Top Tips for Cold Water Swimming that don't involve Swimming

If you're planning to swim through the winter then here's a few tips now that it's getting chillier ..........

1 - Don't swim alone. swim with a buddy or at least have someone watching out for you from shore. Swimmimg with friends is safer than swimming alone if you watch out for each other and it's more fun and companionable than swimming alone.
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2 - Don't hang about chatting after your swim - that can wait. Get yourself dry, dressed and with a warm drink inside within 10 minutes as that's when the afterdrop will hit and the shivers will start. 
https://sites.google.com/site/cornwallwildswimming/top-tips-for-winter-swimming-that-don-t-involve-swimming/shivering-penguin.jpg

3. - Before you swim make sure your clothes are ready for when you get out. They should be right side out and stacked so that the clothes you want to put on first are on the top with your towel over them. When you're getting dressed sort out your top half first and then if you've got a robie or DryRobe put that on and sort out the bottom half.
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4 - Get yourself a mat to stand on while you're getting changed to keep your tootsies off the cold ground.  Something with a waterproof backing like a bathmat or carmat will do but you can get special ones too 
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5 - A trug is handy and waterproof and means you can grab your clothes out of it easier and quicker than a bag. Just be sure to cover your stuff with a bin liner or something waterproof to keep everything dry in case it rains whilst you're swimming.
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6 - Wrap up well with a warm hat and don't take off your swimhat until you're ready to put your snuggly titfer on immediately. Then put your hoody hood up over it to keep the chill off your neck.

7 - Zips, hooks and straps are difficult and fiddly with cold hands so invest in a vest .
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8 - A long sleeve thermal top  like this under your hoody makes it Eskeezy to keep everything warm and in it's place

9. - ICE PANTS - chances are you'll be chilly and in a rush to get dressed so modesty may go out of the window and everyone will see your pants so leave the old holey ones at home and bring your best Bridget Jones's.
https://sites.google.com/site/cornwallwildswimming/top-tips-for-winter-swimming-that-don-t-involve-swimming/bridget-jones-underwear.jpg

10. Warm socks and boots to keep your tootsies toasty.
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11 . A bottle of slightly warm water poured over your hands and feet will revive them. A hot water bottle can be comforting too.
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12 -  A flask of something warming to drink - ribena is good - and an oversized mug to drink out of so that if you've got the shivers then there's some splash room and you don't spill it all. 
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13 - You don't want to stay in too long. Set yourself a time limit before you get in and stick to it. If you feel OK and recover well then you can always up it next time. If you get a cheapo waterproof watch with a big old fashioned clock dial than set it to midday just before you get in you can easily see check to see if it's time to get out.