Skip to content
Free UK delivery if you spend £45 or more
Free UK delivery if you spend £45 or more
What Do You Need for Wild Swimming?

What Do You Need for Wild Swimming?


Wild swimming is a fantastic way to boost your immune system, exercise in nature and lower your risk of certain health conditions. You must prepare in advance by researching the location you intended to wild swim in for your own safety. Equipment is another essential safety measure, find out what wild swimming equipment you should use in this blog.

So, what do you need for wild swimming? Wild swimming equipment can include goggles, a wet suit, a silicone hat and a travel towel to dry your skin after. This equipment can help to regulate your body temperature, stay safe while wild swimming and provide a more comfortable and enjoyable experience.

Read on to find out about the best equipment for wild swimming and the best places in the UK to enjoy it.

What is the Best Wild Swimming Equipment?

Wild swimming, swimming in the river, taking a dip, whatever you call it, there is nothing as invigorating as an outdoor swim in cold water, surrounded by nature. This increasingly popular way to keep active allows you to experience the beautiful outdoors in a unique way. Wild swimming is the perfect opportunity to cool off during the summer months. However, before you ‘take the plunge’, make sure you are fully prepared by knowing the safe places to swim and you have the right wild swimming equipment. Below, we have listed the ideal wild swimming equipment so you can stay safe while having fun:


Although temperatures are likely to be higher in the summer, the UK doesn’t often have warm water. A wetsuit can help regulate your body temperature while you partake in wild swimming throughout the UK. They can also make you buoyant, an essential safety feature in case of an emergency and swim faster through water. Wetsuits do require a bit of practice to get used to so we would recommend spending some time in shallow water before committing to wild swimming in deeper waters. You should also make sure that your wetsuit fits correctly before wild swimming as it can disrupt how you move through the water.

Silicone Hat

Wearing a silicone hat while wild swimming can help keep the hair out of your eyes and make you more streamlined allowing for a more comfortable experience. The silicone is made to insulate your head, another way to regulate your body temperature while in the water and increase your swim time. Should something go wrong while you are swimming, a brightly coloured silicone hat can help someone spot you easier, it could save your life. 


Goggles for wild swimming are another way to make your experience more comfortable and enjoyable. They allow you to keep water out of your eyes, avoiding irritation and see where you are going while underwater. You can even get goggles with tinted or mirrored lenses to minimise the sun’s glare on your eyes.


Floats for wild swimming are often vibrantly coloured to make you easier to spot while in open water and provide a way to float on top of the water without effort. In open water, there is the possibility of boats so using a float will alert them to your presence, minimising potential danger. If you end up too far away from the edge of the water, floats can give you a rest if you are feeling tired or are in danger. 


When you get out of the water after wild swimming, an essential piece of equipment is the towel so you can dry your skin and keep warm. At The Trails Shop, we have a selection of travel towels which provide the perfect alternative to carrying a heavy, water sodden towel. Travelling light is a good idea when wild swimming to avoid water damage to your property, these travel towels make this easy!



Bubel Travel Towel >

Bubel towel

  • Super compact, light and easy to carry
  • Ultra-absorbent: they dry 400% more than a conventional towel
  • Ultra-fast drying (dries in 15 minutes) and they don't crease
  • Hard wearing
  • Repels odours and bacteria
  • Eco friendly product: neither PVC or solvents are used in their manufacture and the material is 100% recyclable


  • Large (180 x 95 cm)
  • Compact (95 x 54 cm)

Here's an independent review from outdoor adventurer, Abbie Barnes 



Ordnance Survey Travel Towel >

Ordnance Survey High Peak towel

  • are made of extra soft-feel fabric
  • absorb 9 times their own weight in water
  • dry 8 times faster than a conventional towel.
  • are treated with permanent Polygiene® antibacterial formula
  • and they won the Family Product award at the 2018 Outdoor Industry Awards. 

Made by Lifeventure they come in 5 iconic designs: 

  • Pennine Way - High Peak, showing the start of the Pennine Way
  • Snowdon
  • Ben Nevis
  • Scafell Pike
  • Central London

Dimensions and weight:

  • Opened: 150 x 90cm
  • Folded: 17 x 10 x 4.5cm
  • Weight: 280g dry



Lifeventure Travel Towel >

Lifeventure printed towel

  • SoftFibre - extra soft-feel fabric
  • Lightweight, compact and highly absorbent
  • Treated with Polygiene permanent odour control
  • Dries 8x faster than a standard beach towel
  • Absorbs 9x its own weight in water

Dimensions and weight:

  • Weight 203g
  • Dimensions (unpacked) 150 x 90cm

If you've never tried a travel towel and wonder what the fuss is about we recommend you give them a go - we're sure you'll be a convert!

What are the Benefits of Wild Swimming and is it Healthy?

There are many benefits to wild swimming provided you follow basic safety precautions such as only swimming in safe areas and never wild swimming alone. It is strongly recommended to perform research into the area you intended to swim in and don’t ignore any warnings. Here are the benefits of wild swimming:


Wild swimming is a form of exercise that involves being out in nature, experiencing the beautiful views and getting some fresh air. Fresh, cold water helps the body to release white blood cells and antioxidants, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. Acclimatising your body to the cold is a good way to boost your immune system and provide greater protection against health conditions such as allergies, fibromyalgia and asthma. Being in cold water causes stimulation of the vagus nerve which can conserve energy and promote relaxation.

Where are the Best Places to Wild Swim in the UK?

We have a helpful map to help you find the best places for wild swimming in the UK:


Wild Swimming Towels at The Trails Shop

If you decide to take up wild swimming, you must have the correct equipment to ensure your personal safety and truly appreciate the many benefits for your health. At The Trails Shop, we have a selection of travel towels available to suit your requirements no matter where you choose to wild swim.

Check out our Travel Towels >


Previous article The Trails Shop Christmas Gift Guide 2021
Next article Choosing the right walking companion – your drink bottle