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Open Water Swimming Equipment Checklists

I hate showing up for a swim only to realize I've left a crucial item by the door at home. These are lists that I've started using to make sure I'm ready for the swimming adventure I'm embarking on, whether it's a short training swim at a local watering hole, an event, or a longer training block. If you feel the list if missing an item, please email us (hello@swimwildwaters.com) with your feedback!




Basic Accessories

I usually bring all of these in my Quackpacker when I swim without an escort paddler/boat

  • Swimsuit

  • Wetsuit/booties/gloves (if needed)

  • Highly visible tow float (like the Quackpacker!)

  • Safety whistle

  • In Case of Emergency Card

  • 3 Shades of Goggles (clear = night swimming, partly tinted = low light, full tinted/polarized = high sunlight)

  • Zinc Oxide (physical sunblock, water resistant)

  • Vaseline/Petroleum Jelly (anti-chafe, goes on top of the zinc oxide)

  • Baby Shampoo (thin layer for anti-fog for goggles) or fog-preventing product

  • Ear Plugs (if needed)

  • Swim cap(s)

  • Feeds/snacks

  • Shoes

  • Watch

  • Drybag with any dry items, like my phone, keys, wallet, towel

  • Small first aid kit

    • Anti-inflammatories/medications

    • Antiseptic wipes and bandages

    • Paracord


Equipment for swim support

(if swimming with an escort paddler or boat)
  • Warm/cold water bottles with clip (for any type of feed)

  • Feed rope (at least 12 ft, thick to reduce risk of knots)

  • Lots of carabiners 

  • Lunch box/cooler

  • Extra Vaseline (for your swimmer)

  • Extra swim cap

  • Extra goggles

  • Binoculars

  • Emergency Blanket

  • Marine Radio

  • Feeds/snacks

  • Post-swim rewarming (towel, parka, shoes)


Equipment for Night Swimming

  • Glow sticks (escort paddler/boat)

  • Zip Ties/Safety Pins (escort paddler/boat)

  • Adventure light (battery powered) (on swimmer)

  • Bright light on/in the tow float

  • Red light headlamp (escort paddler/boat)

  • High power beam flashlight (escort paddler/boat)

  • Warm feeds (if needed)


Having the right gear is essential for a safe and enjoyable wild swimming experience. Invest in quality equipment, prioritize safety, and embrace the freedom and connection with nature that wild swimming offers. As you gear up for your next adventure, remember that being prepared enhances the joy of the journey and ensures you can focus on the beauty that surrounds you. Happy swimming!



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