Now, it is the policy of KSCC to provide Cags to keep the worst of the water off and the wind out, however, we are often asked by regular paddlers what to wear when on the river.
Put very simply – wear what is going to be comfortable for the conditions! Now that’s easy to say but it really can be that simple; if it’s sunny – shorts and T-shirt will be fine and if it’s Snowy, then a lot more than that!
If you’re coming down to KSCC then usually track trousers, T-shirt, sweatshirt and a lightweight waterproof(Cag) will be fine. For shoes, plimsolls or sililar are best as they are still grippy when wet and do not take up too much space inside a kayak.
While we do not say that everyone should buy a (VERY) expensive dry suit, this is a guide on using warm layers and applies not just for Dry Suits but for use with wind proofs, cags and other outer layers:
|Base Layer – This layer must have wicking quality. A wicking layer will remove perspiration from against your skin. Fabrics like cotton soak the sweat up and leave it next to your skin cooling you down and defeating the point.Mid Layers – This is your insulation. Your mid layer can be lightweight or heavy weight depending on the temperature or you can wear more than one. This layer or layers stop the heat your body is creating from leaving the suit keeping you toasty. It also stops the cold water/air drawing the heat through your suit via conduction.Outer layer/ Shell – A dry suit is the outer most shell to your layering system. It stops you getting cold by preventing wind and water touching your skin. Remaining dry is very important. Water cools you down more than 20 times faster than air of the same temperature.|
|Heat is lost to the environment in four ways Radiation – Heat flows from a warmer object to a cooler one. Since your body is often warmer than the air, you lose heat when your skin is exposed. With the right clothing covering your body and a hat, you’ll probably be more comfortable.
Convection – Heat is lost through air movement. A cold, windy day will steal your heat and energy faster than a calm day. Windproof garments will cut convective heat loss.
Conduction – Heat is lost with contact with something cold and that loss is up to 32 times faster when that something cold is water. Conductive heat loss can be balanced with good insulation.
Evaporation – Heat dissipates when moisture leaves the body as vapor (perspiration). Even though it may be cold outside, if you are exerting yourself, you will sweat. As that sweat evaporates your body will get colder. You can manage that moisture with a good system of moisture wicking, hydrophobic insulation and breathable, waterproof clothing. By the way, cotton holds moisture, so it is not the best clothing to wear if you are trying to stay warm and dry.”