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Monday, 10 November 2014 21:31

The Iceman Cometh

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The Arctic Armageddon is coming this week and will shortly be covering most of the country. While it's on everyone's mind, we should talk about survival. Many of us will venture out to fish in the cold because our water temps are still warm enough to not need an auger. In doing so, we need to be prepared. We HAVE to be.

Numerous articles give you info about how to layer, stay away from cotton, wool is your friend,etc. If you need help deciding how to dress, please seek one of those articles out. It will be different for every region, so I won't attempt to make a generalized list here. One rule that usually spans all region is that in wet and cold conditions, cotton kills.

It's important to know the numbers. If you get swamped, submerged or turtle into the water, how long do you have before death can occur?

The PFD Manufacturers Association compiled all of the data and shared some scary numbers.

  1. "Cold water (less than 70° F) can lower your body temperature, causing hypothermia. If your body temperature drops too low, you may pass out and then drown. The human body cools 25 times faster in cold water than it does in air."
  2. Water that is just above freezing temps (32.5F) has a survival time of less than 15 minutes.
  3. Water up to 40F slightly increases that time to 30 minutes.
  4. Water from 40-60F (where most of our waters are now) can cause death in 1 hour.
  5. Water from 60-70F has a 2 hour time window.
  6. Above 70F is typically survivable from the temperature though exhaustion can set in and cause drowning.

What this assumes is that you stay in the water. If you get soaked, then back up on your kayak and the wind is blowing, the water in your clothes will not stay at that temp. It'll drop like a rock.

The best plans are to:

  1. Carry a change of clothes
  2. Have a buddy near by
  3. If you do turtle, get your butt back to the car. Once there, strip down, towel off, put on the dry clothes, and blast the heater.
  4. Don't be a statistic by being stubborn and staying to fish. If you get soaked, get out. Tough man trophies aren't awarded for being that guy. Your family wants to see you again. Please, stay dry and if the unimaginable happens, get dry quick.


Read 2611 times Last modified on Tuesday, 11 November 2014 11:35

Chris Payne

I've been fishing over 30 years and the majority of my time on the water has been spent in Texas with the occasional trips out of state. In 2003 I bought my first kayak and a new era in my fishing life was born. I learned the ropes quickly about gear, paddling, fishing, packing, safety and got a degree from the school of hard knocks with a major in kayak fishing. I learned a lot of ways to not do something.

I love kayak fishing and I want to share it with as many people as possible. That's the bottom line. 

Website: www.kayakfishingblog.com

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+1 # Kayak_angler 2014-11-10 23:49
This is very well written and everyone should adhere to the warnings. It is typically the tough guys that become the statistics unfortunately. Thanks for sharing this important information and hopefully we don't encounter any incidents.
+1 # Aggroman 2014-11-11 11:32
Great article Chris. Very important reminder.
# Rob S 2014-11-16 20:06
Also buy a wet suit or dry suit and WEAR IT.

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