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It's that time of year again where the weather is turning and we are nowhere near ready for it to get cold just yet.
As a club we attempt to get out on the river as long as there are no river warnings, or the canal as much as we can during the winter season. (The pubs on the canals round here do a great Sunday roast!).
Every year everyone gets in a panic about what to wear on the water, so I have put together a little list of what we wear in the winter to suit all price ranges.
Do I need a wetsuit... Is the biggest question we get asked.
We find that wetsuits are great if you are on a lake or on the sea. As we are forever portaging, paddling and not being hit by waves, you might find that you overheat pretty quick. Wearing a wetsuit means that you can't take layers off. We also find that your arm reach whilst paddling in a wetsuit is restricted.
So what do you wear? layers, light layers. Neoprene leggings or a long John wetsuit.
Layers can be removed or added quickly, always make sure that you have a spare layer in your dry bag.
Base layer. You can even get thermal ones! They act as a second skin, whilst absorbing and evaporating your sweat to keep you warm.
Mid layer. To trap that body heat in. But remember if you go in the drink it's gonna get wet and heavy, so a light fleece should do the trick.
Outerlayer. Waterproof windproof light coat
Neoprene leggings. Try to get the thickest neoprene that you can. 3-5mm works!( I know a few people that wear thermals or skins under theirs). Men, you look cooler with shorts over the top, saves an unsightly camel toe!!! Long John wetsuits work too.
Ideas for Men
Long John wetsuit 3-5mm for winter to keep you toasty.
Ideas for Ladies
Long John/Jane wetsuit 3-5mm for winter to keep you snug.
Bobble Hat. Huge shout out to Jenny at Hook and natter, who hand makes ours. We try to support small businesses as much as we can. These are lovingly made locally in Rushden for us
Gloves. I wear warm thin gloves, if its cold I wear fingerless ones underneath them.
Wetsuit boots. 5mm if possible. I know people that wear seal skin socks under theirs, but personally I wear just boots.
These Gul unisex wetsuit boots are just the job.
If you are portaging you might need more than seal skin socks on your feet
If you have been out with us before over winter,you will have noticed that we have winter and summer safety gear too, I will cover that in another post.
Hope this helps.