Iowa DNR offers safety tips for cold water paddlers

Photo by Kate e. did, Flickr

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is reminding paddlers not to be fooled by Iowa’s unusually warm temperatures.

Although temperatures across our state are in the 70s this week, the water remains frigid. The Iowa DNR recommends that paddlers dress for the water instead of the air by wearing wetsuits or dry suits.

The Iowa DNR also offered these tips:

      • Do NOT paddle alone. Use the buddy system preferably with a few other people who have cold water experience.
      • Take a dry bag with plenty of dry clothing.
      • File a float plan, even if it’s just telling friends and family where you are paddling and when you can be expected back.
      • Don’t wear cotton as it absorbs cold water. Make sure to use a proper layering system underneath or on top of your wetsuit/dry suit.
      • Always wear your lifejacket. A properly fitted lifejacket will keep you above the water surface. Hypothermia causes the loss of coordination and movement becomes limited. A lifejacket is necessary to stay afloat.

For more information, read the Iowa DNR’s full press release here.

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