Dave The Kayaker

Kayaking, musings, and my mid-life fitness journey. DaveTheKayaker


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Water and air temperature and the use of wetsuits when kayaking or canoeing

With Spring officially here in the northern hemisphere, many boaters will be heading back out on the water to enjoy what they perceive to be warm, sunny days.

But there is a danger.

Bodies of water and rivers and streams will take much longer to warm up so as a matter of survival, know when to wear a wetsuit.

watertempsWater temperatures and the use of wetsuits

Water temperatures are only part of the equation.

If you take an unplanned swim in chilly water and manage to get to shore or back in the boat OK, the air temperatures still have a great impact on your chances of survival.

Use the 120° Rule:

You should wear a wetsuit or dry suit whenever the sum of the air temperature and water temperature is equal to or less than 120°F.

Here is a handy .pdf guide to cold water survival.

Print it out.  Read it often. Learn it.  Live it.

Be safe out there.