One of the most pleasurable forms of swimming is wild water swimming in lakes, rivers or seas. It has a lot of advantages over indoor swimming; the lack of crowds, chlorine-free water, infinite distances to cover, and most importantly, being outside in nature. Although swimming in a pool offers the conveniences of warm air, heated water, changing rooms and perhaps a sauna, they are also crowded and noisy, and many people get ear or skin irritation from public pools.
Swimming pools, or especially swimming clubs, may also foster a competitive atmosphere which many of us would like to avoid. Most swimmers swim for the joy of it and for keeping in shape and only enjoy competitions as spectators. Watching professional swimming competitions such as olympic swimming can be motivating for one’s own hobby, even though one has no ambitions to compete, but the competitive spirit is not something we aspire to have ourselves. Swimming outdoors ensures you get to swim in your own rhythm, not in one mandated by the average speed of other swimmers in your pool lane.
Safety Rules for Outdoor Swimming
If you are planning to swim outdoors, be mindful of all the risks there are. Unlike public swimming halls, there are usually no lifeguards in the wild, unless you are swimming at a famous beach. First, avoid the ocean if there are strong currents. Also, avoid beaches with dangerous animals or plants, such as poisonous algae, sharks, or a high number of jellyfish. If the sea is cool or cold, wear a wetsuit, and perhaps a hood, boots and gloves. Always swim along the shore. If you do insist on say, crossing a lake, have a friend next to you on a boat or perhaps, paddling on a surfboard. If swimming in a river with a current, make sure that there are spots where it is easy to get back to the shore.