Tips and Hints

If you have any tips on your favorite outdoor activities that you would like to share with us please email them to General Contact on our Contact Us page and we will try to post them on our site as well.

Open Water Swimming

The best way to get used to swimming in open water is to practice.  If you are used to swimming in a pool, you will soon realize how different open water swimming is.


There are no walls or lane ropes to hold on to for rest.  There are no black lines running along the bottom of the lake to help guide you.  Lake water isn't as clear as pool water, so you may not always be able see bottom and will have to lift your head to see the direction you are going.  And there isn't always a lifeguard on duty.  These factors can intimidate any swimmer if you have never swam in open water before.


Remember to think smart and be safe.  Always swim with a partner if you can.  If you are alone, tell someone, whether it be a lifeguard on duty or someone from your camp, where you plan on swimming and how long you plan to be gone for.  Try swimming along the shore lines, that way you allow yourself to choose a depth you are comfortable with.


Test the waters before jumping in.  Check the current water conditions and temperatures of the area and the lakes.  Get a feel for the water by doing some warm-up strokes before taking off.  A wetsuit can be a good investment for the cooler days of spring and fall swimming.  Wetsuits can also add to your buoyancy.


When you are used to swimming in the comfort of a pool, it's common for people to "freak out" a little when out in open water.  Try to stay relaxed and trust in your abilities as a swimmer.  Swimming with someone that is use to open waters might be a good idea to consider when first going out.


Choose your swimming areas wisely.  More popular lakes will have designated beach and swimming areas.  These areas have shallow areas and may be marked with buoys to keep boaters away.


If you're in a remote area, take more caution before going into the water.  These lakes could have "No Swimming" signs posted.  These signs are posted for a reason, usually for your own safety.


If you come across a lake where people are fishing, it would be smart not to go in the water.


Always use caution no matter where you are swimming.  Know your surroundings and keep an eye out for any potential danger.