In this post, I’m going to talk about how dangerous is kayaking while raining, then give you some tips about kayaking in the rain(with an actionable plan!). Then, I also talk about can you kayak after the rain? At the end of the post, I list some gear recommendation for kayakers who can prepare for the bad weather condition in advance.
Did you have experience kayaking while is raining? slowly, the rain started at a gentle pace and lasts up to an hour. Later, the weather breaking out into a heavy downpour. Your glasses become completely useless and you started to get a little cold and the kayak started to flood.
Is the above situation familiar?
If yes, you’re not the only one. Raining just happens while kayaking, no matter how you pay attention to the weather forecast. The real question is should I stop kayaking when raining? and how dangerous is kayaking in the rain?
So, Can you go kayaking in the rain? The quick answer is: Yes, you can kayak in the rain. Actually, kayaking in the rain can produce a lot of memorable experience if you are fully prepared for it plus putting on the right kit.
This post is aimed towards providing you the necessary information needed to enjoy kayaking when raining.
Check out some paddlers enjoy the rain while kayaking.
How dangerous is kayaking when raining?
Although kayaking in the rain is totally possible, a fun-filled kayak trip can be ruined by an unexpected accident. If you happen to have to kayak in the rain, there are some possible dangers you should be awared of.
• Getting hit by the lightning storm or thunder that strikes out of nowhere.
• Hypothermia, which can occur as a result of inadequate clothing or complete immersion into the cold water due to capsizing.
• Drowning is one of the possible accident you might encounter while kayaking in the rain due to the increase in the level of water caused by rainfall.
• You stand the risk of getting hit by a floating log or kayak if you accidentally fall into the water.
• Kayaking when raining exposes you to the dangers of colliding with rocks, which might lead to concussion, death or even leave you unconscious.
• You easily get exhausted when kayaking in the rain because of the amount of energy required to keep your kayak under control due to strong waves or winds that makes paddling difficult.
Tips for Kayaking in the rain
Having the required experience and knowledge to judge the unexpected is one of the most important factors to ensure safe kayaking when raining.
So, how do you prepare for kayaking in the rain? Below are safety preparation tips for kayaking in the rain.
Necessary skills and knowledge
- Engage in regular exercise to keep fit
- Wear the proper cloth for the occasion such as thermal clothing or wetsuit
- Capsized is more possible when kayaking in the rain, so swimming ability(Check out my article: Can’t swim? No Problem! 3 Kayaking tips for non-swimmer.) is highly recommended
- Avoid any form of intoxicants before embarking on your trip
- Safety and paddling skills
- Knowledge of how to enter and exit a kayak safely
- Current weather update
Check out the video on how to re-enter your kayak.
Lay out an action plan, including a backup plan in case of any emergency such as getting separated from your kayak or capsized. This plan will help avoid any form of helplessness or panic if you aren’t prepared beforehand.
- Figure out the amount of time that you will spend on water and inform your family and friends of your returning time. (You should always do this.)
- Carry out a routine maintenance on your kayak after every trip in order to feel safe that your kayak is ready for the rain trip.
- Know and Plan the route you are going to embark on based on the current weather forecast during and after rainfall.
- Using a waterproof GPS watch or any location application to navigate your way In case you get lost.
- Carry your first aid and repair tools with you.
- Bring your safety gear along as a backup such as floatation device, life vests, etc. because they will keep you afloat in case you get capsize.
You must understand clearly the possible dangers ahead and stay on alert for them, such as the current weather forecast.
Can You kayak after it rains?
Yes, you can embark on a kayaking trip after rainfall. But, it can be unsafe, especially in some particular rivers due to the high level of water (Check out this article about water level: What do the different water levels mean?) and the possible existence of bacteria that are dangerous to human health.
Below are factors to consider before embarking on a kayak trip after rainfall.
- Adequate knowledge about the possible situation(use this App to check water level) of your intended destination.
- Is your immune system strong enough to withstand the current weather condition?
- Won’t you mind getting immersed in water in case you got capsized by a strong wind?
- What is the current weather condition or temperature?
Planning to kayak after rainfall? Here are tips to ensure safer kayaking after rainfall.
- Check your kayak for any wear and damage.
- Go on a kayak trip with a colleague (Don’t go alone).
- Learn how to rescue yourself and others. (Safety & Rescue Courses)
- Carry some dry clothes along In case you get wet.
- Dress properly by putting on dry or wetsuits to fight off an extreme cold. However, layered clothing is recommended in a moderate weather condition.
- Avoid kayaking on cold water as a prevention against hypothermia.
Upon returning from your kayaking trip, wash your hands with sanitizers and have a nice shower.
Check out this video which talks about a totally different subject(How rain benefit to kayak fishing.)
Rain gear for kayaking
When deciding what to wear, there aren’t perfect outfits for all weather conditions. The most important thing is that you should protect yourself from elements such as wind, cold, unexpected capsize, hypothermia and also make yourself comfortable within the duration of your kayaking trip.
My suggestion is to prepare for the worst and be attentive to the weather forecast.
As a matter of fact, kayaking is known as a “water sport” so, there shouldn’t be any reason for you to stop kayaking in the raining season. Here is the gear suggestion that will help eliminate any potential danger and make your kayaking trip a fun-filled one.
Hats or helmets
Broad-brimmed hats will help keep your head dry from the rain, while a helmet protects you from getting a head injury if you have a collision with rocks or bash your head against the paddle.
Drysuits and Wetsuits
Wearing drysuits or wetsuits will definitely protect you from cold while kayaking in the rain. The difference between them is that drysuit, like its name suggested, will keep you dry and prevent water from entering the coat, which makes it ideal for kayaking when raining.
While wetsuit is a rubber made garment that holds a small quantity of water between the wetsuit layer and your skin and limits the water circulation.
A rash vest provides additional comfort beneath your wetsuit. It makes easy to put on/off the wetsuit and prevent the wetsuit from rubbing your skin.
Waterproof Jacket: This is useful during cold weather, especially while raining.
Gloves: Gloves serves as a protection against blisters and germs.
Shorts and Longer pants: Shorts or long pants that extend up to the knee.
Life jacket gives you the freedom in moving your neck and arms, which makes paddling and swimming easy, in case you get capsized. They are available in different styles and for various activities.
Shoes and Sandals
Sandals are known for their comfortable and fast drying properties. If you are going for a kayaking trip, wear sandals with multiple ties that will stay firm on your feet or shoes that give protection to your feet.
A waterproof sock is ideal if you don’t step into water that rises above the socks. This should be replaced yearly due to the friction that occurs between the socks and sandal or shoes, which reduces its waterproofing ability.
Boots that are calf-length and sturdy are ideal for kayaking because they protect you from getting slipped up and hurt in case you stepped on a sharp object in the water.
They can also stay dry if you didn’t step into water that goes over their top. Besides, don’t forget to consider the space available for your feet in your kayak when choosing a boot.
After purchasing the kayaking gear, you will want it to last for an extended period of time. Make sure you hang it to dry after returning from your kayaking trip and keep it protected from ultraviolet rays by placing it away from direct sunlight.
Hope you find this post helpful. If you find anything wrong or outdated in this post, please kindly leave your comment below. I’ll update it as soon as possible.
Thanks for reading, Happy kayaking.