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Recent discussion:

http://www.ncangler.com/forums/threads/63258-Thinking-ahead-cold-water-gear

My contribution there:

The main thing you need is a plan, IMO. If you are going to kayak in the winter in a spot where you can't get to the bank quickly and back to your car in short order, you really need to think about whether the trip is worth the amount of added risk. You can mitigate the risk to some degree with cold water gear, but you still need to consider whether it makes sense or not. It's not a crazy high risk, just higher than normal.

I like lined rain gear that is all nylon or poly. It is "warm while wet" according to literature, but that doesn't mean warm while swimming. If I use that gear, I have to make sure that the likelihood of a long swim is extremely low. What "warm while wet" means to me is that if you get back out of the water pretty quickly, you will be miserable until you dry off and change, but you will probably survive to do that. A swim would end the day. I am okay with that.

Whether or not getting back on your boat and then paddling in is part of the plan is something else you have to decide. How hard is deep water re-entry? Do you have enough support (other boaters you can depend on)? If you can't count on being back aboard paddling quickly, you have to stay really close to shore if you want to keep the risk low.


is still my thinking. I dress to survive getting wet and only take low risk trips.
 

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A piece of fat lighter and something to light it with. You can set the world on fire with that.
I don't have much worry. I'll pay dearly if I sit in a boat over cold water in cold air. So I don't do it.
 

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No cotton, period. And carry a dry bag with a warm change of clothes plus a thermos of something warm. This will be my first Winter kayak fishing but when I had a power boat I dressed so that if I wanted to I could anchor up at Cape Lookout and nap on the boat in total comfort with temps in the 40s.
 

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Breathable chest waders with wading belt and pfd snugged down over it all. Layer up underneath as needed. Stay away from cotton as well. Polyester, nylon, and whatever else fancy fabric there is doesn't soak up water and cling to you when wet like cotton. random thought. the military must be trainin up for something cuz the jet noise is non stop today lol.
 
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