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Guide to wild swimming outdoors

Guide to wild swimming outdoors

Have you ever taken a dip in a beautiful lake during one of your camping holidays or hiking trips? 

If not, you may want to — wild swimming is increasingly popular in the UK!

What is it? How can you get started? 

Find out everything you need to know about wild swimming outdoors in this beginner-friendly post!

What is wild swimming?

Wild swimming outdoors means enjoying the beauty of rivers, lakes, or seas in a more intimate way than you might be used to. And it’s actually an ideal solution if you’re craving a swim but your local gym is closed. 

Open water swimming may seem a little bit unusual if the concept is new to you. But countless people embrace wild swimming outdoors all over the world, particularly in cooler waters. 

Participants have discovered various mental and physical health benefits, including four women who found it helped with their anxiety, pain, stress, and more. 

Research also suggests wild swimming can help to combat stress, reduce inflammation, and have a meditative effect. 


Where can I try wild swimming in the UK?

The UK is home to some of the most beautiful countryside in the world, and we have so many rivers or lakes to explore. That can make finding the right swim spots for your first wild swimming adventure tricky.

But the Outdoor Swimming Society has a wealth of information to help people of all ages and abilities discover the joys of wild swimming outdoors. You may want to check out its comprehensive list of the UK’s local outdoor swimming groups, covering all regions. 

For example, the South West has Beyond the Blue, Devon Wild Swimming, and Wiltshire Wild Swim. Groups in the North West include #ChesterFrosties, Lake District Open Water Swimmers, and Lake District Wild Swimmers. 

Take a look to find a group near you — they’ll probably be happy to offer advice! 

How can I stay safe while wild swimming outdoors?

Safety is paramount in any activity, particularly wild swimming. Try these simple tips:

  • Don’t get too cold too quickly during winter swimming; consider wearing a wetsuit if you need to, and let your body acclimate to the water temperature gradually
  • Check the current before you jump in to make sure the water isn’t moving faster than you can cope with; if in doubt, ask a more experienced wild swimmer for advice
  • Never swim alone— always have someone with you, even if they won’t actually be swimming, in case of an emergency

What gear do I need for wild swimming outdoors?

Invest in some quality equipment to increase your comfort and safety when trying wild swimming. 

You’ll need:

And the Milestone Set of 3 Dry Sacks is ideal for keeping your clothing, shoes, snacks, etc. dry when near the water or if you love swimming on rainy days!

Check with your local swimming group to find out what equipment they take with them, and ask for recommendations. 

To find more great outdoor equipment for your wild swimming trips, browse our complete collection now!