I don’t like the word warm. It reminds me of pee. And pants. While there might be a big puddle of universal shame when it comes to peeing your pants on land, peeing in your wetsuit in 47-deg water is HEAVEN!

Removing my peed-in wetsuit after a recent swim at Lagoon Point. Putting your gloves under your goggle straps looks goofy (literally) but keeps them from floating away.

I’ve been seeing a lot of helpful posts and articles on how to swim through winter safely: the usual thermal accessories, warm drinks, drying off quickly and getting your woolies on. All important and critical stuff.

But it made me realize that I also do other, more unusual things, to get warm after a winter swim. I have a sneaking suspicion that most cold-water swimmers have small comforts and tricks that make all the difference. 

Here’s mine.

Eating Something Before You Swim

I doubted this one, then I tried it. Just half an energy bar will do the trick. Yes sometimes my “energy bar” is a PopTart (no shame). Plus if it’s a cinnamon pop tart, the inevitable swim burps are kind of nice!

Warm Mug on My Mug

There’s no better feeling than wrapping your shaking frozen digits around a warm mug. What’s just as good? Holding that mug up against your cheeks on the drive home. “Oooohs” for the left cheek. “Ahhhs” for the right cheek. (I’m talking about facial cheeks here, but hey, in the interest of warmth, you do you.)

Peasant Hot Tub

This idea came from my good swim-friend Joe Hempel. One exceptionally cold winter swim, he brought a 5-gallon paint bucket (with a cover, important detail) to the beach, filled with very hot water. This is now a must-have for our group, and we each get a minute or two in the hot tub. It allows us to stand around and enjoy our post-swim Baileys and coffees a bit longer in December! Thanks Joe!

Cashmere Sweater

I know, sounds bougie, but they’re worth every soft cozy penny! I pick up most of mine at thrift stores. Remember to do a quick sniff check before buying, as sometimes they carry odiferous memories of granny’s attic. Or her five cats.

Hair Dryer

This is a weird one, but a GAME CHANGER. Use it in the traditional sense to dry your scalp and let it warm up. Then aim all that hot-air goodness down your cashmere sweater. (Wowza!) Then up it. Then down the back. And then yes, down your pants. All that spreading warmth without the pee or the shame? Magic! 

If you have an unusual warming ritual, I’d love to hear it. Please Comment below!

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