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Digital Subscriptions > Outdoor Swimmer > July 2017 > SWIM SAFELY


Escaping the pool for the freedom of swimming outdoors is not without risks. Be prepared and stay safe this summer by following our guide to safety in the open water

WILD Swimming Special

Credit: Peter Springett

Open water swimming is more enticing on hot sunny days but people do swim in almost all conditions, and different types of weather mean different risks you need to be aware of.

In hot weather, there may be a big contrast between the air and water temperature that can catch out the unwary and is suspected to be a cause of some open water deaths. Therefore, always enter the water cautiously. Remember that you can easily get sun burn while swimming so make sure you protect your skin with waterproof sunblock.

Strong winds can make swimming conditions difficult. The water can be particularly unsettled if wind is blowing in the opposite direction to the current. Learning to breathe on both sides can help you cope better with waves and chop. Also be aware that a strong breeze increases the wind chill factor and you may get cold quicker than you expect. Finally, wind can make it difficult for support boats, which is why events are sometimes cancelled.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

In this issue we are celebrating the joy of wild swimming. There is more to swimming outdoors than organised events and races; wild swimming gives you space to experience nature, adventure, freedom and creativity. Seas, rivers, lakes, ponds, streams and lochs... look at a map and any blue space is a possibility to swim. As contributor Sam Mould writes in ‘Wayfarer in the Wilderness’, her exploration of wild swimming and landscape: “I feel that I have become dislocated from the natural world, from the wild environment and the inexorable rawness of nature.” Wild swimming goes some way to redress that balance. We hope you enjoy the stories within these pages, whether you like dipping in tarns in the Lake District or swimming across lakes in Switzerland, and get some new ideas for your own wild swimming adventures around the country and the world. Enjoy the magazine and happy swimming. Jonathan Cowie Editor