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  #31  
Old 01-13-2014
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Re: Cold water survival

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Originally Posted by krisscross View Post
When the kayak capsized I thought that I can make it to the shore without a problem. After all it was less than 200 feet. But the clothes and vest combined with cold water made a big difference. I was truly surprised how slow I was moving. I made several test swims in my clothes and life jackets before, but they were all in warm waters.
I think I'm going to try that this summer, go for a test swim in my clothes and PFD. I imagine most people under-estimate how difficult it is to swim while weighted down by wet clothes.

My three times around the boat was in a swim suit. I bet I'd have a hard time making it one time around fully clothed.
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  #32  
Old 01-13-2014
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Re: Cold water survival

Wear chinos or khaki's, not Levi's, I don't wear Levi's near the ocean, anymore.
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  #33  
Old 01-13-2014
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Re: Cold water survival

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Originally Posted by capttb View Post
Wear chinos or khaki's, not Levi's, I don't wear Levi's near the ocean, anymore.

Quick drying hiking pants are my choice. They also take up very little space in my bag.
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  #34  
Old 01-13-2014
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Re: Cold water survival

Krisskross,
i used to do alot of white water kayaking and kayak surfing in cold weather. Spring flood class 5 and surfing in the fall (Oct/Nov) when the weather would turn and the winds would howl out of the northwest (great surf).

Being somewhat acclimated to the cold water does help to a certain degree. I know that sounds crazy; but, a lot of people go into a panic mode when they hit the water. I'm not saying that you did. It is a natural response when faced with a "shocking" experience. I actually used to think 50 degree water was refreshing.

I used to wear a dry top and bottoms (and booties) made for whitewater with thermals underneath. HUGE difference. By the way for those that would like some dry gear that won't break the bank check out whitewater kayaking gear. Serious winter kayaking is in a drysuit only.

For kayaking you need a kayaking PFD. As you have learned, a regular PFD could be the death of you! I actually sail with mine on normally as it is far more comfortable.

I have since stopped whatewater/surfing kayaking after to many perlious endings. I stick to the lake now. Much quieter.


Don't try this at home.
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Old 01-13-2014
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Re: Cold water survival

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Originally Posted by benesailor View Post
Being somewhat acclimated to the cold water does help to a certain degree. I know that sounds crazy; but, a lot of people go into a panic mode when they hit the water. I'm not saying that you did. It is a natural response when faced with a "shocking" experience. I actually used to think 50 degree water was refreshing.

I used to wear a dry top and bottoms (and booties) made for whitewater with thermals underneath. HUGE difference. By the way for those that would like some dry gear that won't break the bank check out whitewater kayaking gear. Serious winter kayaking is in a drysuit only.

For kayaking you need a kayaking PFD. As you have learned, a regular PFD could be the death of you! I actually sail with mine on normally as it is far more comfortable.
Yes, these are all really good points, thank you. When I kayak or paddle board in my wet suit I have to watch for chafe, even when wearing anti-chafe undies. Very rough on the nipples (that is also my original reason not to wear my life vest very snug). It is hard for me to spend a grand on a kayaking dry suit but I think that would be money well spent.
What kind of pfd would you recommend?
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Old 01-13-2014
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Re: Cold water survival

Good points, and a good lesson learned or even re-learned...It is so easy to forget how unforgiving a few degree's can be. Glad you made it back, and thanks for sharing...a reminder is always in order.
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Re: Cold water survival

Something that will keep you cool in warm weather and give you plenty of upper body mobility. I recommend going to a REAL kayaking store and trying one on.

CKS | Whitewater PFDs and Lifejackets

Whitewater Kayaking > Kayaking Life Jackets at nrs.com
Not off-shore rated.

Here's a good utility Kayak
Rogue Whitewater Kayak, Recreational Kayak | Jackson Kayak Jackson Kayak ? Whitewater Kayaks, Fishing Kayaks, Recreational Kayaks
For those that stil like an adrelanine rush.
Whitewater Kayak: Jackson Fun Runner, River Running, Whitewater | Jackson Kayak Jackson Kayak ? Whitewater Kayaks, Fishing Kayaks, Recreational Kayaks

Great place to visit
Mountainman Outdoor Supply Company - New York's Largest Dealer of Canoes, Kayaks, and Stand-Up Paddleboards. | Mountainman Outdoor Supply Company

These work well for kayaking and sailing.
Men > Technical Outerwear > Splash Jackets at nrs.com
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Old 01-14-2014
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Re: Cold water survival

Good post and a hard one to do ! What a great job to set out to help us all.
Good day, Lou
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Old 01-14-2014
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Re: Cold water survival

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Originally Posted by benesailor View Post
Something that will keep you cool in warm weather and give you plenty of upper body mobility. I recommend going to a REAL kayaking store and trying one on.
I got my current vest at REM, which is one of the few kayaking stores in my area. Paid almost $100 for it. This vest is not bad for wearing in the hot weather but without a crotch strap (which I have but were not using at the time) or being strapped tight, it rides up when you are swimming in it. I'm not sure if it is an easy problem to solve without a crotch strap. I use the crotch strap when sailing but when I'm paddling the strap tends to give me a wedgie.
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Old 01-14-2014
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Re: Cold water survival

Glad you made it out, but I'm confused.
A C-1 is a Canoe, 1-man. It is open, it is not a Kayak. A K-1 is a 1-man Kayak. Neither one is a "sityak", which is often called an "open kayak" an anathema that should just be called what it is, a paddleboard with a seating surface.

In a canoe, when you dump it fills. In a kayak, the decking is closed, and you *should* be using a spray skirt, so that you are installed like a stopper in a bottle neck. When you dump in a kayak, you're supposed to trained to do an 'eskimo roll' and simply keep rolling over until you've done a 360 and are upright again. And because of the spray skirt, the kayak will not and does not flood normally. So your survival in icy water is way more likely than it would be in an open canoe.

Either way, having been diving in wet suit and dry in icy waters, brrrgh!

PFDs don't help you in that kind of water. Your diaphragm muscles still freeze. Then you stop breathing and you suffocate instead of drowning. The PFD just makes it faster for the poor SOB who is trying to recover your body and get back home before dinner. No matter which numbers you use on the freezing charts.

Something to think about.
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