Autumn paddling

Paddling through the seasons,

Autumns possibly the best time to go paddling, As Summer comes towards a close people on our trips out ask us do we plan to park the boats up and sleep until next summer and our answer is always, we paddle whilst the rivers have water in them, and you might try this too.

Short sleeved cag and Neoprene wetsuits are great for summer and early autumn Richard Fox

Planning for an Autumnal paddle admittedly takes a little more planning both pre paddling and after paddling.


The first step is some extra layers of clothing so what to wear

First of all, avoid cotton, as it’s a fabric that sys wet and cold, loo at Gym kit, lyra, polyester type clothing that will stay a bit warmer, tights are good too, not that I would admit trying them! Also, a wind and rainproof jacket and either a floppy hat, great particularly if you have glasses and paddling on a rainy day or a woolly hat if you prefer.

Next item we recommend is bug spray – particularly in those damp days of late summer- this year we had little need all summer and it caught us by surprize when it was damp in the early evening recently.

A spray deck will keep water off the the inside of the boat a little as well as a pair of waterproof trousers- if you are planning on a more adventurous trip or think your likely to fall in a thin 3mm wetsuit would be on the list for a moving water trip.

My final item on a late Autumn paddle would be a either dry trousers or a dry cag. My dry trousers are a favourite for paddling in moving water or on a rainy day, with min the socks are built into them, so my feet are almost always dry- Dry socks work well as well if on a riverbank or portage in the rainy days.

The other item the dry cag offers the paddler the opportunity to stay dry when paddling and styles can range from cags with Hood, latex seals or neoprene to stop your arms getting wet.

Other great stuff to bring or have with you

a thermos cup with a hot drink, a doormat is great to change shoes on at a muddy car park, a car with heated seat! and a water bottle is something for if you have to hang about in a boat all day – Daughters who do rescue duties on a lake swear by them. A small dry bag for snakes and a larger wet bag for some spare layers – which will double up for putting wet kit in at the end of a trip. a waterproof box to collect scavenging berries in like blackberries and autumnal fruits.