Paddling in the winter: Five tips to stay warm

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Winter training for any sport always seems like a daunting undertaking. The usual winter breeze and below freezing temperatures require athletes to exert more effort to keep their bodies warm while training their minds to power through the cold breeze. Kayak training in the winter requires a lot more preparation than paddling in the summer. Anouk Govil.

Dress for the occasion. At the very least, a kayaker must wear a wetsuit when paddling in the cold air and water. Over the wetsuit, wear a drysuit that’s made specifically for paddle sports as this would provide more protection and warmth during harsh breezes. Water booties are a must, too. Keep the hands warm and protected by wearing neoprene gloves or pogies. Anouk Govil.

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Wear a helmet that is both warm and comfortable to wear. When it gets too cold, wear a balaclava underneath the helmet for additional heat. There’s a reason parents always tell their kids to wear a hat when it’s cold outside. Repeated exposure to cold water can cause damage to the ears. Use earplugs when kayaking on a cold winter’s day. This will keep cold water and snow out of the ears, keeping them warm and healthy throughout the paddle session. Anouk Govil.

Bring a thermos filled with hot water, soup, or coffee to enjoy after (or before!) a chilly kayaking session. Along with a change of warm clothes, a hot food or beverage can prevent one from suffering from hypothermia after kayaking in freezing temperatures. Anouk Govil.

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