Cold Water Protection
from the NRS newsletter


...all dressed up, with nothing but mud for miles...

The warm water and air temperatures of summer are quickly going; fall is here and winter's not far behind. It's time to think about the gear that's going to protect you in the cold water waiting for you just around the corner.

If you're just beginning to extend your boating season out of the warm months, please take the time to educate yourself on the hazards of cold water boating and the methods of protecting yourself.

Hypothermia, the dangerous lowering of body-core temperature, is a serious boating hazard. We've received permission from Charlie Walbridge, co-author of Whitewater Rescue Manual, to reproduce sections of his book that deal with Cold Water Protection and Hypothermia. Charlie offers an excellent explanation of the causes and consequences of excessive body temperature drop.

You protect the body's core temperature with the clothing you wear. A good layering system tailored to your boating conditions is essential for comfort and safety. Read Layering for Cold Water Boating for suggestions on base, insulating and outer layers.


Check your gear for wear and tear. Now's the time to replace torn drywear gaskets and repair other gear.

Boat Smart, Boat Safe!