Healthy Swellness: Lake Plunge Adventure with Yeti

May 15, 2022


As lake plunges and ice baths have gotten more popular over the last couple of years, I’ve scoffed at the fans. And then I tried it. And I liked it. A lot.

My first experience was in March at a session at Othership. The guided session starts with a long stint in the sauna, followed by two minutes in the ice bath, and then more sauna time. I wrote about the ice bath/cold plunge trend for Fashion–you can read it here.


But a lake plunge is a whole other story, in my opinion. For one, I wouldn’t be be in an intensely hot sauna beforehand; at Othership I was almost craving some cold relief after an intense 30 or so minutes in the sauna. With the lake the water is moving more and there’s the rocks to content with underfoot. And what I saw as the most difficult hurdle: you have to walk into the lake (versus simply stepping into the ice bath and lowering yourself down). I envisioned myself ankle-deep in freezing water, my body saying NUH-UH and I’d just turn and head straight back to the beach.

I interviewed Unbounded, a Toronto-based company that offers guided lake-plunge experiences, and they invited me to do a lake plunge with them. Which I figured I’d try but I wanted some moral support and haven’t found a friend who wants to do it. But then I got an invitation from Yeti to do a lake plunge at sunrise. I told them right away to count me in.


We met at sunrise in early April. The experience was actually facilitated by Unbounded, and we started with a meditation and a little warmup session of stretched and a little cardio on the beach (think jumping jacks and high knees). They recommended water shoes, so I got on my HBC x Tevas and before I knew it, we were hand in hand and walking into the water.

I think the water was as cold as the ice bath I’d done at Othership (so about 2 Celsius). I think we walked until we were about waist deep and then we all lowered down to about our shoulders together. It was shocking to the system and I remember exclaiming out loud a little (“Oh my–!”) and locking eyes with the guide–he nodded encouragingly–and I know I focused on taking deep breaths to alleviate the panic I felt percolating.


Then two minutes was done! I can’t say it passed quickly and I was eager to get out. We all sort of scattered a bit as we got out of the lake – I had a hard time getting my legs moving and thankfully one of the girls came back to grab my hand. We changed quickly out of our bathers and into a warm Yeti hoodie and gathered around the campfire for some hot coffee as the sunshine danced on the lake, and we all had a little extra sparkle in our eyes from the exhilarating experience.


For any adventure, it’s always a good idea to be well prepared with your gear to make the experience as smooth – being well prepared is something I’ve really come to appreciate from my camping trips (or maybe I came to appreciate it  from my Brownie days – that was the motto, “Be prepared.”). For this sunrise plunge, Yeti kitted us out so we had a ton of Yeti gear–Lowlands Blanket, toque, hoodie, and a Rambler travel mug for the hot coffee post-plunge–and a towel. And all of the gear was easily totable to the lake in a Yeti Camino 35 Carryall. The Carryall is the best: it has a flat bottom so it stands upright, and I like to use it for road trips for things I like to have easy access to such as my tripod and toiletries, and for camping, I tend to pack the dry food goods in it (anything that I don’t need to put in my Yeti cooler, which is another favourite of mine).


Once I’d warmed up by the fire and I packed up my gear into the Carryall and headed home (way before I’d typically even by up on a weekday), that post-plunge high lasted all day. I immediately texted a few friends again to say I think they’d love it (they still don’t believe me!). And while I know the health benefits that Wim Hoff promotes aren’t proven, the mere rush you feel and the confidence boost it gives you (well, it gave me a confidence boost because it’s not something I ever thought I could do!), I can see how it is addictive.

I no longer scoff at people I see doing cold plunges; in fact, you might see me out there too! Thanks to Yeti for the sunrise cold-plunge adventure and all of the gear I’ll be using all year long!

Photos courtesy of Yeti. I did take a time-lapse that morning, but the phone I recorded it on didn’t save it properly (doh!) – but you can view the IG Reel I made of that morning here.


Filed under: Healthy Swellness

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