Kayaking in Florida is similar to paddling through a tropical paradise. The sunshine state is surrounded by water, with over 1,000 miles of coastline and 1,700 miles of creeks and rivers to explore.
Besides, the Florida waters are ideal for anyone with core-strength and upper-body to maneuver a kayak effectively.
Before You go Kayaking
Before you venture into kayaking in Florida, you should pay attention to some aspects, including:
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has rules and regulations governing non-motorized and motorized watercraft. Although kayakers do not necessarily follow the same laws as motorized vessels, some of these regulations do apply.
The weather forecast
It is crucial to check the weather forecast to ensure you dress accordingly. For instance, wearing a thermal shirt and windbreaker can be appropriate for a breezy, chilly day, but the outfit might be uncomfortable on a hot day.
You should understand the water temperature, not just the air temperature. Typically, a bathing suit or dry suit is excellent for hot water temp while a wetsuit can be ideal for cold waters.
What to Wear Kayaking
Kayaking in Florida might turn into a disappointing and uncomfortable venture if you do not dress appropriately.
Hence, you should select your outfit carefully while considering the kayaking environment and the challenges you might encounter.
Here is what to wear kayaking in Florida:
Layers– layering means that you wear many thin and versatile garments that can keep you warm, just like a single thicker one. You should consider an inner or base-layer made of material that insulates you and removes perspiration while allowing freedom of movement. The outer layer should be waterproof, breathable, and windproof to keep you warm and dry.
Long-sleeves– a fast-drying, moisture-wicking long sleeve shirt provides complete protection against the sunlight. Simply ensure that it has a light, breathable fabric for optimum comfort.
Shoes– the ideal pair for kayaking is the water shoes or booties. They will remain on your feet, protect you from the rocks, and keep your feet warm. You can also wear sneakers with wool socks, river sandals with proper straps, neoprene wetsuit booties, or dedicated paddling shoes.
Head protection gear– wearing a full-brimmed hat or beanie will shield your head, face, eyes, and shoulders from the sun. If you are kayaking in white water or rocky parts, wear a helmet for head protection.
Sunglasses– they will protect your eyes from the scorching sun rays. You can consider the polarized sunglasses that will help you see clearly through the waters.
Sunscreen– due to its proximity to the equator, the sunrays in Florida are stronger than most parts of the country. If you are not used to it, the rays can cause heatstroke and painful sunburns. So, it is crucial to apply sunscreen more generously than you usually do.
Paddling gloves– lightweight gloves designed from neoprene, polypropylene, or wool can protect you against abrasion and exposure. Also, paddle shaft, pogies, and mittens that fit snugly over your hands are suitable for keeping you warmer and drier.
Buoyancy aids– also known as a personal floatation device (PFD), this is a kind of lifesaving vests that allows for movement around the neck and arm areas. It will help keep you afloat if you fall out of the kayak.
Here is what to avoid wearing when kayaking in Florida:
Cotton clothes– even when you do not flip your kayak, your clothes will get water from drips, splashes, and sprays. Cotton absorbs water quickly and remains wet, and so it can be very cold and ill-fitting clothing. Instead, wear quick-drying synthetic materials like Gore-Tex, fleece, and polyester.
Jeans– jeans are heavy and un-breathable fabric. Therefore, it can turn out to be an uncomfortable outfit when kayaking in Florida.
Rustable zippers, hardware, and fasteners– water, especially salty water, can corrode many metals. So, avoid them and opt for rugged plastics instead.
Flip flops– these can come off easily in the water. Besides, the soles are quite slippery.
Additional Items to Bring
- A rain jacket, towel, and change of clothes if it gets wet
- Binocular and camera to enjoy the view and record the memories
- Snacks and plenty of water to drink
- Waterproof case to place anything you cannot afford getting wet
- Insect repellent
Clothing for kayaking requirements is similar to other outdoor activities. You should wear the right clothes to keep you dry and warm and ensure your kayaking adventure is safe and enjoyable.
Ultimately, you should look for durability, versatility, and comfort while you are on the move.