A swimming hole is a section of a river, stream, creek or spring that is big enough and deep enough for an individual to swim in.
Natures natural swimming pools!
Why a Swimming hole?
It is most common for people to go swimming in a swimming pool. However, try changing your regular experiences and use natures swimming pool. They are a great way to reconnect with nature. When the temperature outside is warm enough, a refreshing swim can make you feel great.
Traditional swimming pools are filled with chemicals, such as:
These chemicals are used to kill bacteria in the swimming pool and keep us safe. Whilst the risk from these chemicals in a properly maintained pool is low, they can cause irritation to the skin if the chlorine levels are too high. This can cause red, irritated eyes, lung irritation, dry skin and hair, chlorine poisoning and eczema. To avoid this risk, swimming holes do not require chlorine or any other chemicals. Natural waters can also stimulate and boost your immune system.
Are there risks to a swimming hole?
After all, swimming holes are natural and not as maintained as a swimming pool. Here are some unsafe aspects of a swimming hole that you may want to be aware of.
Algae - If a river, stream or creak is full of algae it could potentially pose a risk by making you sick. Some forms of algae are harmful.
Unexperienced Swimmers - If you are not an experienced swimmer, swimming in natural waters can be difficult due to slippery rocks, deep waters, and rocks under the water. If you do not know how to swim these pose as enhanced risks.
Water Testing - It is possible that rain has caused contaminated water to drip into the swimming pond. It is possible to get a water testing kit to ensure that the water is safe to swim in.
Rocks - The water in a swimming hole may look deep, but if you jump into the water, you need to ensure that you are not jumping onto rocks that are littering the bottom of the waters.
How can you keep safe at a swimming hole?
Swim with a friend - Do not swim alone. If you find yourself at risk, having another person with you allows for the assistance of another.
Acknowledge that the water is unpredictable - Water can be influenced by a change in the current, heavy rain, debris, and daily weather changes. If you acknowledge the conditions of the water, such as high levels of rain and a storm, your knowledge of when you should swim or not will get better.
Swim Sober - If you are drinking, alcohol distorts your own perception of risk and safety. This means that you are at an extremely high risk of drowning and having other accidents. It is much safer to swim sober. This applies to any body of water, whether that is natural or man-made.
The Best Swimming Holes in the World
Blue Hole, New Mexico - This swimming hole, by the name of Blue Hole is known for its sapphire blue water colour. It has a consistent temperature of around 16°c. This is a great area for scuba divers and cliff jumpers. Open all year round you are able to explore the underwater passageways.
Chena Hot Springs, Alaska - This is an outdoor, natural spring lake that keeps a consistent temperature of around 40°c. You also have a great view of the aurora borealis from the lake that makes this experience all that more interesting.
Loch An Eilein, Scotland - This water is small shaped freshwater space that has the ruins of a small castle. It has a lot of natural environment around to explore for swimmers.
Grotta della Posesia, Roca Vecchia, Italy - This natural swimming hole is 100ft wide and has been a popular swim site for several years. It is placed between archaeological sites and historical places, making this a unique spot to swim.
Marble Caves, Patagonia, Chile - This swimming hole is around 6,000 years old and it is surrounded by marble structures. However, this is only accessible by boat tours and kayaks.
Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye, Scotland - This is known to be a very popular spot for hikers and photographers. The water is very cold, but great for thrill seekers.