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What to Wear Kayaking in Florida

What to Wear Kayaking in Florida

If you’re planning on kayaking in Florida, it’s important to dress appropriately to ensure a comfortable and safe experience. The Sunshine State offers abundant opportunities for kayaking, whether it’s exploring the crystal-clear springs, navigating through mangrove tunnels, or paddling along the stunning coastline. In this article, we will guide you on what to wear for your kayaking adventure in Florida, taking into consideration the weather, water conditions, and potential challenges you might encounter. So, let’s dive in!

Appropriate Clothing for Kayaking in Florida:

1. Quick-Drying Clothing: Florida’s warm and humid climate makes quick-drying clothing a must. Opt for synthetic materials like nylon or polyester that wick away moisture and dry quickly, helping you stay comfortable throughout your kayaking journey. Avoid cotton as it tends to retain water, becoming heavy and uncomfortable.

2. Sun Protection: Florida is known for its abundant sunshine, so it’s crucial to protect yourself from harmful UV rays. Wear a lightweight, long-sleeved shirt and pants made of UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) fabric. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to exposed areas, including your face, neck, and hands. A wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and a buff or bandana to cover your neck are also essential.

3. Footwear: Choose footwear that provides protection, grip, and can get wet. Water shoes or sandals with a sturdy sole are ideal for kayaking in Florida. Avoid flip-flops or shoes that can easily slip off, as they may get lost or hinder your ability to paddle effectively.

4. Swimwear: If you plan to take a dip or snorkel while kayaking, wear your swimsuit underneath your quick-drying clothing. This way, you’ll be ready to jump into the inviting Florida waters whenever the opportunity arises.

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5. Rain Gear: Florida’s weather can be unpredictable, and rain showers are common. Pack a lightweight, breathable rain jacket or poncho to keep you dry during sudden downpours. It’s always better to be prepared!


Q: Do I need a wetsuit for kayaking in Florida?
A: In most cases, a wetsuit is not necessary for kayaking in Florida’s warm waters. However, if you plan to paddle in colder months or in areas with cooler springs, a wetsuit or neoprene gear might be beneficial to keep you warm.

Q: Should I bring a life jacket?
A: Yes! A Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device (PFD) is a must-have when kayaking in Florida. It’s not only a legal requirement but also a crucial safety measure. Ensure the PFD fits properly and is comfortable to wear, allowing you to move freely.

Q: Can I wear a hat while kayaking?
A: Wearing a hat is highly recommended to protect your face, head, and eyes from the sun. Opt for a hat with a chin strap, so it doesn’t get blown away by wind or water splashes.

Q: What other accessories should I consider?
A: Depending on your kayaking plans, consider bringing a waterproof dry bag to keep your essentials safe and dry. Additionally, a whistle, signaling devices, and a waterproof phone case are good accessories to have in case of emergencies.

Q: Are there any specific clothing requirements for night kayaking?
A: Night kayaking in Florida can be a magical experience. Wear highly visible clothing or attach reflective tape to your gear for better visibility. Additionally, bring a headlamp or flashlight, and consider wearing a reflective vest for added safety.

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In conclusion, dressing appropriately for kayaking in Florida is essential to ensure your comfort, protection from the sun, and overall safety. Choose quick-drying clothing, sun protection gear, appropriate footwear, and pack rain gear for unexpected showers. Don’t forget a properly fitting PFD and necessary accessories depending on your kayaking plans. With the right attire, you’ll be ready to explore Florida’s stunning waterways and create unforgettable memories. Happy paddling!

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