As we head further into fall, it feels like just yesterday we were talking about ways to stay cool on your boat! But if you plan to be on the water in cooler temperatures, you may want to pack a few extra items to improve your experience. Here is a quick list of a few cold weather essentials to keep close by this fall and winter:
Warm, dry clothes
On a cold afternoon, there’s nothing quite like slipping into a comfortable sweater, pants and pair of socks. Unfortunately, sometimes waves and water fun can leave you feeling cold and damp until you get back home for the night. To keep you, your family and guests warm (and avoid the dreaded shivers), pack or encourage everyone to pack a warm and dry change of clothes to keep below deck. This can mean a sweater, sweatpants, cozy socks and even a warm hat for outerwear. By doing so, everyone will be able to enjoy the trip and focus on the fun at hand—and not the cold!
You likely won’t find anyone wrapped up in a blanket while fishing or moving around on the boat. But for those periods of down time, when everyone relaxes over a snack or drink and reflects on the day, you’ll definitely want to be prepared with a few cozy throw blankets. These blankets can be enjoyed above or below deck, and are perfect for keeping people comfortable even when the sea and wind are chilly.
Hand warmers are an incredibly useful—but often overlooked—tool for combatting cold hands. Many people don’t like the inflexibility of gloves and the constant slipping on and off for when activities change. Instead, equip your passengers with a few sets of hand warmers! These small packets can keep everyone’s hands warm and toasty in their pockets—even if the weather is brisk. While there are several different types of hand warmers, including electric ones, the disposable types should do the trick and are safer for on board use.
Involved in a hands-on activity like fishing? Fingerless gloves are a great alternative to traditional ones and allow you a bit more movement and dexterity.
Before you head out the door for your cool weather excursion, don’t forget to pack coffee, hot cocoa or tea for your passengers! Not only are these drinks delicious, they can provide some serious warmth when the ocean or lake air gets extra cold.
A few other tips before you head out into the cold: don’t wait until you get on the water to slip into your gear! You’ll be surprised at just how fast your body can go from warm to cold in especially brisk weather—so do yourself a favor and gear up indoors. Additionally, a great thing to remember about cold weather boating is the power of layers. Depending on how cold it is, you may want to remove heavy outerwear if it warms up in the afternoon—so dress accordingly.
What are your cold weather essentials for boating in the fall and winter? Feel free to share them here!