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Rewarming After a Dip

So, you've just been a badass swimming in some cold or icy water. Now what?

Now comes the crucial part: getting warm and cozy post-swim. Here are some tips for ways to get warm quickly, especially if you don't have a sauna or warm car to hop into.

  1. Don't Linger! You might still feel warm and strong getting out of the water, but you haven't hit "after drop" yet. If you start evaporative cooling, exposed to the air, you'll get really cold even after feeling warm getting out. Don't stand around chatting with friends or spectators - beeline to your stuff and grab a towel. If you have a long walk back to your belongings, consider bringing a towel with you in your tow float (the Quackpacker OG will fit a towel easily).

  2. Use unlined slip-on shoes. You may not feel your feet or move like you do when you're warm. Exiting the water wearing flip flops, crocs, or other slip on shoes will prevent unfelt cuts and bruises. Don't use slip on shoes that have any type of absorbent/fabric lining (like furry crocs) because they'll feel 100 times colder once they get wet, and take a long time to dry. If you want to switch to lined shoes, have them be the shoes you transition to after you're partially changed and dry.

  3. Strip like you're getting tips! Get your wetsuit, wet swim suit, rash guard - anything that's cold and wet pressed against your torso - off as quickly as you can. I like to pull my swim suit straps off my shoulders as I'm getting out of the water, wrapping my towel around my torso under my armpits, and just pulling my suit off as soon as I'm on shore. I walk to my bag wearing just a towel, which helps me dry off quickly, even as I'm walking the 10-20 feet to my belongings.

  4. Bring a changing mat and some luke-warm water. I bring warm water in a jug to pour over my feet. I also bring a medium tupperware container that I can step one or both of my feet into. I pour the warm water into the container and step my feet in, rewarming and clearning them at the same time. Then, I step onto the mat as my clothing station so I don't get mud or sand all over my legs as I pull on clothing.

  5. Don't bother with underwear. Unless you're going to a gala, just throw on your warm layers, like a hoodie and sweat pants. Remember that your hands might not be functional to actively pull tight clothing onto any part of your body, so having easy-on clothing is so important! Think: giant fleece pull overs, robes, fuzzy slippers. You're not dressing up to meet the queen, so think functional warmth choosing your rewarming clothes.

  6. Throw on warm shoes. This is when you can swap wet slip on shoes for some fuzzy ones, or put some super warm socks on.

  7. Do a little dance! Doing some small squats, mini jumps, jogs around your belongings, jumping jacks, and some dancing will help you warm up from the inside-out.

  8. Bring a warm (not hot) beverage in a thermos. Don't bring anything alcoholic, but warm tea, cocoa, or other yummy drinks will help you rewarm your core and rehydrate.

  9. Swim with a buddy or crew. Even if you have a friend who doesn't want to enter the water with you, having them help you get out, get warm, and even transport you home is much safer than going alone. Cold swimming is inherently risky, but by having other people watching over you (and you over them) can reduce the risk of cold swimming.

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