Open water swimming checklist


To make your swimming experience as relaxed and enjoyable as possible, here is a checklist of items that you won't want to leave behind when you visit the lake.


Swimming costume/jammers

This is probably the most essential piece of kit as we won't let you swim without it!  You might want to arrive at the lake with it already on, to save time changing on the bank.

Flip flops or slides

These can be useful to wear down to the water's edge, particularly if it's early in the season when the ground is cold and/or wet underfoot.

Goggles, a swimming hat, and earplugs if you use them

If you swim breaststroke then you may not need goggles, but otherwise you will do.  A brightly coloured swimming hat is mandatory for all swimmers (but not a silver or white one please).  If you forget your hat, we sell them for £6.  Earplugs are optional but if you've every suffered with dizziness when swimming in open water, it might be worth giving them a go.

Tow float

If you are swimming at Compton Verney in a wetsuit then a tow float isn't mandatory for adults.  However if you are a 'skins' swimmer in just your costume/trunks, then you'll need to use a tow float (these can be hired or purchased at the lake or pre-booked on the app).  The use of a tow float is mandatory for all children swimming at the lake (no hire charge).



This is an optional item.  A wetsuit can give you confidence, better body position and can therefore help you swim faster, as well as helping you to stay in the water for longer.  Other optional items in this category are gloves, socks and a neoprene hat.


Towel and a changing robe

You'll want to get out and dry as soon as possible before any shivers and the afterdrop kicks in, so don't forget your towel.  A changing robe is a nice to have as it preserves your modesty whilst changing, and also to keep you warm and dry once dressed.  An extra towel can be useful to stand on whilst you change.  What is also quite nice, is if you've left your clothes wrapped around a hot water bottle whilst you swim!


Lots of warm layers and a hat

This is really important.  You want to get your warm clothes on asap.  Roll down your swimming costume and dry your top half and your hair - put on a hat and all of your upper body layers to keep your core warm.  Then, remove your costume or trunks and layer up on the bottom half.


A drink to warm you up, and a snack - shivering can burn quite a few calories!