camping kitchen, fuel and pots
  • Water, for drinking and food preparation
  • Food
  • Plate, cutlery and cup
  • Garbage bags

We’ll help you!

If you follow these tips, you can paddle all year round, even in the middle of winter. All seasons have something special about them - summer with its lovely temperatures, winter with its frosty landscapes surrounding the lake, spring with its fresh air and fall with its beautiful colors. Don't miss out on all the wonderful experiences you can enjoy with your kayak - we will help you find the right clothes and equipment for paddling all year round!

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