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As somebody who likes to swim in frozen lakes, Sveta Vold understands the necessity to keep secure and guarded in all situations.
When Sveta Vold first moved to America in 2011, nobody right here thought slicing a gap in a frozen lake, and swimming in it, was a sane concept. However in her dwelling nation of Belarus, it wasn’t loopy in any respect. It was regular.
Each winter, Vold watched her neighbor go outdoors and pour a bucket of chilly water over his head. And her mom would swim within the pond behind their home till the ice acquired too thick.
We chatted with Vold to focus on the significance of layering within the chilly as a part of Columbia‘s celebration of the “Chillest People.”
Discover Columbia Omni-Warmth Helix
And so Vold discovered to like the chilly. Yearly, she spent no less than 2 weeks on a winter tenting expedition within the mountains of Siberia or Altai.
Because the director of the Belarus Journey Racing Federation, she and her pals have been all the time in search of a brand new problem. Round 2008, they shaped a gaggle referred to as the Evening Water Butterflies, who would journey bikes all winter evening, then discover a creek or lake or river to swim in on the finish.
When Vold moved to America, she missed her winter swims, so she began her personal chapter of the Evening Water Butterflies — in Minnesota.
It was November when the primary group set off throughout Minneapolis, ending their journey at a small lake subsequent to the Mississippi River. Of the ten individuals who rode, solely two jumped within the freezing water along with her.
But each winter, Vold stored swimming, and — slowly at first — the Evening Water Butterflies grew. They’d minimize a gap within the ice on Cedar Lake in Minneapolis, then plunge into the darkish water, reveling within the shock and adrenaline.
After swimming, Vold would wrap up in a full-zip jacket, like this one from Columbia, which is simple to placed on after swimming.
Over time, an increasing number of folks confirmed up, they usually now rely over 1,000 members who swim in three lakes round Minneapolis and a handful in different cities across the state.
Actual Chilly, Actual Hazard
One method to get an enormous adrenaline spike is by sawing out a bit of a frozen lake and leaping in. However Vold can be properly conscious of how harmful the chilly could be — in the event you’re not ready.
On one winter tenting expedition earlier than she moved to America, she acquired frostbite on her face. On one other, she didn’t hearken to her teacher.
“He stated my boots have been too small. And I stated, ‘No they’ll be advantageous!’ Then I acquired frostbite on all toes, however my massive toe was the worst,” she instructed us.
Vold made an excruciating 4-day stroll again to civilization. By then, the frostbite was extreme.
“It was black, and my foot was swelling,” she stated. “I needed to minimize it to the bone.”
It was on these journeys that Vold discovered the significance of layering for heat.
“For me, it’s important outside to have gear that retains me heat and lets my physique breathe, which is what the Helix material does,” Vold stated.
From her winter backpacking expeditions, she’s discovered there’s actual technique to layering for actual chilly.
“You placed on a thermal layer, then garments, then a fleece, then a membrane,” she famous. “And don’t put a rain jacket on as a result of it’s not breathable, and you should have ice between your layers.”
Omni-Warmth Helix: Multipurpose Layer
This layering precept is exactly what Columbia Omni-Warmth Helix expertise rolls into one layer: It doesn’t retain moisture, however it should retain warmth.
Whereas she might not have had Omni-Warmth Helix in Siberia, Vold is well-acquainted with the model.
She stated, “In Belarus, we’ve Columbia shops. I’ve all the time had Columbia gear, and it’s labored completely.”
When Vold left Belarus, she needed to depart lots of her possessions behind. However within the hopes of nonetheless doing the issues she beloved most in winter, she packed her bike helmet, her backpack, and her Columbia fleece.
Fortuitously, the outside tradition in Minnesota proved fertile floor for her passions.
“I’ll use the Helix leggings for climbing and for biking for certain,” she stated. “I really like operating, climbing, and biking, and all of them want a bit of completely different combo of layers. The primary factor is that your physique can breathe and hold the appropriate temperature.”
In the meantime, the cold-water neighborhood she based continues to develop. Each Sunday at 9 a.m., anyplace from 10 to twenty folks (extra if she brings her transportable sauna) meet at Cedar Lake to swim. Typically they swim on weekdays too.
“A lot of folks swim a couple of occasions in the course of the week,” she stated. “And each Sunday we’ve a couple of new folks.”
As her cold-water motion continues to develop, Vold, an authorized EMT, retains a detailed eye on newcomers.
“If I see the blue lips, I say, ‘Hey, your physique says you’re completed. One other time, you possibly can go longer. However immediately it’s an indication to not play video games.’”
The chilly might have price her some ache, to not point out a bit of her toe, however she nonetheless loves it as a lot as ever.
“The chilly is your buddy,” she affirmed. “If you know the way to construct friendship with it, it helps construct a powerful immune system. It may be your security software in the event you fall by means of the ice or are misplaced within the woods. However it’s important to know the foundations. You need to know what you are able to do and what you possibly can’t do. And it’s important to put together your physique for it.”
GearJunkie’s ‘Chillest People’ collection, sponsored by Columbia, highlights athletes and adventurers who thrive in chilly and excessive situations outside. Be taught extra about Columbia’s Omni-Warmth Helix attire on-line.