Wild swimming has increased in popularity in the UK in recent years. People appear to embracing the idea of taking a dip in natural waters after years of swimming up and down lanes in a chlorine filled swimming pool. Swimming in the outdoors is totally normal in the Nordic countries, and “wild swimming” is somewhat a weird concept as that’s just how you go for a swim. If it’s warm enough, why would you swim indoors? Children are taught to swim at a young age and spend most of their childhood splashing in lakes, rivers and the sea.
Photo: John Hartshorn
For those who are not convinced, there are many benefits of swimming outdoors, including increased circulation, it gives you immune system a boost and it burns more calories than robotically paddling up and down a lane. Plus, it’s much more enjoyable! Winter swimming is also popular for the brave in Sweden, Norway and Finland in connection with a traditional sauna but you may want to just have a roll in the snow to cool down quickly as it can be quite a shock to the system.
Please remember that any sort of swimming has its risks and you should always be sensible in the water. Never swim alone, as wild waters won’t have the benefit of a lifeguard and if it’s very cold, get in the water gently as the shock of the cold water can cause difficulties. However, leaping into a lake on a hot summers day is highly recommended (as long as you’ve checked it’s deep enough for a dive bomb!). If it is deep enough, why not practice your dive, as a belly flop can be painful but does have the added bonus of splashing any surrounding bystanders!
Travelling to our nearby Nordic countries for some wild camping and swimming is a real adventure many children do not get to experience who live in countries where restrictions prevent them from doing these things that should be a part of growing up.
Photo: Back to Basics in Cosy Cabins, Öivind Lund
Many of our summer experiences involve water from timber rafting and canoeing to staying at a cabin by a lakeside and you will have the opportunity for a swim the way nature intended. We still have some availability for our cabins and experiences on the water for the end of this summer, or maybe you would like some ideas for next summer. Take a look here.