How To Stay Safe While Kayaking or Canoeing in The Rain (Safety And Gear)

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How To Stay Safe While Kayaking or Canoeing in The Rain (Safety And Gear)

Spending time outside will teach you that the weather can change suddenly, if there is one thing it will teach you. Even if you might be tempted to put your paddle away when you feel a few raindrops on your skin or notice a sky covered in gloomy clouds, the good news is that you can kayak in the rain.

Can I Go Kayaking or Canoeing in The Rain??

Don’t Stress… Kayaking Can Be Performed In The Rain!

If your question is: Can you kayak or Canoe in the rain then? 

The Quick Answer is A Big Yes…. (•̀ᴗ•́)
You can kayak in the rain. However, if you are well-equipped and thoroughly prepared for it, then kayaking or canoeing in the rain kayaking in the rain may generate a lot of amazing experiences.

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How To Stay Safe While Kayaking or Canoeing in The Rain (Safety And Gear)

So, Have you ever paddled a kayak or canoe in the rain? The rain began softly and continued for up to an hour. Later, a severe downpour broke out in the weather. You started to feel a little cold, your glasses became utterly useless, and the kayak began to fill.

Why let a little extra water ruin your fun when, in reality, you were probably going to get wet anyway? Even if there are a few extra risks associated with kayaking on a wet day, a good kayaker should always be ready for whatever mother nature has in plan.

These guidelines will give you the confidence to carry out your plans. Knowing how to kayak in the rain increases the options for enjoying your favorite water sport.

You all know how enjoyable kayaking can be. Can you kayak in the rain, though? Risk cannot be completely eliminated, but it can be reduced.

If kayaks are not properly maintained, they can quickly fill with water during storms and sink.

This article provides extra information on how to care for your kayak or canoe when it’s raining.

Is The Scenario Above Familiar?

In that case, you are not alone. No matter how closely you monitor the weather prediction, the rain just happens while kayaking. The real query is: Should I abandon kayaking or Canoeing in the rain? likewise, how risky is kayaking in the rain?

Is Kayaking or Canoeing Viable In The Rain?

Kayaking in the rain is doable as long as you have a plan and know what to anticipate. For instance, a river may have powerful currents and floating rapids.

Before you paddle, find out how the river is feeling from a local because it can be hazardous if it has been raining for days and the water level is high.

Recreational kayaks also have an above-average tendency to absorb more water, so you should be more cautious about where and when you touch down with the kayak.

You might want to avoid any flora in shallow water that could present a risk if it gets on something while you’re paddling.

There aren’t many risks involved with paddling through a light downpour, but there are a few circumstances on the water that could be dangerous. One of your biggest threats is lightning. It is advised to leave the water and seek safety on dry land if you see lightning or hear thunder.

If this isn’t possible, keep a minimum of 20 feet between you and any other kayakers and make an effort to shrink as much as you can. Don’t forget to keep your paddle and any other metal items in your boat away from your body.

Under some circumstances, kayaking in the rain can be safe. Kayaking on the water during a rainstorm or other extremely bad weather should be avoided, although it is frequent and occasionally inevitable to get caught in the rain while kayaking.

How Risky Is Kayaking or Canoeing in The Rain?

If anyone has experience kayaking in the rain, that would be great (mid to heavy rain). I had the unusual experience of kayaking in a mangrove swamp in a strong wind and heavy rain. Although I wanted to paddle the rest of the way, I decided to turn around out of caution. My glasses were absolutely useless, I started to get a little chilled, and the kayak started to flood. I was on edge because I had no other way to remove the water from the kayak than my hands due to the intense rain. 

Can You Kayak During A Thunderstorm Safely?

Going kayaking in a thunderstorm is not a good idea because water is a great conductor of lightning.

If lightning hits close to you, even at a distance of 100 meters from the moment of impact, you could get injuries. During a hurricane, it would be best to remain on the land.

Strong storms have the potential to produce swift currents and quickly rising water levels, which kayakers should be wary of. Another worry is hypothermia, although, with adequate planning, these dangers are reduced.

Here are some safety precautions for kayaking in the rain whether you know it’s going to rain or not due to an unforeseen event.

