When the rain is pouring down and the thunder is clapping, it can be tempting to stay inside. But what if you're a kayaker? Is it safe to kayak in the rain?

You've seen all the raincoats and ponchos at the store, but you're unsure if they'll be enough to keep you dry.

You might also be worried about potential risks, such as getting struck by lightning or your kayak filling with water.

Let's explore the risks of kayaking in the rain and give you some precautions to take so you can stay safe while enjoying this fun activity!

Is It Safe to Go Kayaking In The Rain?

Generally, it's safe to go kayaking in the rain. Some even say that it's a lot more fun!

You can prepare for a safe rainy day kayaking by packing the appropriate gear, keeping an eye on the weather forecast, identifying areas to seek refuge if required, and determining when river levels are high enough to be dangerous.

Always remember to dress for the occasion, too.

This means wearing synthetic materials that will wick away moisture and keeping a dry set of clothes in a waterproof bag in case you get wet.

Of course, you should also be aware of the risks associated with kayaking in the rain.

These include getting struck by lightning, cold weather injuries, and your kayak filling with water.

But as long as you take the proper precautions, you can safely enjoy a day out on the water - even when it's raining!

What Risks Are There?

There are several risks associated with kayaking in the rain. Here are some of the possible dangers to be aware of:

  • Getting struck by lightning or being in an area where lightning is present 
  • Heavy rains can cause river levels to rise quickly, making conditions more dangerous 
  • Flooding and debris in the water that can capsize your kayak 
  • Falling into cold water and getting hypothermia 
  • Drowning if your kayak fills with water 
  • High river levels can create large waves and strong currents 
  • Flash floods can occur without warning 

By being aware of the risks, you can take the necessary precautions to stay safe. 

Safety Tips for Kayaking in the Rain 

One of the most essential elements to guarantee safe kayaking when it's raining is to have the required expertise and understanding to adjust when the weather conditions aren't ideal.

Here are some tips to stay safe when kayaking in the rain:

Check the Weather Forecast

The first step is to check the weather forecast before heading out. If there is a chance of severe weather, it's best to reschedule your trip for another day.

Be Prepared

Make sure you have the proper gear with you, including a waterproof kayaking jacket and pants, gloves, hat, booties, life jacket, and a spray skirt.

It's also a good idea to bring extra food and water, a first-aid kit, and a flashlight.

Check River Conditions

Before heading out, check the river conditions to ensure it is safe to kayak.

Heavy rains can cause the river level to rise quickly, making conditions more dangerous.

Be aware of your surroundings and look for areas to seek refuge if necessary.

Increase Your Visibility

In addition to wearing bright colors, you can increase your visibility by attaching a flag to your kayak.

This will help others see you in case of an emergency.

Know Your Route

Before setting out, be familiar with the route you'll be taking. This is especially important if you're kayaking in an area where there are no marked trails.

Be aware of the potential hazards along the way, such as low-hanging branches or fast-moving currents.

Take Your Time

Don't try to make up for lost time by paddling faster than usual. This can increase your chances of making a mistake and capsizing your kayak.

If the conditions are too dangerous to continue, find a safe place to wait out the storm.

Wear Synthetic Materials

When choosing what to wear kayaking, opt for synthetic materials that will wick away moisture. This will help you stay dry and comfortable, even if you do get wet.

Listen to Your Gut

Trust your gut if something doesn't feel right and don't go out kayaking. It's better to be safe than sorry. Sometimes, your gut knows best.

What Should You Do If Your Kayak Flips Over?

When you're kayaking in heavy rains, there is always a chance that your kayak could flip over. If this happens, stay calm and follow these steps:

First, assess the situation and make sure you are not in danger of being hit by a boat or swept away by the current.

Next, position yourself so you are facing up and can see where you are going.

Then, grab hold of the kayak and flip it back over.

If you are unable to flip the kayak over, get out of the kayak and onto a nearby object, such as a log or rock.

Finally, call for help and wait for assistance to arrive.

By following these safety tips, you can enjoy kayaking in the rain without putting yourself at risk!


Kayaking in the rain can be dangerous, but you can stay safe if you take the necessary precautions.

Be sure to check the weather forecast, wear synthetic materials, and increase your visibility.

Trust your gut if something doesn't feel right and don't go out kayaking.

And if your kayak does flip over, stay calm and follow the steps we laid out above.

With a little bit of preparation, you can safely enjoy kayaking in the rain!

Have fun and stay safe out there!