But I think of 60F water as being warm enough to swim. I don't just wear immersion clothes when I paddle cold water (which to me is below 40), I also take a small folding stove, fire starting material, a dry change of clothes in case I do get wet despite the semi-drytop and waist high waders, high calorie food (like a PowerBar or similar), a reflective space blanket, and usually a Thermos full of hot green tea with lots of honey. Calories are your friend if you trying to fend off hypothermia, and if you get wet in cool temps then hypothermia is not an 'if' but a 'when.'
As far as my 40 degree water thing, I am aware that water even as warm as 70 degrees can trigger hypothermia depending on how long one is in it. I factor in how long I expect to be in the water, the water I'll be running, how close it is to shore at the worst spot, who I'm with, etc.
- Big D
Recreational Kayak Paddle
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