Winter Paddling and Survival Skills



A 5 day course to develop an understanding and application of the skills required to safely and successfully lead and manage a sea kayaking group in a winter environment including paddling through ice, winter survival skills and incident management. This course is specifically aimed at sea kayakers and guides who plan to lead groups in a winter environment and as part of their Continuing Professional Development. It is designed to complement instructing and guiding qualifications and is delivered in a way that is fun and memorable with minimal use of scientific terms and jargon

Day 1 Managing the winter environment and paddling in Ice

Day 2 Self and Group rescue techniques in ice and leadership scenarios

Day 3 Winter Survival Skills

Day 4/5 Winter Survival Skills

Course Outline.

Module guidelines Notes
Consideration of the winter environment

Theory based session including:

1. Weather & Tide forecasting, application and planning for paddling.

2. Implications of the winter environment upon eqpt and additional eqpt/adaptations  required.

3. Ice formation and implications for safe travel on and through ice.

4. Cold weather injuries including Hypothermia/Frost bite and Nip/Immersion Shock.

Practical Paddling in Ice/Snow

Practical session including:

1. Application of winter equipment.

2. Getting to know Ice (sliding/digging/drilling and cutting) to understand its properties.

3. Safe movement over Ice in and out of kayak.

4. Leadership principles over ice.

5. Access/Egress over ice.

6. Leadership Techs in Ice choked bays.

Self Rescue and Group rescue techniques

Practical Session including:

1. Specific ‘Kayak Eqpt’ rescue techniques on ice.

2. Self rescue techniques on ice.

3. Group rescue Techniques on ice.

4. Leadership Scenarios.

Winter Survival Principles

Theory based session including:

1. Basic Survival Principles adapted to winter environment.

2.Review/introduction of basic safety principles for cutting tool safety/fire lighting/management in a winter environment.

Winter Survival Exercise

Practical session including:

1. Shelter Building.

2.Fire starting/management for cooking/heating.

3. Water production.

4. Foraging.

5. Ice Fishing.

6. Emergency Signaling.

7. Extraction including building Snowshoes/use of bushcraft resources.

8. Overnight experience using ‘Sea Kayak Grab bag/contents of BA’.

Courses will be administered by ‘Sweden Outdoors Coaching’.  Planned courses will be run in Sweden, however, there is potential to run the course in a location of your choice if numbers permit.