This may be unpopular but it really does need sharing after something I saw online this week shocked me 🧜🏼♀️.
There are lots of people or groups out there offering meet ups for hiking or wild swimming or both at the moment visibly and publicly on social media.
This is amazing as it’s getting more people out there to experience outdoor activities 🙌🏼♥️.
BUT lots of the people organizing these meet ups are not qualified to do so, they haven’t done a risk assessment, they haven’t got first aid qualifications, and many have limited experience themselves in the discipline they’re organizing the meet up for. They’re not equipped to be telling anyone about cold water immersion. One group/person I saw was promoting clearly unsafe information about cold water . We can spot poor information but others may not be able to differentiate.
On the flip side, there are lots of people arranging meet ups who are very knowledgeable and experienced. They’ve spent years honing their skills and learning about their environments.
I’m also not talking about groups of friends meeting or even groups who meet in private through private online conversations. I’m talking about the active promotion of events and sometimes even paid meet ups.
Mountain leaders, lowland and moorland leaders, open water swim coaches, lifeguards, water safety experts, and outdoor first aiders have invested lots of time and money to make sure they’re as qualified as they can be to lead groups in hiking and wild swimming, so please consider using someone who is not only qualified and insured but they’re also willing to put in the hard graft that you might not see behind a shiny Instagram page.
It’s not wise for people to say “swim at your own risk”, unfortunately the person who organises a meet up, is the person liable and has a responsibility to ensure the safety of their participants.
I’m also not saying you have to pay a company like ours to attend meet ups, I’m just saying you should be careful and choose wisely. Do your own research. Safety is priority 🧜🏼♀️♥️.
Zoe Hall - The Dip and Dales Co.