Hot Weather Paddling

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Hot Weather Paddling

Post by Christov_Tenn »

We've got a heat advisory of sorts for our area this weekend - highs in the mid to upper 90s, humidity and a heat index that NOAA's predicting to top out at 105.

I'm planning to get out on the water very early tomorrow morning, will have sunscreen, ball-cap, new paddling togs from NRS, and some water with me. I plan to get back to the put in around noon.

Anybody here have experience in hot weather paddling? Advice?




Post by Alm »

People at the forum at do exactly this every year - paddling in hot weather - Florida marathon "Everglades Challenge". (And the rest of the year they spend in preparation to that marathon :-). One advice that I liked, was to get some old dress shirt and cut the collar off. Its buttons provide ample ventilation options. Hot and humid is one thing, and hot and dry - another. In humid (both hot and cold) synthetics is better, in hot and dry - pure cotton, especially ashore, when you are not physically active. Baseball cap works, but I would rather get some "Tilley" hat with wide brim and adjustable chin strap, like this one - ... 2080535305 (used to be available in more expensive cotton version as well, and I think cotton is better).

Some people may get sore lips in windy weather, no matter - hot or cold. The best I could find was Carmex balm in lipstick version - easy to use on water one-handedly, clear when applied and doesn't taste ugly. May be Dermatone at NRS is something similar, but I like Carmex.

Mesh-back PFD would be nice too. Good sandals; running sandalas, if you have them, could be good for water, but most of them aren't. "Water clogs" is another alternative (to costly rugged watershoes like Salomon Techamphibian or Nemo 5/10): ... 2081464941


Post by Guest »

A few other thoughts on this topic, I went out last weekend in Seattle where the temp hit 90 the afternoon I was paddling. After about 45 mins I wasn't feeling very well so headed back to shore. Once I started putting the boat back on the car I realized I had a mild case of heat exhaustion. My wife happens to be a personal trainer and took care of me when I got home. She also offered a few "tips" for next time.

First even thought I carried water with me and thought I was staying hydrated, in those kinds of temps water might not be sufficent. You might want to think about a sports drink with a carb percentage of at least 5% and 6 to 8% would be even better. The other obvious tip that I didn't think of, assuming you are wearing a hat, wet it down to keep your head a bit cooler.

Just some "food" for thought.


Post by Alm »

Yes, after body has lost a lot of salts with sweat (and whatever else is contained there), I too feel craving for something more than regular water. Mineral water is better (not just spring, but mineral), or those sports drinks. Taste definitely changes in hot weather, reflecting changed body needs. I found that can't drink much black tea (normally I prefer it over coffee), but cranberry "tea" of dry sweetened cranberries works excellent. These dry berries are quite edible straight from the pack, without any water. May be, non-sweetened are better (superstores have both varieties). Dry lemon doesn't work - it tastes ugly compared to fresh lemon (which works fine in both hot and cold tea). But fresh lemon you can't take on long trips.

My hat somehow is always wet when I paddle :-)... I even think that I tend to wear it to avoid cold water droplets landing on my barely protected crown. It was too windy here in BC last weekend, to feel any heat. My hat would've flown somewhere to New Zealand, if didn't have chin straps (one more reason to use a proper hat, rather than baseball cap).



Post by Christov_Tenn »

I took some food and ate lunch on the water, which helped a lot. 9 grain bread, peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwich - no refrigeration needed, five Oreo cookies I could have done without, and the best course was a bag with roasted almonds and unsalted peanuts, shaken to distribute the salt from the almonds. They tasted terrific at "room" temperature of about 95+.

And water when thirsty. As Sweat-Man, my bladder didn't get much of a workout.


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Post by mje »

WHen I'm biking in 90+ weather the only change I make is to carry a lot more water. Sometimes, for a long ride, I carry half water, and half diluted Gatorade. I apply these same rules to kayaking- stay hydrated- and add a wide-brim hat with ventilation. Actuallly I almost always wear my Tilley hat when on the water, whether kayaking, fishing or sailing.

Clothes- long sleeved ventilated fishing shirts in a light color., river shors and booties. No sandals, after nearly getting my sandals tangled in the ribs of a narrow boat.


Post by Alm »

Sandals are not the best fotwear for kayaking, but I like using them ashore, - better than booties. In booties feet stew ashore, and in sandals they breathe. The best shore footwear when it's not too hot, is, of course, exactly *shore* wear, i.e. some old, loose (and dry) runners, preferably natural leather. Works on any terrain and helps from mosquitos too. They always travel with me at some dry spot in cargo room.

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Post by Paul »

I always make sure I'll have more than enough cold water with me on the hot days. I would hate to run out of water on a hot, hot day. I used to freeze a liter bottle the night before but now just use a thermos full of ice water. I have few ultra light weight, long sleeve shirts with built in SPF 30 from a company called Tarponwear. These shirts were made for saltwater fly fishermen in the tropics, and they are also excellent for kayaking in hot, sunny weather as well. They have a large, stiff collar that can be folded up to protect the back of your neck from the sun. Sadly, this company isn't in business anymore, but you may be able to find some left over supply at a fishing store.

I find that using sunscreen on my face on the really hot days results in burning eyes. So I put the sunscreen only below my eyes and use an Orvis brimmed hat to protect the rest of my face. It's made of cotton but gets very stiff when saltwater dries on it.

I'm also never without Blistex or Carmex with SPF.

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Post by chrstjrn »

I've been to the UAE. Listen to Paul. Arabia has heat beyond any of the other locations I've seen on this group-- heat you can't imagine if you haven't been there (it's hard even if you have!).
Chris T.
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig.
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind and T12 restoration projects.
Non-folding: Early '90s Old Town Canoe.
Previously owned '04 Pakboat Puffin II and '05 Swift (prototype), as well as an '84 Hobie 16.


sports waterproof sunscreen for face

Post by jwall »

A follow-up on one prior reply:
I use now waterproof/sweatproof sunscreen, a "sports" type from, I think Coppertone, exclusively now. Prior to that, had regular sunscreen get into my eyes on hot day while sweating kayaking off Acadia in Maine. (Could barely see due to stinging for most of trip.) Now this is not an issue.

Not sure if it is an issue for kayakers, but there are more reports of marathon runners actually overhydrating with regular water and getting into serious issues with low sodium (hyponatremia.) There even have been deaths due to this. With marathons, water is more readily available.

I have heard that one advantage of bombproof rolls is that it can help one to cool off. Never got my roll that good or even good to take advantage of that.

Broad brimmed hat is mainstay for me. Do dunk in water when it is extremely hot.

On hot beaches in North Carolina in summer where no shade, have rigged up heavier type space blanket with silver side to sun using take apart paddle and line to provide shade. Surprising cool and nice to be out of direct hot sun. Not too much to carry in kayak.

On the other hand, I have found gulf coast of Florida too hot during summer to me to paddle regularly.

john w

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