How To Stay Safe While Kayaking or Canoeing in The Rain (Safety And Gear)

Tips For Kayaking or Canoeing in The Rain

Use this advice to stay safe while kayaking in the rain.

Practicing Is Essential…!!

Being in shape is a useful tip to keep in mind before going kayaking on a rainy day. You should also be fully conversant with the fundamental methods.

Experienced kayakers frequently caution new paddlers to be ready for sudden shifts in the weather. Your expedition will be as safe as possible if you take a little time to prepare before you go and keep an eye on the weather after you start paddling.

Necessary Knowledge and Capabilities

To stay fit, exercise frequently. Put on appropriate attire, such as a wetsuit or thermals, for the situation.

When kayaking in the rain, capsizing is more likely, hence having swimming ability (see my article Can’t swim? No issue! Three pieces of advice for non-swimmers on kayaking.) is strongly advised. Prior to leaving on your journey, refrain from using any type of intoxicant. Safety and canoeing expertise. understanding of safe kayak entry and exit techniques. Update on the weather today.

Mission Plan

Plan your course of action and include a backup strategy in case of an emergency, such as capsizing or being separated from your kayak. If you don’t prepare in advance, this approach will assist in preventing any feelings of panic or helplessness.

Determine how long you will be on the water, and let your loved ones and friends know when you plan to return. (You should do this at all times.) After each trip, perform periodic maintenance on your kayak to ensure that it is prepared for a wet journey. Be aware of the current weather prediction, especially during and after rain, and plan your journey accordingly.

In case you become lost, you can use a waterproof GPS watch or any other location-based software to find your way. Bring your tools for repairs and first aid with you.
As a backup, bring your safety equipment, such as life jackets and flotation devices, with you.

Make A Route Plan, Before you Leave

Confusion on the sea can result from rainy weather. You might not be able to see very far in front of you during heavy downpours. This may result in risky collisions with nearby objects like rocks and trees. Additionally, it is simpler to become lost because recognizable landmarks may be obscured by rising water

Prior to starting your kayak trip, be sure to check out your route. This provides you the opportunity to adjust your plans before leaving in light of the most recent forecast. Once you begin paddling, keep an eye out for obstructions and any changes in the weather so you can adapt your plans.

A rainy day is a great chance to stay indoors, take advantage of the weather, and disconnect from the outside world.

If you intend to paddle in the rain, make sure you plan your route. You can avoid obstructions and rising water levels by doing this.

Kayaking or Canoeing is best done in the sunshine, but if it rains, you shouldn’t be concerned. Check the route before leaving if the weather has changed before you go.

Become More Skilled

In addition, a large storm may quickly turn even a quiet lake into one with high waves and extremely powerful currents. Most novice kayakers wouldn’t start paddling in choppy waters.

Check The Weather and The Water Conditions

How safe you can remain throughout a kayaking expedition in the rain depends greatly on the air and water temperatures. Discover the current temperature and discover if it will lower if rain is on the way.

This makes it easier for you to prepare your clothing for cold weather. Additionally, you can make sure that no lightning, hail, or strong winds are anticipated during the periods you intend to be out on the open sea.

If you know what to expect and prepare ahead of time, kayaking or canoeing in the rain can be completely safe. You should be aware that the water levels may be substantially higher than usual if it has been raining for a while. For rivers, this means that rapids may be present where they might not be during a few days of dry weather.

It’s crucial to check with your local kayak outfitters, bait shop, or fish and wildlife authorities to assess the water conditions before you set out because a flooded river could imply powerful currents even when there are no rapids.

Keep An Eye On The Water Level

Your preferred calm river could become furious and full with roaring rapids after a few days of rain. Or, in an otherwise calm lake, you might not be aware of just how strong the currents become during a storm.

Before you travel, use an app to check the water level and the weather. It also pays to keep an eye out for changes while traveling over a long distance during a storm.

Inform Others About Your Floating Plan

It’s best to let someone know where you’re going kayaking, how long you think your excursion will last, and when you want to check in.

The person should also be aware of who to contact in case of an emergency or if you don’t show up when expected. They should also be aware of information that can help rescue personnel locate you, such as the color and design of the vessel.

