Florida Weather and Clothing
Florida weather can be wildly variable, especially in the winter months. Temperatures can range from the teens into the
80's. It is best to dress in layers. Kayaking is a watersport and while you may not be swimming, you can expect to get at
least a little damp. We typically use a beach launch so you should figure on wading at least ankle deep. The good news
is that the water temp is a constant 72 degrees. Wetsuits are not necessary, but you may find them helpful at the coldest
of times. Since we do not promote swimming with manatees we do not offer wetsuits for rent.
This is our recommended layering for the coldest of days:
Avoid cotton materials as they wick heat away from your body when wet. Synthetic materials are far superior for this use.
From the bottom layer up (above your undergarments), shorts or swim suit, t-shirt (long sleeve if you've got it) above. Next
water resistant pants (something like rain pants) or wet suit bottom below and a cold weather top. In the coldest weather, a
jacket top above. The idea is to be able to stay warm in the morning and layer down to your comfort level as the day
warms. It is not unusual to have 20 degree swings in temperature during the winter months. This is all contingent upon
the current weather pattern.
Here's what the guide wears for the coldest days. Modify as temperature moderates.
Bottom Layer Tops: Long Sleeved Shirt (Quick Dry)
Bottom Layer Bottoms: Rash Guards
Next Layer Up as Temp Drops: Hydroskins
Foot Gear: Wetsocks/Drysocks
Head Gear: Watch Cap
We are not suggesting you need everything on this list. Basically stick to synthetic materials that are water resistant or
quick drying. There are lots of options. If you are fortunate enough to have access to a Beall's store (or shop them online)
they carry a lot of applicable clothing.
What to Bring
We supply the essentials. Boat, PFD w Whistle, Paddle, and the Guide or Instructor. The rest is up to you.
For footwear, we recommend something that is meant to get wet and has flexible soles. Tennis shoes are not
recommended. We use a wet launch meaning you will have to get wet to at least ankle depth.
Other Important Items
Aardvarks recommends polarized sunglasses and keepers* for everybody on the water. You'll be amazed at the
difference these lenses can make when it comes to spotting manatees below the surface. It can literally the difference
between spotting a manatee and missing it completely. They need not be expensive, but they should be quality lenses.
Check out the following photos. No polarized lens on the left, polarized on the right. *Sunglasses generally do not float.
This item is especially important for safe keeping of prescription glasses.
A Hat and Sunscreen is next. The Florida sun can be a killer even on overcast days in the winter. Get a hat that is not
prone to blow off in the wind (some have drawstrings to prevent this). Use a water resistant/proof sunscreen.
Dry Bags or Boxes. The best advice is if it can't get wet, don't bring it. We do not provide rental or loaner dry bags. We
do not recommend plastic bags to protect sensitive electronics. If ziplock bags are used for other gear, make sure they
are in good condition and double them up.
Insect repellent is not always needed, but in the winter months, on days with no wind and at sunset especially, we have
these little critters we call no see 'ums. They are literally flying teeth and can be quite irritating. Something like Skin So
Soft seems to work best. Depending on where and when you are paddling, heavier duty repellents may be necessary.
Water should be on hand to keep you hydrated. Drink frequently and before you feel thirsty. Food is up to you. There
are waterfront eateries that are kayak accessible or you can bring your own food. Most of the guided trips are scheduled
to end right at lunch time. If you do being your own, try to stick to foods that do not need refrigeration. If you must bring a
cooler, bring a small soft sided cooler.
Towels & Dry Clothing. It is often a good idea to bring a bath towel and a change of clothing for after the trip and don't
forget the camera. We recommend leaving the change of clothing in your car.
We will send you an e-mail during the booking process with a reminder on what to bring.
|What to Expect and What to Bring