I’ve got a fever……and the only cure is….SPRING! As much as I love Winter and the snow, I’m ready for Spring and hit some soft water with kayak! I’m sure I can’t be the only one feeling this way. It’s probably been awhile since you’ve been out and although you’re working out and are fit enough to fully enjoy the first day without aches and pains the next day let’s discuss getting the most out of the first day back out on the water safely.
Plan and Share
You’ve probably heard this 100 times before but it is never more true than at the beginning and end of the season. With water temps just above freezing bad things can happen quickly. Just in case the worst did happen, write down where you are going, what time you left, and the time you expect to be back. Then share it with a family member or friend. If this isn’t possible, leave it some obvious spot like the kitchen table or counter.
No doubt about it, if you’re headed out early in the season you’ll want to make sure you’re wearing the right swag! No, I’m talking about a certain brand, I’m talking about what you actually are wearing. First and foremost, wear a PFD! Now onto clothing, layers are important. With the temps fluctuating throughout the day, plus paddling you will want to have some layers on that you can take on and off throughout the day. Even more than that, you need to protect yourself if you take an accidental dip in the freezing water. There are many thoughts about what is proper to wear. Some say waders if you have the belt on tight will keep your lower half mostly dry. While I’m sure these work that still leaves half your body uncovered and lots of openings for water to get to your legs weighing you down. The next step up would be a wet suit. These can be tight and make paddling a little trickier. Although if you do fall in, you’ll get wet, but you’ll stay warmer. The best thing you can get is a dry suit. These will keep you dry and safe. You will want some warmer clothes on underneath and then jackets on to keep your upper body warm. See what works for you and your budget. If you choose to try waders, test it out in warm shallow water to see how much water it will take on. When you hit cold water, things happen quickly and you won’t have much time to debate what to do. And as always, no matter what, wear a PFD!
Why be alone?
The last tip for you to fully enjoy the first trip out of the year is to do with some friends! There’s nothing better than to share the memories with good friends. So invite them out, shoot the breeze, and enjoy the first trip of the year!
After you take your first trip, I’d love to know about it! Tag or mention me in a photo and share your fun trip! Just tag Spencer Jones and/or Jonesin’ to get fit on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!