After exhibiting at several paddle sports shows and talking to professionals from all over the world, we are assured: Now is the best time for tours on flat water. Paddle tours in autumn are the best! You get to see the changing nature, colourful foliage and beautiful wildlife of this season. Still, there are some things you need to consider when cultivating the outdoor paddle lifestyle in fall.
Be comfortable with your board or boat
Make sure you exercise mounting your SUP board or performing wet exits with your kayak a lot. The colder the water gets, the less you want to stay in it.
Dress for the moment
Layering the perfect onion look is your to-go outfit when paddling through moisture and mist. Choose a base layer that keeps moisture off your skin, like a dry suit for example. Your top layer should be waterproof or at least made of a quick dry synthetic material, e.g. splash jackets.
If you are not an experienced paddler, don’t dress or undress inside your boat on your own. Instead, get some help from your paddling companions, they may stabilize your boat while you change your clothes.
Bring a waterproof bag with some spare clothes with you. Your shoes should be waterproof as well and don’t forget to wear gloves.
Whatever you do, don’t wear cotton. It soaks up liquids easily and dries very slowly.
Don’t let yourself get hunted down
Check the local hunting season. When paddling through hunting territory, best wear blaze orange jackets, if you don’t want to be mistaken for deer.
Especially in the US, some campsites are free of charge from the end of September onwards. In case you want to spend the night on a site like this, it is recommended you inform the local authorities of your stay. They will also give you information about hunting seasons and other wildlife rules in the area.
Mind the weather
In autumn, wind changes fast. For longer trips best bring a weather radio with you, so you’ll be able to check on the changing weather conditions. Wind does not only cool the air temperature, but it may slow your paddling down, too. So keep in mind, that the sun sets earlier. After the sun has set, you have about one hour of available light left. Taking a flashlight with you is always a good idea.
Accessories for more comfort and safety
For some kayaks, spray skirts are available, that keep water outside the boat. Seat pads made of insulating rubber also keep your booty dry.