In this video we will have a look at clothing, insulation and external heat sources. All relevant for winter paddling and staying warm during the cold winter months. Knowing how we lose heat can help you understand how to prevent it from happening.

We lose heat through touching or being in contact with anything colder than ourself. Heat loss through conduction can be prevented by insulating your kayak with closed cell foam pads at your feet and on your seat.

Wind chill causes heat loss through convection. The air movement that feels like relief on hot day will only add to the cold air temperature on a winter’s day. Here our dry suit and base layers are a windproof barrier to prevent the effect of convection.

Evaporation through sweating is our body’s way of regulating its own temperature. On a warm day sweating will cool the body temperature. On a cold day being damp and sweaty is another consideration. By managing our activity level we can prevent the cooling effect of sweating and evaporation. Remaining dry with good waterpoofs will also limit heat loss from evaporation.

Finally warm humans and other warm objects radiate heat (mostly as infra red radiation). It is possible to reflect some of that radiation wearing a barrier such as a dry suit. Multiple layers, base layer and mid layer, will also help in containing the radiation. A PFD and spray skirt will further help us prevent radiation. While on land staying in the sunshine and building a fire will all contribute to you remaining warm.

Tried and tested products for winter paddling:
Upper body: Tsangpo one piece, Arun longsleeve
Legs: Arun pants
Hands: Palm Claw mittens, Current pogies
Feet: Gradient boots