Swimming with camping gear

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Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
Perhaps you should ask Joe Vogel?

This young German survival trainer collected experiances in this direction.

He was swimming in the Rhein from Switzerland direction Strasbourg.

He was surprised that this adventure had been more dangerous than expected.

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Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Sep 8, 2005
Dave Person made a little cargo vessel last year by wrapping a tarp around a rubber ring. Though for dragging behind a canoe.


Rabbit leg

Nov 9, 2016
UK and world
Thanks for all the replies and sorry for the delay in replying. I was actually camping on an island. But I went by canoe and just did some short swims.

I wasn't trying to show off with my ability, just trying to avoid the 'please wear armbands' replies.

There are 2 things which rule out a lot of options. Firstly, on exit, I will feel warm but my core temp will be crashing. So I will need my warm clothes with me at all times. The risk of a long line snagging would be too risky.

The second, is speed. It is not a problem for me to push a dry bag or tow a bergen in a tarp, but that is very slow (= cold).
To cover a good distance and generate heat, I have to do fast crawl.

I think the body board may be the only option. Inflatable?

PS - I try to do a lot of cold water acclimatisation swims. It is not a safe thing to do in UK waters without a wetsuit.

And wear armbands.


Bushcrafter through and through
Nov 29, 2003
What’s your budget like?

Ive seen these boards whichlook to be similar construction to my inflatable sups but in body board terms, they’re expensive.

for what you want to do, if you got that I would glue a US fin box underneath so you can add a fin to help tracking and discourage it from skipping and flipping.

If your budget is large enough, Gong do a budget range of SUPs called the Chip. I got the 8’ for my kids. Single skin so it’s super light. Fin box there already and a tow point up front. I bet it would work well, just is more expensive again but has the potential for other use. Although it’s a small board, I can paddle it (not that I would recommend it to someone starting out) and have surfed it. The advantage over the body board is the rocker up front will discourage the nose from burying as you swim plus a lot of air to float. It would also be a good emergency BA for you!
I wonder how combat swimmers transport their equipment. #1 son said that they just used dry bags in tow.
that's what i remember from a documentary i saw more than 15years ago about german combat swimmers/ divers: part of their training is a 30km swim with full equipment...

unless you carry it already i'd suggest including a thermos flask with hot tea/ chocolate in your gear to warm you up after the cold swim...


Apr 19, 2018

Cheap, light, packable and will keep you mainly out of the water :) Worth experimenting with

One of the Christian Bale Batman films shows someone diving off a boat and swimming to a plane wiht like a shoulder harness adn a big watertight bag.

Did you try it yet? Now would be the perfect time. Loch's never really warm up after 50' from the shore they being so steep and deep. So, time of year hardly matters, and it'll be pretty vigorous exercise.

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