How to: get into wild swimming
Wild swimming, also known as open water swimming, is an exciting and invigorating activity that allows you to connect with nature and explore some of the world's most beautiful bodies of water. However, it's important to take the necessary precautions to ensure your safety while swimming in the wild. Here are some tips on how to get into wild swimming safely:
- Choose a safe location
When choosing a location for your wild swim, it's essential to consider the conditions of the water. Check for any hazards such as strong currents, underwater obstacles, or poor water quality. Avoid swimming in areas that are known to be dangerous or have a high level of boat traffic. It's also important to be aware of the weather conditions and the water temperature. Cold water is in the news a lot recently for being good for your health but going into cold water without being used to it can be dangerous, especially for those with heart conditions or other medical issues. Building up through out the year can be helpful starting in the summer and going throughout the year can improve your cold water tolerance.
- Get the right gear
Wearing the right gear is essential for staying safe while wild swimming. A wetsuit can provide insulation and protect you from the cold water temperatures as you begin and improve. If you are wanting to do "laps" then wearing a brightly colored swim cap can also help make you more visible to boats and other watercraft.
- Start slowly
If you're new to wild swimming, as discussed above building up and progression is important. If you are going for the cold water benefits then building up time and throughout the year is a good idea. If you are swimming for physical and aerobic fitness then it's important to start slowly and build up your endurance gradually. Begin with short swims in calm waters and gradually increase the duration and distance of your swims. This will help you build up your stamina and become more comfortable in the water.
- Swim with a partner
Swimming with a partner is not always only more enjoyable, but it's also safer. A swimming partner can provide support if you run into trouble and can help you stay motivated during your swim. At the very least it's also a good idea to let someone on land know where you're swimming and when you plan to return.
- Learn proper swimming techniques
Proper swimming techniques are essential for staying safe while wild swimming. Learning proper breathing techniques, stroke mechanics, and how to sight in open water can help you conserve energy and avoid unnecessary risks. We will do a video on this for our MBM members!
- Be aware of your surroundings
When swimming in the wild, it's important to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Keep an eye out for boats and other watercraft, and be mindful of underwater hazards such as rocks and plants. Avoid swimming in areas that have a strong current or waves. Knowing if the beach you are going to has any known hazards is a good thing to research prior!
- Know your limits
It's important to know your limits when it comes to wild swimming. If you're feeling tired or uncomfortable, don't push yourself beyond your limits. Take breaks as needed, and don't hesitate to get out of the water if you feel unsafe.
In conclusion, wild swimming can be an enjoyable and rewarding activity when done safely. By choosing a safe location, wearing the right gear, starting slowly, swimming with a partner, learning proper techniques, being aware of your surroundings, and knowing your limits, you can stay safe while exploring the beauty of the great outdoors. So, take the necessary precautions and enjoy the exhilarating experience of wild swimming.
Enjoy and don't forget to tag us in your outdoor adventures!
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