your list. What does it mean to dress for the water temperature? What immersion time do you have in mind? Is the person having to struggle to get to shore, gather equipment, re-enter on the water, etc., or is he just huddling passively, as USCG suggests, waiting for rescue?
I am often out paddling in conditions where if I dress to maximize survival in cold water, I will overheat in the boat. What's a good compromise? My real-life experience suggests that a dry suit and *some* insulation will allow me to effect self-rescue without quite reaching class 1 hypothermia. If I wear more insulation, I can't tolerate heating and am impeded in my paddling and reactions.
Similarly for being prepared for the worst-case scenario. How likely is it? I can imagine lots of possible scenarios where I would need one of those survival suits like the Bering Strait fishing crews use when their boat sinks. How do I decide which worst case to prepare for, and what I should do to prevent a bad result?
One of the values of a forum like this one is to come to some agreement about the range of bad outcomes that are actually occurring, and how to deal with them. Us whitewater paddlers gauge things by what we have seen happen, or have heard reported, over a number of years. We don't prepare for two vicious rednecks with shotguns who appear in the woods, do we?
Classic Freestanding Rack
The Kayak Wing
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