The Polar Bear Splash at Lake Chelan Winterfest is the culmination of extreme wintertime fun. The Polar Bear Splash is not for the timid, mind you. This one is for the brave and the tough.
But even the toughest of us know that playing it smart when it comes to jumping into the icy cold Lake Chelan waters in January is a necessary part of your splash. Here are some tips on how to have the best Polar Bear Splash ever:
- Safety first! The best way to have a fun, successful splash is to go with a pal! They can provide moral support and help you get in and out of the water. Plus, you’ll have the story to share for years to come. Having a “shore team” to cheer you on and keep your clothes and towels dry is a great help!
- Dress for winter AND summer. The funnest way to splash is in costume, but keep it simple and don’t wear heavy, baggy clothes. Think summer swimsuits (and a swim cap if you’ve got it). Less clothes means you’ll have an easier time drying off and getting your warm winer clothes back on.
- Take care of your feet. Your feet are going to get cold. Really cold. So take care of them and make sure your plunge strategy considers have to best keep your feet warm. Keep your boots on as long as possible before the swim so that you’re staying warm longer. Take a pair of sneakers or sandals that you can use for the splash to protect your feet from any rocks.
- Get in fast, get our fast. This really is a no-brainer. Get in, get out. The folks at National Geographic say that you shouldn’t spend any longer than 3 minutes in icy-cold water if you want to avoid hypothermia. Save the laps for the heated pool.
- Dry off and get warm! As soon as you get out of the water, find your friends and dry off your hair and skin as much as possible before adding your warm layers. Get your hat on as quick as you can to keep up your body temperature. Once you’re dressed, head to the bonfire! And be sure to take advantage of the Polar Bear Splash reserved section right next to the fire to get you warmer quicker.
Bonus: Hot cocoa always helps, as does a hot toddy at the Ice Bar!