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Eric Hansen
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PostWed Jun 14, 2023 9:15 pm 
https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2023/jun/14/uk-cross-country-swimming-and-where-to-do-it The newly popular mix of hiking and open-water swimming opens up new routes for adventurers looking to explore mountains, lakes and coasts Cross-country swimming the combination of hiking and open-water swimming enables you to create routes that traverse land and water, whether it be mountains, lakes or a stretch of coastline. The concept is that when your walk comes to a body of water, you pack your kit into a waterproof inflatable bag that can be towed, swim to the next destination, exit, and continue your journey. A multi-swim walk can open up new perspectives on the landscape, even in familiar areas. Standard tow floats are fine for shorter trips. However, for full or multi-day excursions, something like the RuckRaft, which is big enough to transport a rucksack full of camping gear across open water is recommended. https://www.abovebelow.sc/ruckraft

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Songs2
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PostSat Jun 17, 2023 6:36 am 
That's an interesting concept, though it does add weight and bulk to the hiking portion. Edit to add: I am unsure of its applicability to the USA; difficult to think of a situation in which a lake approached by a trail would not have a trail around it. Perhaps it might make its appearance in the odd competition, like packrafting. The UK is another matter. Roger Deakin captured and sparked wild swimming enthusiasm by swimming England south to north, recounted in Waterlogged: A Swimmer's Journey through Britain (he had to interrupt his swim to return home and clear the frogs out of his moat). Kate Renfrew followed quickly with Wild Swimming, and we're off to the races. Regulations in the UK and EU countries regarding access to lands and waterways are different from those in the USA. There are many exciting formal swims in USA (I stopped to look up the Pennock Island Challenge, in the Straits of Tongass; it appears to have been discontinued), and one can set up one's own exciting adventure swim.

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Cyclopath
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PostSat Jun 17, 2023 9:46 am 
Too much thalassaphobia!

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CS
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PostSat Jun 17, 2023 8:47 pm 
Songs2 wrote:
Edit to add: I am unsure of its applicability to the USA; difficult to think of a situation in which a lake approached by a trail would not have a trail around it. Perhaps it might make its appearance in the odd competition, like packrafting.
I think the point is just you're taking a different route, in their demo video they show a lake with a trail around it too, and they swim across the lake. Sure would extend a short hike into a longer one.

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PostSat Jun 17, 2023 9:53 pm 
Quote:
In the Lake District it is important to be aware of biosecurity, and the cross contamination of invasive species from one lake to another. In some areas all kit should be rinsed before using again.
smile.gif Interesting. I like to swim, and can see the attraction of breaking up a hike, if the point is to combine the two. Otherwise potential time lost to getting in and out of swimming costume and preparing and deflating the raft, the extra weight carry, and so on would weigh against it. Perhaps the Finger Lakes region? Cascade Lakes in Bend, OR? (I'm not familiar with inland swimming in PNW)

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Eric Hansen
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PostSun Jun 18, 2023 9:43 am 
I don't have this dialed in yet. Thought the Ruckraft was something new, and like pack rafts it might take a little time to sort through, evaluate, the new possibilities. Lake Powell comes to mind. I've been on top of Navajo Mt. 4 times. You look down at the oceans of red rock country below, and the lake's inlets. Like a giant jigsaw puzzle. And water temperatures are a factor. I'm Wisconsin based and much of our "Up North" wilderness areas have lakes and streams that are reasonably warm in the summer. P.S. Cyclopath, that was a word I've never seen before. ( : Maybe you can help us set up a rating system for this new sport of Ruckrafting? Like, hike/climb for this route moderate class 3 smile.gif , but swim is a class 5 thalassaphobia?

