for those who love the outdoors

3 July, 2023


Welcome to the world of “aquatic wellness” and ice bathing at home.

The concept of using cold water for healing dates back to ancient Egyptian and Roman civilizations it is mentioned by the Ancient Greeks, practiced by Spartan warrior and embraced by Mongolian Monks.

Ice bath two people

The Navy Seal use it, Olympians swear by it, Athletes love it, Harry Styles and Lady Gaga use it post-performance and we know the Scandi and Finnish countries embrace it as part of their every-day health and social culture.

Now it’s the turn of us every day folk to enjoy the benefits of ice baths at home.

We are now seeing 5,000 years of ancestral wisdom coupled with cutting edge science, apps, breathing gurus, workshops and DIY videos to support our love of home ice immersion.

The rise of the domestic ice bath, is here and not going away anytime soon. Cold Water Immersion (CWI) is a health therapy open to all. You can keep your ice bath simple of you can spend £1000’s for an all singing and dancing ice bath set up.

My home ice bath journey started with a £50 inflatable tub filled with water from the hose! I jumped in and away I went. I thought that was it – how very wrong I was!

I reached out on social media and asked you to show me your ice baths and tell me why you loved them. Back came the messages from afficionados, gurus, newbies, converts, obsessives, enthusiasts and of course proper old school Skandi’s that having been jumping into frozen lakes from a very early age.

A common theme among the home icy dippers was that it was part of your daily routine, it kept you sane and you loved it! And when you don’t do it, you miss it. It is your daily dopamine hit that that lasts well after the ice bath is over. Your natural high that balances out your day.

Ice bath mike bosnovic Ice bath michelle gregory Ice bath Zoe Carroll

Hats off to all your home ice baths lovers and your ingenious home-made ice baths:

  • They ranged from all shapes and sizes, from the wheelie bin to upcycled fridge freezer with towel rail and accompanied by an infra-red sauna (check out SwimCathSwim-The Merthyr Mermaid – she trains in a fridge freezer)
  • From garden water butts, domestic refuse bins, pallets and plastic sheeting
  • Innovative vessels from salvage yards
  • Genius use of farming troughs, zinc bath tubs and commercial barrels
  • Upcycled and very rustic 500 litre whiskey and wine barrels
  • To the very elegant repurposed clawfoot baths right up to the bespoke ice baths at £10k a go! That can be hand engraved and attached the internet.

You can keep it simple or you can go all out and invest in a chiller, filtration systems, sterilization pumps, aquarium UV systems, ozone injectors and thermos regulators.

You can tip your wheelie bin upside to clean it or you can learn about cleaning techniques, salt to water ratios, Epsom salts, chlorine tablets, marine sealant and spa chemicals.

I was first introduced to ice bathing at Beach Box Brighton, my first attempts had much whooping and swearing and now a year on my icy dips are a more regal affair. I wanted to bring the experience home for my husband and teenagers to try and so I set up my home ice bath.

I asked my fellow plungers why they have their own ice bath and here are the most common reasons:

1. Convenience: Having an ice bath at home allows individuals to incorporate cold-water immersion therapy into their routine without the need to travel. It offers the convenience of being readily available whenever desired, allowing for flexibility in timing and frequency. It becomes part of your routine – wake up, coffee on and plunge! A daily reset in your garden as the sunrises then a warm shower and you are set up for the day.

2. Privacy: Plunging in your garden gives you peace and quiet. It is more comfortable and relaxed without the presence of others, allowing them to fully focus on the experience and its benefits.

3. Cost-Effectiveness: Regularly visiting specialized facilities that offer ice baths can be expensive. By setting up an ice bath at home, individuals can save money in the long run and have greater control over the duration and temperature of their immersion. Saves on parking and petrol and reduces the “faff” element.

4. Customization: Creating an ice bath at home allows individuals to customize the experience according to their preferences. They can adjust the water temperature, duration, and add additional elements like Epsom salts, aromatherapy, music and candles to enhance the therapeutic effects. Many have taken the opportunity to create a little garden sanctuary.

5. Establish a Daily Routine: Incorporating an ice bath into a daily routine becomes easier when it is easily accessible at home. Users can easily integrate cold-water immersion therapy into their post-workout or recovery rituals, promoting consistency and maximizing its potential benefits.

