While the heatwave has come to an end for now, I would like to share my experience with wild swimming. I am from the Czech republic and over there, we love it. We have lots of lakes, reservoirs and rivers and during summer, we use all of those for cooling down. It’s become part of the culture and it saddens me deeply that it’s not become part of the culture in this country! But there is still time to change that…!
When I started my wild swimming location hunt, I found it very hard! There are only a few resources online and mostly people go swimming in the sea, though that is too hard core for me. The sea is cold! Really cold! During the summer, rivers can heat up a bit and swimming in them isn’t torture. A good website for finding places to go swimming is this one. It’s also important to be safe, you can read about suggestions and recommendations here. To summarise though, don’t go swimming on your own, be careful, be aware and don’t tempt fate.
When my husband and I go out for the day, we bring a picnic, water (lots of it), books, puzzles, cards and suncream. We “set up camp” and we stay out all day! It’s the most relaxing activity there is and I love it. Being out in the sun without the option of cooling down is agony but having the river right next to you is so relaxing!
Swimming in river water can require some getting used to. It’s obviously greener, there is algae floating around, the bottom of the river can have lots of mud in it so when you try and stand, your feet might sink into it. At first I was freaked out by it, now I just accept it. And actually, once you do, you might feel like you’re walking on clouds! It’s so soft and bouncy! If you’re not a fan, you can always bring protective slip on water shoes. That will do the trick.
And if you’re a forager like me, you might just find something to forage. In this photo, I had found spearmint; I picked it, dried it and made tea with it. Yum!
If you don’t have a swimming costume, these sustainable brands have some fab choices on offer:
I hope I’ve motivated you to go out and try it out for yourself. And if not, I hope you’ve found out something interesting!
Stay cool and safe,