Ramblers Roll - A Wild Swimmer's Perspective - Sophie Pierce
In your recent book each of the walks feels very much like an adventure. Is the thrill of a wild plunge as strong as it's ever been and how important has it become to you?
I am always thinking about the next swim, I just permanently have the desire to get in wild natural waters, it really helps keep me sane. There’s something about losing yourself in the sea or a river, being immersed in the wildness of it, just being in that moment, feeling the water on your skin, looking up at the sky, that I love. I find it restorative and therapeutic, and even in the winter when the water is very cold, when I emerge I feel as though my factory settings have been restored.
After entering our competition, what did you hope to use your Ramblers Roll for?
Being out and about wild swimming in all weathers there is the perennial problem of what to stand on while getting changed on cold, wet, ground. I thought the ramblers roll would be ideal for this, and so it has proved to be! It packs up really small and so is the perfect thing to have in the rucksack.
How has it faired on its first few outings?
Brilliantly! I’ve used it on windswept beaches and on chilly Dartmoor and because it’s wool it feels warm on the feet. My swimming chums are all very jealous. Also of course it’s great for sitting on if you want to have a cuppa! The only problem is the dog likes to try and sit on it too!
Have you used it more than you thought or any places you hadn’t thought of?
I now take it out every time I head out for a swim, it’s indispensable.
Did you know you could roll it inside out?
Yes worked that out pretty quickly the first time it was quite wet!
Have you ever forgotten the Ramblers Roll?
Yes, and have always regretted it, standing on a plastic bag while changing just doesn’t compare!
Wild swimming throughout the year looks like it needs a lot of bravery and a touch of silliness. Any tips to encourage new comers to the water?
The main advice is to start in the summer when it’s warm! If you want to swim all year round, if you begin when it’s warm and keep going every week you will gradually acclimatise as the weather gets colder. Check out local wild swimming groups on Facebook, there are lots of people organising swims you can join in with. And yes, wild swimming seems to attract people who like having fun, exploring our spectacular landscape, and also eating large quantities of cake!
Thank you for taking the time to share some of your thoughts, pictures and stories with us Sophie . We very much appreciate it, we also think you and your swimming friends are incredibly brave to head out in some of the British wild water temperatures that you do!
Copyright - Sophie Pierce & Moorswood May 2018
If you have appreciated Sophie's words we would also like to share Sophie's efforts to raise awareness for @sudepaction . Sophie’s son Felix died last year from SUDEP aged just 20. SUDEP stands for Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy and is little understood. Please visit their page, read and help in any way you can. (https://sudep.org/)
SUDEP Action - There are at least three epilepsy-related deaths a day in the UK.
( SUDEP Action is dedicated to raising awareness of epilepsy risks and tackling epilepsy deaths including Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy. We are the only UK charity specialised in supporting and involving people bereaved by epilepsy. )