The first Great Swim Series outdoor swimming event of 2018 takes place in a matter of days in the beautiful surroundings of Lake Windemere in the Lake District. For open water swimmers and outdoor thrill seekers taking part in a Great Swim is a must. Our very own Georgie Starkey, Brand Manager at The Dry Bag, took part in the Great 2mile Scottish Swim last year and recalls the thrill of a mass entry start with 500 other athletes, plunging your head into the cold waters of a Scottish Loch and the exhilaration upon finishing. With water temperatures averaging from 12-16 degrees the Great Swim Series demands respect, it caters for all levels of swimmers with distances ranging from 250m to 10k! Finishers are welcomed by a large crowd, a soup to warm the body, a commemorative t-shirt and a well-deserved finishers medal. There are a few pieces of kit that we recommend taking to an outdoor swimming event, whether it’s part of the Great Swim series or another organised event:
Wetsuit bag – given you’ll likely be travelling some distance to go to your outdoor swimming event we recommend a wetsuit bag for the occasion, avoid snagging your wetsuit whilst in transit and keep the water contained on the way home – The Dry Bag offers both and at £60 it’s worth it to avoid an annoying rip pre-race or a sodden car après.
Swimming wetsuit – Invest in a good swimming wetsuit. You’ll appreciate the extra buoyancy, flexibility and faster swim cut when racing. Check out Zone 3, HUUB or Aqua Sphere for top notch swimming wetsuits.
Spare swimming cap – if the water is 16 degrees or under you might want to consider a second swim cap. The Great Swim series provides you with a coloured cap that must be worn to identify which wave you belong to however you’re free to wear a hat of your choosing under the mandatory cap if you wish and we recommend doing this on the colder days!
Flip-flops – “changing rooms” for outdoor swimming events are often more like huts so take a pair of flip flops to balance on pre and post race, the alternative is to put your towel on the floor, so make sure to pack a spare towel if flip flops aren’t in your shoe cupboard.
Changing Robe – If you’re shy about stripping off in public buy a changing robe, it will keep you warm too when you’re tucking into your post-race snack! Check out the Mystic changing robe, it’s lighter to pack than some others on the market and won’t break the bank.
Good luck to anyone racing in the Great Swim Series this year, be sure to let us know how you get on by tagging @thedrybag in pictures.