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Old 05-03-2007, 12:43 PM
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JakeF JakeF is offline
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Default Safety - Water Temps

Just a reminder to all to dress for water temps, not the air temp, when kayaking. The days are getting warmer, but the water is still way to cold to be in without proper gear, and though none of us plan to take a dunk this time of year, you can’t rule out the possibility. Until the water temps come up considerably, fight that urge to out under-dressed. The body can shut down really quick in 50 degree water and unless you’re dressed for it, you could find yourself in a bad situation. An effective and reasonably affordable setup is a dry top, or semi-dry top, worn over a pair of waders. Make sure you have a good wading belt to help make a good seal between the two. This option will cost you around $200 or so, and could save your life. If you’ve got money to spare, there are some really nice dry suits on the market for around $500.

Make sure you’re equipped with the necessary safety gear in case of emergency. Things like flares, whistle, signal light, knife, first aid kit, etc. should not be overlooked. Some of these I keep in a waterproof box behind my seat, but some I want on my person at all times. A waterproof handheld VHF is a nice addition, too, and in rough water should be clipped to your PFD in case you get separated from your boat.

Above all, ALWAYS wear your PFD and leave a float plan with someone on terra firma, including an anticipated return time. As much as possible use a buddy system when you go out, a helpful hand can be invaluable in time of need, plus you’ll have someone to take photos when you catch that record breaker! (I’m accepting "buddy" applications if anyone is interested. )

Feel free to add to this... there's a lot that could be said about safety...
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