If you’re taking a trip up to Scotland in one of our motorhomes this year – and you fancy yourself as a swimmer – you might be interested in a bit of wild swimming. We have many tips regarding this activity.
Our first tip is: don’t do it. Seriously, are you insane?! Scotland is cold and the water is even colder. This is an official warning. Get the idea out of your head and enjoy the warm, toasty luxury of your personal motorhome hire, for pity’s sake!
Now that we’ve got our first tip out of the way, let’s continue onto the other pointers for all the mad (ahem, adventurous) people who still want to try it out.
First of all – with all joking aside – wild swimming is an enjoyable and fun activity, but it is also challenging. This is not something to be tried by those who just fancy larking around, and certainly not for people who do not take it seriously.
It’s a fun activity, sure, but it’s a difficult activity and potentially dangerous for those who are inexperienced.
If you have tried a bit of wild swimming before, however, we have an assortment of tips to guide you in your Scotland adventure and to make sure your next wild swimming experience goes off without a hitch:
Bring Plenty Of Warm Clothing
This is an easy one. Of course, seeing as you’re using a motorhome hire, you will be able to park near where you are swimming. This is a great benefit to you, but it doesn’t mean you should overlook the importance of clothing. Warm clothing is one of the travelling essentials you need for your holiday anyway, regardless of whether you’re swimming or not! Make sure you bring an excess of heavy jumpers, hats, gloves, woolly socks, hot water bottles, and the like. This will do a lot to warm you up quickly and protect you from hyperthermia once you get out of the waters.
Use A Wetsuit
Another thing that will protect you from hyperthermia is a wetsuit. Don’t be one of those wild swimmers who are reluctant to use adequate protection. It’s not cool. It’s not gnarly. It’s just unsafe. In Scotland, the lochs themselves average a temperature of around 2 degrees, so it’s essential you are prepared for the cold and wear a wetsuit to help your body deal with it.
Find Popular Wild Swimming Spots
Talking of the lochs, another important thing to note is where exactly you are swimming. Find out which spots are the best for swimming in Scotland. This way, you will know about any currents or hazards to avoid – or ideally, there will be none at all. Some of the best swimming spots include Loch Morlich, Achmelvich Beach and Castle Stalker.
Always Have A Spotter
Although spotters are usually reserved for watersports like wakeboarding or water skiing, the importance of having a spotter whilst wild swimming cannot be underestimated. You never know what issues you might bump into when in the water, and if you’re out on your own, there’s no one to help you out if a bad situation arises. Always have a spotter, or at least swim with a group of people so that you’re not totally alone.
Do Not Venture Out Too Far
You might also think it’s pretty gnarly to venture out as far as you can go. This is not wise, especially because the cold can catch up with you and cause stiffness in your joints, making it harder to swim. Always stay close to the shore and ideally in shallow enough water that you can stand.
Don’t Second-Guess The Water
You should also not be too over-confident. Always expect resistance when you go wild swimming and make sure you are at your physical best when you attempt it. This is especially true if you are going for a dip in the sea, as the current can change very quickly and drag you further than you expected to swim. Don’t think you know what the water is going to be like on any given day.
Always Know What To Avoid
Lastly, you should always know exactly what to avoid when going wild swimming. Once again, this is why it should only be attempted by those who are experienced and comfortable in cold water. Some of the most important things to avoid are:
- Urban Rivers
- Blue-Green Algae
- Swimming With Wounds Or Recent Cuts
- Swimming On A Full Stomach
- Swimming With Known Health Defects
Going wild swimming is a great way to get the adrenaline flowing and feel immersed in nature and, if you make sure you know exactly how to stay safe, you’re sure to have a great time! It will also make your motorhome feel 100% more comfortable than it already is!