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Top Ten Tips for a Wild Swimming Adventure

Updated: May 2




 

Cold water swimming is known to offer numerous benefits for both physical and mental health. If you're eager to try outdoor swimming, that's fantastic! However, it's important to stay safe and mindful of your limits.


1.       Check for any hazards including tides, currents, weather changes, sharp objects, etc.


2.       Familiarize yourself with safe entry and exit points beforehand.


3.       Always try to swim with a friend! If that’s not possible bring a bright float and let

someone know where you'll be and your timings.


4.       Never jump straight in; ease yourself in slowly, to avoid cold water shock.


5.       Always get out before you want to: your body drops further in temperature after.


6.       Start with shorter swims and gradually build up your tolerance. If you’re a beginner, it

is a good idea to begin in the summer and work your way up to colder temperatures

in the winter.

7.       Bring plenty of warm clothes and hot drinks for after. It is important to warm yourself

up carefully. Never have a hot shower directly after, as this further stresses the body

and can increase the chances of shock and after drop. Get dressed as quick as

possible and move around to increase your core temperature.


8.       Beware of stingy/bity creatures including:

·         Midges, Mosquitos and Horse Flies which can leave you with itchy bites. They tend

to come out in mild weather from June - August.

·         Ticks, which should be removed as soon as possible https://www.wihb.scot.nhs.uk/be-tick-aware-stay-safe-from-tick-bites/.

·         Jellyfish, although not deadly in this country, can leave you with an unpleasant, nettle-like sting. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/jellyfish-and-other-sea-creature-stings/


9.       A warm woolly hat can be great for keeping you warmer for longer. It does look

ridiculous whilst swimming but really keeps the heat in.


10.   Neoprene socks or shoes can stop you cutting your feet on unknown rocks or glass. This is particularly useful when you have numbness. They are also great for getting changed in muddy or rocky areas.  

 



Image: Connie Swimming at Loch Eck February

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