Make Yourself More Visible

Inclement weather makes it more difficult to see your boat, just like it does other vehicles. Use your boat’s lights or your flashlight to alert other boats to your location. In order to be more visible, some kayakers also favour wearing colorful clothing and using luminous materials.

Do Not Let The Water Entering Your Kayak

The best technique to keep water out of the cockpit of a sit-in kayak is to employ a spray skirt. When kayaking in colder climates, a spray skirt is useful since splashing water into your kayak is about as enjoyable as having ice-cold water poured down your pants every ten minutes.

A spray skirt can also be quite helpful when it is raining on top of your kayak and pouring water onto and into the kayak.

Stay Safe While Kayaking or Canoeing in The Rain With The Right Gear

If rain is in the forecast, you should probably refresh your equipment. Your safety and comfort can be substantially improved by dressing carefully and packing a few additional supplies.

Using Waterproof GPS

Recall how getting lost is more likely in the rain? You can keep on course with your route with the aid of a waterproof GPS. Depending on your system, you could also be able to communicate with friends back home or emergency personnel using your waypoints and other information.

Helmets or hats

A helmet will prevent you from suffering a head injury if you collide with rocks or bang your head against the paddle, and wide-brimmed caps will assist keep your head dry from the rain.

Using a Waterproof Spray Skirt

While kayaking or canoeing in the rain, there’s a good chance you’ll get wet, but a spray skirt can help save you from becoming drenched. Spray skirts are available in a number of materials, including nylon and neoprene. Select the one that best satisfies your insulation and waterproofing needs.

Well, in order to keep you dry, you can attach a spray skirt to your sit-inside kayak to assist block rain from entering the cockpit.

If you’re on a sit-on-top, you won’t be able to attach a spray skirt, but by ensuring sure your scupper holes are not blocked, you should be able to prevent the rain from collecting on your deck. It won’t likely rain quickly enough to completely fill your deck. However, you may always be ready by having a sponge on hand to assist clean it up.

Kayaking or Canoeing Clothing: What Should I Wear?


As they tend to dry more rapidly than natural fibers and can aid in wicking moisture away from you, synthetic materials might be the ideal choice for rainy day paddling. Depending on how cold it will be while you are paddling, you’ll need to wear a variety of clothing.

Wet or Dry Suits

When you are concerned about hypothermia, drysuits are frequently the best option since they prevent water from touching your skin.

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Wet suits allow for a layer of water to exist between your skin and the suit while yet keeping you warm. This kind of garment can offer more mobility when you’re not as concerned about getting wet.

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In either scenario, you should choose your gear depending on the temperature of the water rather than the air in case you are splashed or capsized.

Rash Vest

Under your wetsuit, a rash vest adds to your comfort. It makes donning and removing the wetsuit simple and stops the wetsuit from rubbing against your skin.

Rash Vest

Wear Cozy Kayaking Gloves

Frozen fingers might become stiff and make it difficult to hold your paddle. You can find it difficult to control your boat if additional water is added because of its slipperiness. Select warm kayaking gloves with sufficient grip to keep up the correct paddling style without blistering your hands.

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Wear A Life Jacket

If you get capsized, wearing a life jacket allows you to move your neck and arms freely, which makes paddling and swimming much easier. They come in a variety of designs and are suitable for a number of activities.

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Kayaking or Canoeing Footwear

Kayaking Waterproof Shoes or Sandals

If your kayak includes foot controls, the proper footwear can keep your feet warm, prevent you from slipping on wet surfaces, and help you maneuver more effectively. It’s best to wear waterproof booties or socks to stay warm on chilly, rainy days.

When a storm is coming, try to avoid wearing anything with openings that would expose your feet. Rainy days might cause water to stir up the debris that you don’t want to get wedged between the soles of your feet.

Bring A Sponge or Bilge Pump

It’s downright uncomfortable to sit in a cockpit full of water, and a boat that’s filled up quickly becomes difficult to steer due to the added weight. You should have a way to drain surplus water from your boat, whether it be a hand bilge pump or an electric one.

