Paddle all year long with these simple tips!
Jake Wolfe, Rocktown Adventures Aurora Store Manager
One of the biggest obstacles paddlers in Illinois face during Fall are changing water and air temperatures. Take heed of Fall Paddling Essentials as you extend your paddling season. Fall is a great time to be on the water!
As winter slowly approaches, paddling in shorts and a t-shirt just does not cut it any longer. You can extend your paddling season with proper preparation such as a good layering system and proper equipment. Our partners at NRS have written an informative blog that touches on much of what we state here. Here is a link to that for more info: https://www.nrs.com/cold_water_layering.asp
The first thing paddlers must do to extend their season is to come up with a good layering system. A good place to start is with a good pair of synthetic long underwear. It is very important to make sure that there is no cotton in the items that you will be wearing. Cotton does not insulate when wet and will only weigh you down. Terramar and Polar Max are a couple of good brands we carry.
For your next layer, once again you will need to avoid cotton. Normal outdoor clothing will do well for the next layer. I prefer to wear a long sleeve synthetic sun shirt with A good fleece jacket on top. As for the bottom half, I prefer synthetic zip off pants. Another option is to go the wetsuit route as well.
For the outer layer, a waterproof membrane is preferable, however not imperative. If you choose to go the dry route then you can go with a dry suit over everything which will keep you completely dry due to latex gaskets at both your wrists ankles and neck. A combination of the Flux dry top and Freefall dry pants from NRS around $600. A less expensive alternative would be a splash top and splash pants such as the Endurance series from NRS. The combo will run about $250. The only difference is they will not have waterproof gaskets.
Always remember proper preparation prevents poor performance! Follow the Fall Paddling Essentials to extend your paddling season.