Stay Warm and Safe on the Water with Cold Weather Kayak Gear

Kayak anglers don’t have to pack up their gear once the temperature drops. In fact, some of the best fishing can be done in cold weather when power boaters are nowhere to be seen. However, venturing out in chilly conditions requires proper preparation and the right cold weather kayak gear to ensure both comfort and safety.

Dress for Success

When it comes to staying warm while kayak fishing in the cold, the key is to dress in layers. Start with lightweight, insulated clothing as a base layer, and top it off with a waterproof outer layer. Avoid wearing absorbent materials like blue jeans, as they can quickly become cold and uncomfortable when wet.

To stay dry and warm, wearing lightweight neoprene waders over your clothing is a great idea. Pair them with a waterproof jacket that can be adjusted at the waist to keep out any water that may spray up from the kayak. While this total covering may make paddling a little more challenging, it ensures that both you and the water stay well apart.

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Keeping Warm from Head to Toe

Cold hands can make fishing in frigid conditions unbearable. To combat this, invest in a pair of winter gloves and slip two Hot Hands hand warmers into your vest pockets. This simple trick will keep your hands toasty warm throughout the day. Remember to buy your handwarmers ahead of hunting season, as they tend to sell out quickly.

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In addition to warm hands, it’s essential to keep your neck and ears protected from the cold. Wear a thick neck gaiter and earmuffs to insulate these vulnerable areas. While you may look a bit funny, your warmth and comfort will outweigh any fashion concerns.

Remember that if you can keep your hands, feet, and head warm, the rest of your body will likely be just fine.

The Power of Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs)

One benefit of cold weather fishing is that those sometimes cumbersome Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) become valuable assets. Instead of being hot and uncomfortable, they become excellent body insulation. Layer your PFD under a jacket and over lighter clothing, creating a warm and effective barrier against the cold. Should you accidentally fall into the water, the PFD will keep you afloat and give you crucial time to self-rescue or seek help.

Choosing the Right Gear

Not all cold weather gear is suitable for kayak anglers. Champion bass angler Tim Perkins recommends Kokatat Water Pants for their waterproof properties. Pair them with boots for added warmth, even in rainy conditions. Consider investing in a water jacket from Kokatat as well, as it performs admirably in wet and cool weather.

Be cautious of heavy insulated rain suits designed for bass boat anglers. While they may work well for others, they can become excessively heavy and cumbersome when soaked in water, making it difficult to get back into your kayak after an accident. Opt for lighter, less absorbent gear that won’t weigh you down in case of an emergency.

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Lastly, don’t forget to cover your head. We lose a significant amount of body heat through our heads, so wearing a warm hat or hoodie jacket can make a world of difference in keeping you comfortable in the cold. For added warmth and protection, slip on a pair of thick, woolen socks to keep your feet cozy even if they get wet.

Remember to prioritize safety on the water and enjoy your cold weather kayak fishing adventures. Stay warm, stay dry, and have a great time exploring the wonders of winter angling.

To find high-quality kayak gear for all your adventures, visit UpStreamPaddle.