Outdoor Swimming Guide: all you need to know
Essential knowledge and best places to swim wild
The deep friendships you make: Swimming is a social activity, but can also be a great leveller… everyone is equal in the water!
Swim now, glow later: Tingle all day long after an early morning dip. Or plunging into natural pools on a warm day after a walk, run or ride is ace.
A new view: Seeing those places you know and love from the water lets you look at them anew. Experience hidden spots away from the tow paths and car parks.
It can be quick: It doesn’t take long to feel alive with a quick dip - no long slogs necessary.
Incredible exercise: If you do swim for longer you’ll get fit quicker.
Getting dry: Warm and dry afterwards with a flask of hot chocolate could be the best thing ever.
It removes the headache of swimming lanes and bumping into devil-may-care sprint swimmers.
It breaks up your routine and gives you time to clear your head of humdrum, everyday business
It teaches you to control your body temperature and improves your ability to manage the cold.
It boosts the immune system, increasing your white blood cell counts. The cold water acts a mild antagonist, activating and training your immune system.
It immerses you in cold and allows less strained movement, soothing any vestigial muscular aches.
It shuffles your exercise regime. Physically, the act of wild swimming puts you in an environment you’re not used to. This adds an element of fun and exploration that can encourage you to do more exercise.
It instils a sense of adventure in you, taking you down the road less travelled and gives you a taster of the pioneer spirit.
It enhances your knowledge of biodiversity – travelling down waterways you’re much more likely to encounter rare flora and fauna.
After swimming in rivers, ponds, tarns and lakes, it eventually brings you to the ocean. It’s hard not to fall further in love with our blue planet when you start dipping your toes in these colossal expanses.
It’s a good laugh.
The terms outdoor swimming, wild swimming and open water swimming are all interchangeable.
They all mean swimming in natural water without lanes, ropes and usually without supervision. Typically it is swimming in lakes, tarns, reservoirs, rivers and seas.
We feel open water swimming is used more with respect to competitive swims such as triathlon. Whereas wild swimming and outdoor swimming are more lesuire activities.
Competitive swimming wetsuits use buoyancy rather than technique to improve swimming position and times. This sensation is similar to swimming with a pull buoy between your legs.
Alpkit swimming wetsuits are designed for leisure activities and a more natural swimming style.
People swim all year round and a New Years Day Dip is not an uncommon sight around the country.
Most water is 12C-17C for most of the year. Water is warmest around September when it has had the benefit of the heat of the summer. It is in the heat of summer that blue green algae is most prevalent and should be avoided.
Ice swimming is officially when water temperature is sub 5 degrees celsius.