Stunning winter paddling

It has suddenly turned a bit wintery here in the UK. There was some snow on the hills near the Tiderace offices yesterday. Brrr! And with this sudden drop in temperatures my thoughts turn to the possibilities of some lovely cold crisp days on the water over the festive period. Last year the UK had one of the coldest spells of weather in years, and it was also clear, windless and sunny. Perfect for winter paddling.

Glove management

It’s often said (mainly by me) that I am not “good in the cold,” I get very cold extremities, but with proper clothing, and a good glove management strategy, I can just about cope. If anyone else suffers from Reynaud’s Syndrome you’ll know what I mean.Scottish sea loch in winter from xcite

Nonetheless, days like this on Scottish sea lochs were common, provided I wrapped up warm, didn’t plan too long day and I had hand warmers, a big jacket and gloves at the ready. I use neoprene pogies, neoprene over-gloves are good too. I also use the chemical hand-warmers for when just off the water, but find these a bit of a faff.

Special drinks and stunning sunsets

I like hot drinks (sometimes with an extra dash of inner warmth) are good for warming hands, body and mind. Of course, winter does bring it’s own rewards like red skies, temperatures on this day on Isle of Bute were well below zero Celcius.

What are your winter paddling plans?

Do you live in tropics and pull on a long sleeve T-shirt (I dream of this). Or are your lakes, rivers and seas frozen over and sea kayaking put on hold. Or are you just the tough, hardy sort who can warm their hands by dipping them in the cold water (I’ve heard that many a time).

Apparently you can get infrared gloves to help with Reynaud’s cold hands now. That sounds worth a look.

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2 thoughts on “Stunning winter paddling

  1. In the west of Ireland although it gets extremely cold and high winds are common there are still a few core kayakers amongst us who make it our mission to get out every week regardless of the conditions.
    Hot drinks “fortified” are a necessity. Being properly dressed for immersion is critical. Full drysuit during the winter with layers. Proper head cover also is a must.
    The advantage of living here on the west is that you can customise your paddle to
    Match the conditions. Force 7 ? No problem find a Lee shore lake or sea and handrail it. Offshore high winds are a no no !!!!
    The colder it is the calmer it can be.

    Get out any enjoy it. 😉

  2. Tried out my new Kokatat Pogies yesterday. Outstanding. Never liked the ‘image’ of having to wear gloves or pogies but to finish a winter west coast of Scotland on the Isle of Bute like yesterday (-2 + wind chill) with warm hands. Well worth the image sacrifice!
    Roddy

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