What on earth is a Dryrobe? Different types of winter outdoor swimmers

What is a Dryrobe and do I need one?

When it comes down to hobbies, swimming outdoors during the winter is not the most comfortable of options, which is probably why I am sitting in bed typing instead of heading for a grey, drizzly beach (don’t worry, I will be venturing out soon). Getting cold is good for me and easy enough, I just get into the water, swear a bit and start swimming. But what about getting warm again? Well, I have discovered that we swimmers fall into a few interesting categories, which is one of the many things that makes us such fun to be around. Read on to find out which type of winter swimmer you are and whether or not you need to rush out immediately and buy a Dryrobe.

Winter Swimmer 1 -The Minimalist

The Minimalist arrives for her winter swim already wearing her swimsuit plus a few, carefully selected layers on top. Trainers are her favourite footwear because, with minimal after-swim layers, jogging is going to be her only way to warm up. Her towel will be on the small side and thin, good for a quick rub down but not big enough to encompass a whole person. Not liking to make a fuss, the Minimalist will emit only a few carefully chosen swear words as she enters the cold water.

Winter Swimmer 2 – The Flamboyant

The Flamboyant likes to declare her intention to swim. She will arrive wearing a brightly coloured bobble hat, which will remain on her head for the whole swim. She will never turn up in the same outfit twice, each time opting for something slightly more eccentric than the last. Tiger striped onsies and mermaid-coloured leggings are daily choices for this winter swimmer. The Flamboyant always makes a lot of noise upon entering cold water.

Winter Swimmer 3 – The Prepared

The Prepared knows that water is going to be cold but she is not going to be beaten by it. She will arrive, safely wrapped in her official Dryrobe with several bags, each containing a complicated re-warming system. One bag will contain a hot drink, several types of high-calorie snacks and a hip flask, another a hot water bottle, a pre-warmed mat and a bucket big enough to stand in. Nobody will ever know what the extra bags contain but she will never be cold. The Prepared never makes a fuss getting into the water because she knows she can beat the cold when she emerges.

‘All good writing is swimming underwater and holding your breath.’ F.Scott Fitzgerald

Outdoor Writing

Collect or explore? Is it time for a rethink about how we share our outdoor spaces?

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