A sponge is frequently brought along by kayakers. Sponge work wonderfully for keeping sit-on-top kayaks dry and can be used to soak up water that collects on your seat.

What Should You Do If You Get Caught While Kayaking Through a Rainstorm?

If you’re on a river, you might have to wade downriver. Get out of the water right away if it is pouring too heavily for you to see the shore below you, if your gear is wet, and if trees are around you.

If a thunderstorm unexpectedly appears while you are kayaking, you should consider paddling faster toward safety (a dock or land) or using a personal floatation device.

During storms, temperatures frequently drop quickly, and once the sun sets behind the clouds, you might find yourself suddenly feeling chilly. Alternately, you can find that clearing rain and sunshine provide a hot and humid environment. You can add and remove layers of clothes to adapt to shifting temperatures when you dress in layers.

When a lightning storm is occurring and there is nowhere safe to go nearby, get out of the water if you are on a lake.

How Can You Keep Your Gear Dry?

Waterproof materials should be at the top of your list of features when choosing your kayaking gear on a rainy day. You will still have equipment that needs to be kept out of the rain even after taking that precaution.

Using dry bags instead of just stowing goods in your kayak’s hatches is far more practical. They are available in sizes that are ideal for storing everything from additional dry clothing for when you return to land to food supplies.

Is It Possible To Be Electrocuted In A Kayak

A dangerous condition might arise when an insulator like your body and a conductor like water are combined. I would rather wait it out at home or in a hotel if the weather is bad.

Lightning strikes can be extremely powerful, with up to 100 million volts of energy (keep in mind that this electricity is going through the ground).

I can’t comment on all the potential reasons why someone can die from electrocution in a body of water because I am not a specialist in human physiology. However, I am aware that the area of the human body where electrical current passes the heart is the most hazardous.

You should be safe as long as you are more than 50 feet away from a lightning strike. You should seek refuge in a structure with metal plumbing if you need to avoid an electrical storm.

Get out of the water, swim to land if you can, and seek shelter far from trees or other tall structures if lightning hits while you are in the water.

The safest place to be is inside a house that is electrically grounded. The sea is too unsafe to be near; the next reasonable place to be would be a mountaintop.

If you are kayaking near enough to lightning that it could strike you, you need to get your boat back in as soon as you can. To prevent losing control of it in the event of an emergency.

Do you kayak After Rainfall?

Yes, you can go kayaking after it has rained. But it could be risky, particularly in some rivers, because of the high water level and potential for the presence of bacteria that are harmful to human health (see this article about water level: What do the different water levels mean?).

After a downpour, do you intend to kayak? Here are some guidelines for safer kayaking following rain.

  • Look for wear and damage on your kayak.
  • Join a coworker on a kayaking expedition (don’t go by yourself).
  • Get rescue skills so you can save others as well. (Course in Safety & Rescue)
  • As a precaution against hypothermia, stay away from kayaking in cold water.
  • After your kayaking excursion, take a nice shower and wash your hands with hand sanitizer.
  • If you get wet, bring some dry clothing.
  • Put on dry or wetsuits to protect yourself from the intense cold by dressing appropriately. However, in a moderate climate, layering your apparel is advised.

Conclusion For How To Stay Safe While Kayaking or Canoeing in The Rain

Now, how to stay safe while kayaking or canoeing in the rain becomes simpler with practice. Think about scheduling a vacation expressly for a day when you are aware that the forecast is for light rain. By doing this, you can practice using your equipment and improve your skills before being trapped in a dangerous storm.

Your kayaking adventure doesn’t necessarily have to end because of the rain. You can continue moving forward in the rain as long as there isn’t any lightning or severe weather. As always, the secret to kayaking in the rain is preparation.

The best way to kayak in the rain is to have the correct equipment, know what to expect, and keep an eye out for changing weather.

Keep yourself safe, and while you’re at it, make sure to have fun. Go for it!

I hope you found this essay about how to stay safe while kayaking or canoeing informative and entertaining. If you discover something incorrect or obsolete (pricing not mentioned, as it is always changing :), please leave a remark below and I will correct it as soon as possible. Thanks for reading this article.

Enjoy Kayaking🎣🚣🏻

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