Staycation swimming

Staycation swimming

No matter where you’re swimming, safety is always the most important thing. After the COVID-19 pandemic, staycations have become more and more popular, with many people opting to stay local for their holidays. For your next holiday, why not think about saving some money and staying at home to make the most of what you have local to you.

In the UK, we’re lucky enough to have a wealth of fantastic open water swimming locations all over the country and all of them will require a varying level of planning and preparation, so let us help you get ready for your next open water swim.

Choosing where to swim

As we said, there are countless open water swimming locations all over the country so you may be wondering where to start. To start, Google will be your friend when trying to find your local swimming lake, lido or just to find a good beach to safely swim in the sea.

Swimming.org also has a handy list of open water swimming locations which can help you find a safe location to take a dip, not too far from home. We also have some tips from the RLSS that will help you make sure that where you’re swimming is safe and has everything you may need.

Staying safe in the water

Before you get in the water, it’s vital to have a valid assessment of the hazards in front of you. Open water swimming is a fantastic, enjoyable activity and a great way to stay healthy (both physically and mentally) but basic safety precautions must be taken to ensure your safety and the safety of others around you.

  • Check the water before you get in

Be sure to fully assess the body of water you’re planning on swimming in prior to getting in. If you’re swimming in a river, be wary of the current and toss in a stick or a branch so you can see how fast the water is moving and if you’ll be able to swim against the current.

Also have a look to see how deep the water is. Jumping into the shallows can be very dangerous so be sure to check the water is deep enough for you to swim in.

  • Brace for the cold

The open water is often colder than you may expect, so be sure to prepare for this. Make sure you’ve got the right gear to battle the cold (we’ll get to that later!) and be aware of how cold water shock and hypothermia may take effect.

  • Know your exit routes

It’s always a good idea to be aware of how you’ll get out of the water in case of an emergency. Remember, riverbanks and the sides of lakes can often be slippy so look out for that!

  • Don’t swim alone

Swimming with someone else will drastically increase your safety when out in the open water. If anything goes wrong, having someone else there to help will always be a benefit. They can call for help and then assess the situation to try and help you.

What to bring with you

Much like with most sports, when it comes to open water swimming, there’s a lot of gear and kit that can help to make the entire process safer, more comfortable and more efficient.

More details can be found on our detailed open water swimming kit list here.

Top tip – learn the circulation pattern

Most open water swimming lakes and pools will have a specific circulation plan, so make sure you check this out before you get in the water so you don’t end up swimming the wrong way and getting in people’s ways!

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