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RumiDude
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PostSun Jun 18, 2023 10:37 am 
For a couple years back in the early 2000s I was passionately devoted to hiking and then rafting across alpine/subalpine lakes. I used three different cheap inflatable rafts with paddle. It was fun but I soon learned it had limited application. I wore myself out in the Alpine Lakes area, especially in the Foss River drainage. I rafted every lake I could. It is harder than it looks but still fun. As I moved on to exploring the Glacier Peak region, a raft became dead weight. I gave all that stuff away. What was great was that I could go almost anywhere on a lake that I thought looked interesting to explore. Because I used cheap rafts I got lots of small holes, nothing serious. The whole set-up was about eight pounds, including raft, paddle, pump, and a cover for it. It's bulky and so for a while I used an external framed pack, even though that was suboptimal for all the bushwacking I needed to do. I finally got a huge internal framed pack that I virtually never used otherwise. On windy days, it can be challenging crossing water. I suppose that would be true towing as well. I worked with a guy that was from eastern Europe, who was a cold water long distance swimmer. That was a thing in Europe. Anyway, he didn't even use a wet suit. He more than once swam the length of Lake Wenatchee. He regularly swam in Eliot Bay all year long. Cold water swimming is seeing a revival in Europe now, especially in Great Britain, Denmark, Netherlands, France, etc. It's a kinda back to nature sorta thing. Mostly people swim in the sea, or hike to remote lakes and swim; combining that with backpacking is interesting. Rumi

"This is my Indian summer ... I'm far more dangerous now, because I don't care at all."
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Cyclopath
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PostSun Jun 18, 2023 9:22 pm 
Eric Hansen wrote:
P.S. Cyclopath, that was a word I've never seen before. ( : Maybe you can help us set up a rating system for this new sport of Ruckrafting? Like, hike/climb for this route moderate class 3 smile.gif , but swim is a class 5 thalassaphobia?
I really enjoy swimming a lot. I've swam near submerged trees in Kachess Lake and it sends chills down my spine. It's probably rooted in the possibility of clothes getting caught on a branch, but it triggers the monkey part of my brain and makes me panic. It doesn't even have to be a tree specifically, bumping into something in the water makes me try to jump. I don't know if you've ever been in Devils Creek, feeding into Ross Lake? The steep walls make it impossible to get out if the water of you fall in. Beautiful place, being in that water would terrify me.

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Get Out and Go
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PostMon Jun 19, 2023 3:59 pm 
up.gif Therapeutic value of cold water immersion. Matt is the "King of Alpine Swims" at NWHikers. borank.gif Check out his Trip Reports. Here he is in his element swimming amidst the larches and snow.

"These are the places you will find me hiding'...These are the places I will always go." (Down in the Valley by The Head and The Heart) "Sometimes you're happy. Sometimes you cry. Half of me is ocean. Half of me is sky." (Thanks, Tom Petty)
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RumiDude
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PostMon Jun 19, 2023 5:42 pm 
Here's a short video on cold water wild swimming.
Rumi

"This is my Indian summer ... I'm far more dangerous now, because I don't care at all."
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Eric Hansen
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PostMon Jun 19, 2023 9:48 pm 
Cyclopath, I haven't been at Devil's Creek but have seen pictures from trip reports. Yep, I understand and don't see that as fear but awareness. It's a good thing to know when the terrain changes from benign to risky. Rumi, "What was great was that I could go almost anywhere on a lake that I thought looked interesting to explore" That's it. It's like off trail hiking vs. on trail. Views change, hidden corners come into sight.

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Songs2, Cyclopath
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PostMon Jun 19, 2023 9:54 pm 
If you'd like an excuse to travel and swim several days (summer) in northern VT or a couple of days (winter) in a frozen lake, Phil White runs a lot of fun events at Kindom Games, Newport and Derby, VT, right on the Canadian border. You can even swim a 25-mile border crossing route, or do a double. It's gorgeous territory. I got down to a mile in 50 F water, and possibly 10 minutes in slightly colder. Now not so much. One has to work up (down) to it. Easier if there is fire. About exploring through swimming capability: that's what I enjoy most. I can swim around the island to see what's on the other side.

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Cyclopath
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PostTue Jun 20, 2023 1:41 pm 
Eric Hansen wrote:
class 5 thalassaphobia
I think the Titan has redefined class 5. eek.gif

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