The Bag in Winter

As a seagull did something less than appropriate on my swimming bag when I left it on the beach earlier it needed a wash so I tipped the contents out.  Of course what an individual carries in their swim bag is personal to each of us, some carry more, whereas I try to travel light.  It is however now decidedly chilly both in and out of the water so I am stepping up to the challenge of a mile a day by carrying a little extra:

Fleece hat, neck buff and gloves,
Foam changing mat,
Bags for wet swimwear,
Swimwear, back-up swimwear, extra back-up swimwear,
Karabiner and hair bands
Hoody sweatshirt,
Goggles, noseclip, ear plugs,
No more tears (for anti-misting goggles),
Tiger balm.

Wild Swimming
Wild Swimming

Wild Swimming Map: Devon & Cornwall



When the Newness Wears off Goggles

I always, always take my goggles sea swimming (well unless it is just a little dip) because any number of times I have set off in flat calm water only to get where there is more current or wind or chop and trying to swim on with every wave filling my eyes with sea water is very wearing.  Whilst I try to look after my goggles it is inevitable that many hours and many miles of being in use will wear the newness off, most especially the anti-fog coating.  Trying to swim whilst not being able to see through fog or dazzling sunlight may if anything be worse than having salt water in the eyes.  No, actually on reflection it’s not.

The anti-fog coating will wear off no matter how carefully the goggles are cared for, but that does not then mean they are written off.

The solution of last minute desperation is to spit on the goggles then rinse, but generally spit is not in the least bit bacteria free and as a rule you probably wouldn’t spit in your eye.  It really is the last resort.

Now, you can buy, at a relatively huge cost, sprays which restore the anti-fog, but only for a single swim.

There is however a cheap and 100% effective alternative: baby shampoo.  One brand is Johnson’s No More Tears which is worth mentioning by name simply because it does exactly what it says on the label (or doesn’t do?  I’m confused, but it does not me cry anyway).  Just wipe the tiniest smear over the inside of the goggles with a fingertip and that’s it.  Don’t rinse, there is no need, the clue is in the name!

The principal is simple.  Scratches in the goggles allow tiny beads of water to ‘nucleate’ and so the goggles mist up.  The shampoo coats the imperfections and any water vapour dissolves into the soap leaving a perfect and most crucially, see through film.

After swimming, wash, dry and re-apply.  A branded spray may be as much as £5 / 20ml and is gone in no time.  Baby shampoo is £0.80 / 200ml and a single bottle will last a lifetime.  Unless of course you also use it to wash your hair (guilty as charged) but that is never going to work with anti-fog spray.


Wild Swimming Map: Devon & Cornwall