YakAttack National Team member, Troy Meyerhoeffer, does not let the change of season keep him from getting out on the water in his kayak. As the weather gets colder, the chance of falling into waters of frigid temperatures becomes a very serious life or death situation.
The importance of being prepared to go out during this type of weather cannot be stressed enough. Troy uses a SeaLine EcoSee Clear Dry Bag to pack his necessities in before hitting the water. The use of a clear bag is important, it is for one reason only, you can see what you need clearly. If you're hands are too cold to function properly, you will not have to dig through a bag to find anything, especially if you need to start a fire quickly or first aid supplies. The clear dry bag is something Meyerhoeffer keeps in his kayak at all times during the cold weather.
Here's a quick rundown of what YakAttack National Team member Troy Meyerhoeffer keeps in his dry bag:
- An extra change of core gear- wool socks, pants, moisture wicking long sleeve shirt, fleece jacket, fleece gloves, and a folding pack towel. Important to remember that you should NEVER pack cotton clothing items when preparing to go kayak fishing during cold weather months. Cotton soaks up water and takes too long to dry, always use wool or synthetic fabrics.
- Fire starting gear- Matches and a lighter, keep them in separate cases in case one gets wet, you will have a back-up. Fire starting sticks and a tightly sealed bag of clean dryer lint. It may sound strange, but dryer lint is great for starting fires and you don't have to kick out any extra money for it!
- Food and Water- Remember to pack according to how long you will be out, this list is not intended for camping purposes. Small bottles of water and smaller canned food items with pull tabs. Some other light snacks are good too such as crackers, nuts, and a few protein bars. All items are compact and provide energy to keep you going.
- Additional Items- Space blanket and small first aid kit. First aid kits can be found already assembled or you can make your own. It's not a bad idea to carry a spare set of car keys and a portable charger, if you have a food saver system that provides a vacuum seal, use it on these items to ensure they stay dry while your fishing on your kayak.
Even if you are sticking close to the launch, it is still important to have the proper gear. In most cases, there will not be a lot of other people out with you in case things take a turn for the worst. It is also important to practice using your gear, your mind can go quick with hypothermia so there isn't a lot of time to think. Never hit the water without the proper gear to keep you safe and dry.