UK Swim Camp & Adventure - Dorset [Detailed Information]


Please read all the notes below carefully before deciding if this swim camp / adventure is for you ☺

All swims and land activities are optional.

The swim camp is based around Poole Harbour. A car will be required for swims away from Poole Harbour and sometimes the only available parking will be paid parking. 

Ideally you will be available to meet in Poole for a group dinner by 7pm Thursday June 16. The finish on Sunday will be staggered; it is likely the last group will be back at Poole Harbour by 21:00. Please let Chloë know in the information form if you cannot do the dinner and/or night swim on June 16 (there will be another night swim offered, and possibly there will be space on that swim for you). 

It is recommended that you secure local accommodation, with easy access to Poole Harbour, for 3x nights (Thur - Sat) and possibly Sunday night too if you are in the later swim group on Sunday. If you can’t be in the latter group on Sunday evening please let Chloë know in the information form which you will fill in soon, so she can put you in an earlier swim group.

If you need somewhere to store your gear after check out on Sunday AM, you can store it in your / another person's on camps car or if that is not available then on the boat (we will keep it inside to protect it from sea water). The times you can collect your gear from the boat on Sunday is 08:30, 13:00 or 21:00 depending on when your last swim is. 

All swims are based on ideal tide and weather forecasts, therefore, the exact day, location and time of each swim is subject to weather. A proposed camp schedule has been made available to you and you must read it before officially signing up. Land based activities will be made around the swims. 

There will be at least one swim conducted in the dark, so if you wish to participate in this swim, be prepared to swim late at night. Swims may be changed or cancelled at short notice if the weather is unfavourable – safety first! We will aim to reschedule within reason and within the camp time frame. 

This is a cold water swim camp / adventure. The expected water temperature is 12 – 14C. It is expected that you arrive to camp with previous sufficient and recent cold water swim training; otherwise you may struggle to swim in these temperatures. 

Swims will generally be 20 – 90min long each (except the 2 / 6hr qualifier). For each swim you choose to join you are expected to swim at least 20min to minimise the disruption to other swimmers during that swim. Although for safety purposes you can exit any swim at any time. 

Water safety will be provided for each swim and may include one or more kayaker, RIB (inflatable safety boat) and motorboat. Yours and everyone’s safety is the number one priority. 

Wetsuits or other swim aids are optional. You are welcome to wear any gear which may assist with keeping warm such as wetsuit, double swim cap, booties, neoprene swim cap etc… Please keep in mind wearing any of these items may deem you ineligible for the 2/6hr English Channel qualifier and any England – Belgium or Isle of Wight Relay which is planning to swim ‘skins’. 

Your minimum pace needs to be 2.5km in one hour (times based in swimming in a pool). It is expected that you currently know your time for 1km non-stop in the pool. Taking a 100m or 200m time and then multiplying that to get your expected 1hr swim distance is not sufficient – otherwise Usain Bolt (Jamaican multiple Olympic Gold Medallist in in the 100m and 200m events) would beat all the 5km runners at the Olympics. If you are not able to swim at least 2.2km in an hour, in a pool, by January 31st 2022 it is advised you may not meet the minimum pace by June 2022.

If you plan to wear flippers or a wetsuit (or any other swim aid) for this camp / adventure than your 1hr swim distance may be based on you wearing this equipment. 

You are welcome to bring your partner, friends and family to the land activities. Please note some of our swims will be swum from the boat offshore and the people you may bring along may not be able to see you swim for these swims. Unfortunately, there are no spaces available on the motorboat or any water safety craft for anyone who is not a registered swim camp /adventure swimmer. 

If you wish a specific swim certificate to be signed for one of the swims please bring it along to the camp and alert Chloë in the information form of your intentions. Swimmers hoping to qualify for the England – Belgium or Isle of Wight relays do not need to bring their own certificate – they will be provided. 

Not included in the camp / adventure is food, accommodation, transport to and from swim activities, parking or any gear you use for swimming and any other costs besides the camp /adventure organisation, coaching and water safety and boat and captain hire. It is highly recommended you invest in insurance to cover your activities whilst at camp. 

It is highly recommended that you have access to a car for this camp / adventure. If you don’t have a car Chloë may be able to link you with another swimmer who has a car. Please advise in the information form if you wish to share a car with some as a carpool driver or passenger. 

You need to wear

  • A fluorescent swim cap during every swim for safety purposes (at least 90% of the cap is fluorescent). To reduce any misunderstanding please note that white is a not a florescent colour. Chloë will give each swimmer a fluorescent swim cap before the first swim starts 
  • A fluorescent swim float / tow which has a large opening inside the bag to place a small torch (Chloë will provide the small torch, maximum 20cm long). If you don’t own a swim float / tow as described you can purchase one from Chloë, in-person, before the first swim for 20 Pounds (please bring cash).  You must notify Chloë in the information form if you intend to buy a tow float from her. This is compulsory during dark and low light swims (e.g. night swimming, dawn, dusk and fog – safety first!)
  • One flashing ‘adventure light’ or party ‘glow stick’ attached to your goggle strap on your head. This is compulsory during dark and low light swims (e.g. night swimming, dawn, dusk and fog – safety first!). Chloë can provide you with a party ‘glow stick’ if you don’t have one
  • Bathers / swimsuit / swim costume and goggles 
  • At least one thermos in which you have a warm sweet drink which is ready and bought along to every swim
  • Plenty of towels and bathers so you don’t have to ever re-use wet ones
  • Warm clothes – lots of types. Ideally your outer layer is wind and water proof, a swim parka like a ‘DryRobe’ is ideal as you can easily change underneath it too. Thick socks which extend beyond your ankle, a beanie and gloves are advised. It is advised that take off your wet bathers / swim suit immediately when you finish each swim. It is advised that you wear covered shoes to and from each swim (not flip flops / thongs). It is imperative that you get out of the elements and warm up with warm sweet fluid and layers of warm clothes immediately after each swim
  • Snacks to munch on before / after swims as you may not be able to access a meal immediately and you need regular energy consumption to maintain your energy for warmth and swimming over the camp and to reduce tiredness at the end of camp
  • Big bag/s to put all your swim gear in 

  Suggested for you

  • Clear goggles for night and low light swimming and tinted goggles for day swimming
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera to take photos and images of your adventure
  • Any equipment aids you may wish to swim with e.g. wetsuit, flippers etc…
  • Any ear plugs you may wish to wear to keep the water out (especially helpful for keep the cold at bay! Some people buy these from a chemist, pharmacy as moulded rubber or swim specific plugs or even BluTack)
  • Vaseline (to prevent chafing). Lanolin or ‘Channel Grease’ will not be allowed on swims where you are getting on/off the motorboat. You will be informed of this in advance. 

Suggested for you if you are preparing for a future 20km+ marathon swim

  • Practice feeds (a variety of choices for experimentation) you are trialling for your future solo swim
  • Practice feeding equipment (Chloë will also provide basic feeding equipment - rope & stick and cups- which you can try)

Access and print the itinerary out for your records