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Wild camping and swimming – Jonathan Cowie gets back to nature in Finland’s Lake Päijänne

If you believe in national stereotypes, then Finns shun small talk in favour of getting straight down to deep philosophical matters. I was sat in a sauna with two Finns, Païvi and Tuomas, and we weren’t discussing the weather. Instead we were comparing how we had given up well-paid jobs so we could live beyond the 9 to 5 grind of office life and pursue our love of swimming. Perhaps I was a Finn in another life.

Finns are also masters of understatement. Finland is known as Land of a Thousand Lakes, although actually there are nearer 200,000 of them. We were staying the night in Villa Takila on the shore of one of them, Lake Päijänne, indulging in a last taste of luxury before an island swimming adventure, wild camping on Kelvenne Island.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

Welcome to the first issue of Outdoor Swimmer! We are dedicated to providing inspiration and information for people who swim outdoors – and for people who want to swim outdoors but haven’t yet quite plucked up enough courage to escape the confines of the pool. If you were a reader of H2Open, the former name of Outdoor Swimmer, we hope you will be pleased with the changes we have made. But don’t worry, we haven’t changed radically! We still have all the same great features we had before, but the changes we have made are those that were suggested by you in our reader survey. We will focus more on the social aspects of outdoor swimming and increase our coverage of wild swimming, as well as expanding our training section to include distance-specific plans to help you reach your swimming goals. We are also thrilled to have joined forces with the Outdoor Swimming Society to bring you reviews of all the best kit for outdoor swimmers. This issue we look at goggles, next month we will be reviewing wetsuits. Let us know what you think of the changes, and what you would like to see more (or less) of in Outdoor Swimmer. Enjoy the magazine and happy swimming. Jonathan Cowie Editor
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