#10 - It forces you to develop systems and use them. For example, dressing consistently, and learning what works for you. Planning for a hot drink while in the boat, and good ways to make that happen. You will spend more time thinking about the 'what if's' and planning for contingencies. What if you get wet? How will you deal with it? That is a good skill to practice.
#9 - It makes you a better paddler. You aren't spending a chunk of the year not paddling. Skills don't wither while you are hibernating through the winter.
#8 - Scenery. The landscape is different and beautiful. Even places you have paddled a million times have a very different feel and look.
#7 - Solitude. So few people paddle in the winter, that you will have the amazing scenery mentioned above to yourself. It is a wonderful time to be introspective, and soak in the beauty of the world around you.
#6 - Hardcore paddler cred. You will impress your friends and relatives with how hardcore you are! "You went paddling n December? You must be crazy, let me buy you a beer!"
#5 - You don't have to worry about storing your kayak for the winter! You will be too busy using it.
#4 - If you are a gear head, it gives you an opportunity to by new gear. You will need some specialized gear to do this safely.
#3 - It is a break from the world - particularly the holiday madness. Tired of dealing with the traffic, the shoppers, and the general madness that looms between Thanksgiving and the new year? head for the water.
#2 - Paddle in Ice. Have you paddled with ice? It's a blast!
bf1012 from Brett Friedman on Vimeo.
#1 - If you love paddling in the summer, why wouldn't you love it in the winter? I have said many times that paddling, for me, is a meditation. Why would I stop doing something I love just because it has gotten cold out.
You do have to do this safely. Dress for immersion, leave a float plan with someone you trust, and have a contingencies for when things go wrong. All great skills to practice, that help set you up for longer trips.
For me though it is the solitude. I love paddling and having the world to myself for even a short time.