Swimming at night is an amazing experience that should be on your bucket list, but please do it safely, here we share our experience and tips on how to go lake swimming in the dark.
How to go Lake Swimming in the dark:
- Do a daylight recce: check entry and exit points, potential dangers, shapes and trig points (look it up) to swim to as you will not see detail at night. Steer clear of any kind of commercial shipping/ferry zones that may operate at night. Be sensible about your route choice it’s not cool to be a liability.
- Let someone know what you are doing, where, and what time you will be back.
- Take a competent friend (or friends) and preferably one who bakes well or has excellent taste in whiskey. It’s good to have someone to share the experience with and you are more likely to actually do it if you are meeting other people especially if you are a bit twitchy about swimming at night.
- Make sure you can get warm afterwards, hot drinks and food help you get the inner fire going and if it is appropriate to have a modest campfire to get warm by, do it, but don’t be a numpty about it!
- Go skins or suit up (whatever your preference), both have their pros and cons but you’ll get more swimming time in a suit.
- Been seen – Good ideas we’ve pioneered are the use of a bright light inside a drybag style tow float (looks like a glowing pumpkin – very seasonal) and casts a non-invasive warm light. Small red bike lights clipped to the back of goggles or a small glow stick tucked inside the goggle strap both work well if you want to be seen. If you’d rather go stealth, perhaps use a waterproof head torch and just flick it on when you need it. I think it’s good to have some form of light in case you need to alert someone to your presence in the water as you may not be the only nocturnal wanderer out there!
- Remember to mark exactly where you left from, leave a small light to mark the spot so you can get back to your kit and exit.
- If it’s misty or foggy, keep an eye on direction (I have a tiny cheap compass in my swim bag in case of poor visibility on the water, it can be very disorientating!) or swim along the shore line.
- For tips on staying warm see article cold water swimming accessories
If you would like to know more about lake swimming in the dark come on one of our cool night swims or pop in to see us at our Ambleside shop. Whatever you do enjoy your swimming and do it safely. See you in the water 🙂
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