Gone Wild Swimming felt sign seen in a basket with a towel.

Wild swimming gift ideas and warm ways to surprise wild swimmers

Gifting thoughtfully
By holly tucker


Want some wild swimming gift ideas to surprise a swimmer you know? It's not just what you give but how you give it...

First things first: I love wild swimming

In many ways, becoming a wild swimmer (or cold water swimmer as it’s also known) couldn’t be more ‘off brand’ for me. I didn’t relish the idea of being in a swimming costume in my 40s, in an icy lake, where anything could be lurking underneath. Yet, like millions of others in the UK (around 7.5 million of us in fact)¹, I fell head over heels in love with outdoor swimming.

From the very first dip, my sister Carrie and I bonded over this liberating, invigorating experience — connecting with nature and gaining the therapeutic benefits of cold water immersion — feeling altogether more alive than we probably have done in years.

So I wanted to get her something to celebrate… and came across the most wonderful finds from UK creative small businesses which I’m sharing with you, too. Because showing someone that you see them and their passions, and want to do something lovely to surprise them too, can change their outlook beyond measure.

How to surprise the wild swimmer you love: unique ways to give your gifts

Here’s a fun way to warm the cockles of an outdoor swimmer you know…

  • Think of some thoughtful, themed gifts (see our wild swimmers collection for ideas, or see below).
  • Choose some relevant wrapping paper and a card.
  • Then wrap it all up and hide it in their towel for them to discover at the lake.

Or you could simply fill a handmade wild swimming mug with some little chocolate fish as a post-swim treat? Or how about filling a flask with some artisan hot chocolate so they can take that along too?

Or finally, what about making a fish supper for your little swimmer when they get home (ideal for a birthday treat)? Serving it on wild swimming plates, with a fortune fish on each and then watching the mini documentary Tonic of the Sea afterwards — a very inspiring eight minute independent film about how sea swimming at dawn every day helped a woman overcome the toughest challenges. It shows you understand the healing, empowering benefits it brings and will leave them raring to go again.

Which accessories are essential for wild swimming?

On the more practical side, there’s your wetsuit, dry robe, goggles, waterproof phone case and so on — but anyone who loves open water swimming will likely have the essentials already. So how about choosing gifts that might just make them smile instead (and happen to be useful, too)?

What are some useful gifts for wild swimmers?

Popular gifts for cold water swimmers might include…

  • Anything cosy: a special towel, handmade socks, a warm hat and so on
  • Tasty treats for afterwards (extra points if it fits the theme!)
  • A lovely bag to keep their swim gear in
  • A nice handmade mug they can use each day
  • A journal or wild swim log book to keep a record of their favourite spots
  • Or you could make them a little post-swim kit — filled with something lovely to have in a hot bath afterwards, a chocolate surprise for energy, a magazine to unwind with and so on
  • Alternatively, what else captures the spirit or magic of wild swimming? A painted ceramic bowl? Some artwork? Try our wild swimmers collection for ideas.

Can you recommend any books or guides for wild swimmers?

I’ve often been asked this. Try ‘Why we swim’ by Bonnie Tsui, ‘Leap In: A Woman, Some Waves, and the Will to Swim’ by Alexandra Heminsley or ‘Taking the Plunge’ by Anna Deacon and Vicky Allan — all great reads that really tap into why women love to do it. Whatever you opt for, I hope that’s given you some ideas and that your wild swimmer loves it. I know I would!

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Want to see more wild swimming wonders?


Try my curated collection. I've gathered some favourite finds for your favourite fishes.