6. Getting the Family involved: Having an ice bath at home allows family members to also benefit from cold-water immersion therapy. Athletes within the family, individuals seeking recovery from physical injuries, or those looking for general health and wellness can all utilize the ice bath for their respective needs. I am currently getting my teens involved and they love it.

7. Aches and Pains: Many people just gave it a go to see if it could help with their everyday aches and pains, it seems consistency was the key to seeing results. The CWI worked for rehabilitation, recovery sessions relieving muscle soreness, joint inflammation and cooldown recovery.

8. Mental Health: This was the big one – every single person I spoke to when researching this article mentioned how much better they felt after using cold water immersion from dealing with anxiety, feeling flat, sad, unhappy to long term mental health needs and diagnosed depression. It was a chance to do a full body reset and recharge your batteries. Lots of people used the ice bath to step outside their comfort zone and complete challenges which included 180 days over the winter, every day in January or twice a day for a week.

Ice bath lisa ollerton Daz stephens
Random Icy Fact and Disclaimer – DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!

If you are loving you ice baths check out the Guinness World Record set by Valerjan Romanovski for the “longest duration full body contact with ice”. His record was just over 3 hours!!

The ice bath trend is here to stay and it’s a health therapy open to us all. We understand that the idea of voluntarily subjecting oneself to such discomfort may seem puzzling but there are compelling and ever-increasing reasons why people are embracing this practice. Do your research, consult a healthcare professional and see if it could be good for you.

One thing is for sure your will either love it or hate it!

Thank you to everyone that shared their stories and allowed me to use their photos, it was surprising to see something so simple can have such a profound impact.

Special Thanks goes to:

Jim Hayes from Kingdom Spas and Liz Watson from Beach Box Brighton (Links Below)

Zoe Carroll, Dan Parham, Jen Richardson, Daz Stephens, Mike Bosnovic, Lisa Ollerton and Michelle Gregory for sharing your photos.

Keep plunging and post your ice bath photos under the article to inspire more people to try it.

Ice bath Dan Parham Ice bath jen richardson SPT06616 SPT06530

Nicky Chisholm

Contributor Images 33

My very first adventure was on a Tall Ship called The Sir Winston Churchill when I had just turned 18.

I have loved adventures ever since. Although I still get seasick 30 years on!

I would describe myself as an everyday adventurer. I try and squeeze adventure into my every day from walks, swims and runs to film, podcasts and books. I am always on the look out for communities to connect with and adventures to be found.

I have just hit 50 and my adventure journey has changed so many times over the years, from a 20-year-old canoeing and sailing instructor, to a Mum with young children teaching them to embrace the outdoors through camping, building dens and cooking on open fires, to a mum of young teens when we surfed, coast steered, climbed Ben Nevis and swam in the North Sea!

My boys are in their late teens now and are slowly flying the nest, it is here I find myself now, ready to embrace the next stage of my adventure journey.

Embracing my new found freedom and loving being outside, I am ready to do some exploring!

My adventure journey has included Moonwalks, marathon walks along Hadrians Wall and the South Coast, firewalks, abseiling down castles, coast steering, a cross country ski marathon in the Arctic Circle, a wing walk and training in an Environmental Cold Chamber at the University of Sussex at minus 20!

I have just come back from running a 1/2 marathon in Greenland - the biggest and most extreme event I have ever taken part in. This Arctic adventure has definitely left me with a fire in soul for more adventures.

This year I am off trekking in Peru, visiting the Amazon Rainforest, hiking around the Isle of Wight and organising a mega sea swim for over 500 "mermaids" to celebrate International Women's Day.

When I am not on an adventure I am working with my beautiful VW Camper Van called Daisy on photo shoots - if you want you or your business to stand out from the crowd then its time to book a branding shoot with Daisy.

See what DaisyVW has been up to

Photo Shoot Dates: Private shoots also available on request

Check out The Big Mermaid Dip for International Women's Day in Brighton - March 11th - Watch out for March 2024 Dates

Happy Adventuring

Nicky Chisholm aka #PinkNicky

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