It’s the month of July and normally you would expect to have some of the warmest temperatures of the year now or next month in August. We’ve had high temperatures (95-100 degrees), little or no precipitation, and high humidity. This isn’t the greatest weather for anyone being outside, but there are some things to do to make you feel better and survive this torrid weather. I highly suggest that you do something that that is associated with water and take advantage of the many lakes, rivers, and streams that we have in Wisconsin.
Living on the Wisconsin River, I can always go fishing which isn’t too difficult when the river is your “backyard.” The nice thing about the Wisconsin River and all rivers in general is that they flow or move which has more of a cooling affect than water that is still like you have in a lake. But, water is water and anyway that you use it in this weather is cooling and much better than the suffering from the extreme heat.
There are numerous businesses in the Sauk Prairie area that rent canoes, kayaks, and tubes for floating and “navigating” down the Wisconsin River. In this hot and humid weather, what could be better than canoeing or kayaking down the river? If you get hot or uncomfortable, just jump in the river to cool down and be refreshed. The other thing that is nice this time of year is that the river flow level is low which means that you can casually float downriver without any problems that come with high water.
This is a wonderful time to take a few days off and paddle downriver with friends or family. There is almost 90 miles of open water from Sauk City to the confluence with the Mississippi River at Prairie du Chien and it is possible to work out a plan of your own with any of the rental businesses. One could plan a one night stay or even a two or three night stay on the Wisconsin River, taking your time, enjoying the natural beauty, relaxing, and maybe even fishing. There are numerous islands downriver from Sauk City which make it easy and convenient to find a place to camp and sleep the night away. The dry conditions have had the DNR ban campfires, but this can change at any time. If you planned on cooking on an open-fire, you’ll have to use a Coleman stove or another commercial device for cooking. If the ban on fires is lifted, you’ll be able to find plenty of firewood with the river’s low water. One good thing associated with the low water and lack of rainfall is that there are virtually no mosquitoes which at times can drive you off the water.
The supplies that you’ll need for a safe and enjoyable trip include;
- Make sure that you have plenty of water and fluids for keeping yourself hydrated in this hot weather. Normally, water is fine and is all that you’d need. But, with extreme heat you’ll need more fluids like Gatorade or Powerade which give you the electrolytes which is necessary in this weather.
- Always have a good pair of polarized sunglasses to protect your eyes.
- A basic first-aid kit in case you get cut or bruised.
- The rental companies give you a cushion to use when in the canoe, kayak, or tube. But, I suggest having a life-jacket plus the canoe cushion for added safety.
- Always have a good sunscreen to protect you from the blazing sun and the sun’s reflection off the water. The last thing you want is a sun burn!
- Have a long sleeve shirt in a large size for sun protection and always wear clothes in a light color to protect you from the sun’s rays. Also, have a long-brimmed hat with a neck protector to protect you from the sun.
These items and supplies should be enough to protect you from the sun and make your time on the water fun and enjoyable.
There are other local waters that can cool you down in these hot weather times. If there is a breeze, you have the Madison Lakes for enjoyment. But, you’ll often have to deal with the blue-green algae and boat traffic. Devils Lake, south of Baraboo, allows no power motors and is a deep lake with water over 40 feet deep that is great for sailing, canoeing, kayaking, and swimming. Our area of southern Wisconsin has an abundance of bodies of water, so take advantage of it in these “hot” times!
Here are some rental companies in the Sauk Prairie area to rent canoes, kayaks, and tubes. These businesses have been in business for years and I would recommend any of them. Be safe, have fun, and stay cool on Wisconsin waters!
Rentals; Black Hawk River Runs, (608)-643-6920
Bender’s Canoe Rental, (608)-544-2906.
WI River Outings, (608)-375-5300