Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Beat the Heat

Summer time is the favorite season for folks that like to hang out on the water. The sunny skies and warm weather are perfect for swimming, paddling, or any other water related activity. And while the fishing can be tough, most kayak anglers I know still get out there and fish regularly even in the sweltering mid summer heat. Whether you are fun fishing with some buddies or competing in a summer time tournament, kayak anglers are usually directly exposed to the sunlight and will experience the full effect of any hot weather in the area.

Many people don't realize that heat is the number one weather related killer in America. Heat related illnesses kill more people than all other severe weather combined! Most agencies recommend staying in the A/C, limiting exposure to the heat, etc... Obviously that is not an option for the kayak angler, but there are some things you can do out there to prevent yourself from overheating. Hopefully the following tips will help you stay safe out there and beat the heat this summer.

Tips to beat the heat:
  1. DRINK WATER - Drink water and lots of it! This is number one on the list for a reason, your body needs to stay hydrated to stay cool.  Keep a bottle of water on deck all day and drink on it even when you are not thirsty. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, or sugary sports drinks until you are off the water and in the shade.
    • A trick I use to keep plenty of cold water available - freeze 2 or 3 bottles the night before your trip and pack them in your cooler instead of ice. It will keep your other bottles cold and when they thaw out you will have yourself some extra ice cold water instead of a heavy cooler full of melted ice.
  2. Dress Appropriately - Stay covered up as much as possible. Wear light colored loose clothing, and if your budget allows invest in some performance gear that is made for the sun. There are quite a few manufacturers out there that make quality summer gear, Columbia and Under Armor are probably my two favorite. Wear some sort of hat/neck gaiter combo to keep the sun directly off of you head, but make sure it is moisture wicking or ventilated to enable the heat to dissipate as you start to sweat.
  3. Wear Sunscreen - While sunscreen doesn't directly have a cooling effect, getting sunburned greatly reduces your bodies ability to dissipate heat. So apply sunscreen in the areas you can't or don't cover up.
    • Apply sunscreen to the inside of your legs and top of your feet, these areas get blasted by the sun much more during a kayak outing than most other outdoor activities.
  4. Carry a Umbrella - If you cant find shade on the water you can make your own, a golf umbrella fits perfectly in most rod holders. Pop open the umbrella and take a break in the shade if you feel yourself getting overheated.
    • It also makes a nice sail if your are heading in with the wind!
  5. Limit Exposure - When not fishing in a tournament or other event scheduled during the hottest part of the day, hit the water in the morning and evening when the temps cool down. Or even get out at night with the appropriate safety precautions.
    • Caution: even when the sun is low the temps can remain high, still follow #1 on the list no matter what time you get out there!
  6. Take a dip - Depending on the body of water you are fishing, one of the best ways to cool down is to take a quick dip in the lake or river. Once you get out of the water be sure and re apply sunscreen and cover back up.
The rain may finally be gone and the temps have definitely heated up, so if you are going to get out in the heat stay safe and have fun! If you have any other hot weather tips to share please post them in the comments below. Tight lines everyone, see ya on the water.

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