The Outdoor Swimming Society Christmas Cracker

by Ali Couch in Radstock, Somerset, United Kingdom

The Outdoor Swimming Society Christmas Cracker
We did it
On 20th December 2021 we successfully raised £19,235 with 1480 supporters in 42 days

These funds will keep The OSS online, independent and free, and might put an excellent present under your tree!

by Ali Couch in Radstock, Somerset, United Kingdom

Individual prize draws are not promoted or endorsed by Crowdfunder. See Terms & Conditions

With over 70 prizes and more than 1 in 100 chance of winning, the annual OSS Christmas Cracker fundraiser is looking better than ever.

A SwimTrek holiday, a waterproof video camera, kit bags, changing robes and new-for-2021 swim accessories: this year's Christmas Cracker is chock full of over 70 amazing prizes, tailored for the adventurous, water-loving, and environmentally-minded outdoor swimming community. 

Bag a reward by joining the Christmas Cracker. Tickets are £5 per entry and your pledge keeps us online, independent and sharing the swim love into 2022. The reward receipt from Crowdfunder is the acknowledgement that you have entered the prize draw (you will not receive a ticket from The OSS). 




Purveyors of fine swim holidays since 2003, and OSS Star Prizes ever since we first thought to ask. This year SwimTrek is offering one lucky winner the chance to unlock the rugged secrets of the Lizard Peninsula with a four day challenging swim adventure in Cornwall. Experience safely guided swims, up to 5km a day, with special boat access to the most remote Cornish sites – a haven of Atlantic grey seals and old haunts of smugglers. The trip is for experienced open water swimmers who want to push themselves, and sounds like heaven.

Red Original Waterproof Kit Bag – £129.95 x 4

1638184064_redoriginal2kr.jpgMakers of some high quality gear, this 100% waterproof rucksack kit bag is sustainably produced using eco-conscious recycled TPU and features a wet compartment and padded changing mat. ‘Became my go-to bag of the summer,’ says OSS Founder Kate Rew. ‘I’d dry things out, put them back in, and then go off again. It's a perfect size, really comfortable to wear even with extra people's kit in, and it went everywhere.’

alpkit Jura Mountain Smocks – £124.99 x 4

Perfect post-swim smock, th1638184189_womens-jura-location-2.jpgat can be worn next to bare skin when you’re so cold and damp your skin is sticky - put it straight on, and it will wick away any moisture as you warm up. The fleece lining of the Jura Mountain Smock is made using 100% recycled polyester from post-consumer recycled content. The outer fabric is treated with a PFC-free durable water repellent.

Fourth Element Outdoor Swimming Bundle – Over £500  x 1

Serving divers since 2001, Fourth Element are now bringing swimmers some seriously high quality, sustainable gear, and are offering one winner a £500 pack of much of it. 1636112592_fourth_element_best.jpgThe winner will receive the all-weather, fast drying Storm Poncho, Thermocline Shorts, Thermocline Vest, cosy Merino Mariner Beanie and, Alpaca Boot socks, stainless steel insulated Orange Gulper 500ml, a rugged Drypack large enough to carry a wetsuit and other swimgear, a kit carrying changing bag that converts into a mat and an organic Ocean Positive Towel.

dryrobe® Adventure Swim Packages — £270 x 2

Creators of the original weather-proof change robe, dryrobe® have been on a journey over the past few years to make their range as sustainable as possible (B Cor1638183320_dryrobe.jpegp status is in the pipeline).The dryrobe Advance is now made using 100% recycled fabrics, whilst retaining all the warmth, comfort and performance of the original. The super-warm inner fleece is made from recycled plastic (a large part of which comes from plastic bottles) and the outer recycled nylon, with a PFC-free waterproof coating. Their full range of accessories are also now made using 100% recycled materials and organic cotton.Two lucky winners will receive a dryrobe Adventure Swim package that includes a long sleeve dryrobe Advance, organic cotton towel, change mat, compression bag and a new eco beanie.

SNUG BUD® Wearable Body Warmer – £54.95 x 10 

1638183432_snug_bud5-2.jpgOne of the new accessories for this Christmas - a wearable hot water bottle that’s so cuddly it’s almost worth getting hypothermic for. Developed in South Africa, it’s the world’s first wearable body warmer with a hand-warming sleeve. It’s designed for all those who love being outdoors all year round, the SNUG BUD radiates the warmth and the emotional comfort of a hot water bottle. Ten winners can choose from one of six colours, and adult or child size.

ORCA RS1 Thermal – £349

1638183659_copy_of_orca_titisee91.jpgBrrrr it’s cold outside - but not so much in this suit. Launched in January, the Orca Openwater RS1 Thermal Wetsuit has a 5mm torso, a specially developed inner lining to maximize heat retention for those wintery open water swimming adventures and offers 85% more insulation than swimming just in togs. Also features high-end flexibility in the shoulders and back for a feeling of freedom. One person is going to be feeling very lucky.

GoPro HERO9 Black – £329.98

1636743691_a4e36dc0-15cf-4ccb-ac60-edef028bbd90.jpegThe tough waterproof GoPro HERO9 Black delivers stunning 5K video and 20MP photos and features a front display for those pre and post dip selfies. As it is waterproof to 10 meters, it can be a prize to share the swim love with your favourite swim buddies.

Above Below RuckRaft – £164 x1

1638183721_ruckraft_lake.jpgAbove Below are taking swim adventures to the new level with the RuckRaft®. A fully inflatable raft with a giant drybag into which you can pour everything: your rucksack, walking boots, picnic, tent and as many layers of clothes as you need for a weekend of cross country swimming. Equally at home on a lake, river or sea, the RuckRaft is a multiplier for any swim adventure.

Wylding Suit  £160 x1

1637172430_wylding.pngFriends and Wylding co-founders, Daniela Bohling and Millie Dornan, answered an Instagram invitation to swim in The Thames in 2019 and their love of outdoor swimming began. In 2020, on a hike to a swim spot in Wales, they decided they needed something lightweight, warm and easy to move in and so the idea of the Wylding suit for women was born: a waterproof, fleece lined, relaxed fit, thermal boiler suit. They are currently working on unisex and kids wear ranges.

OSS Cosy Pack — £62 x 2

1636123965_cosy.png100% new wool ‘swimmer blankets’, a smaller size made for The OSS in Wales. Swimmers blankets (£35) are multifunctional:  you can wear it, sit on it or snuggle up in it. Ideal for putting an extra warm layer between your cold kidneys and a car seat, wrapping up after a cold water swim, or using as a throw on the end of your bed if your winter swimming feet are still cold. Plus, a supersoft beanie - wool or alpaca - for your head (£27) in lots of colours.  

Large Seascape Print by Niall Meehan – from £129 x 2 

1636115873_niall-meehan-sea-studio-peaks.jpg“My love of swimming and photography have become one”, internationally renowned photographer, and OSS contributor, Naill Meehan. Two large (A2) prints of Niall's arresting images from the cool waters of the Irish Sea are up for grabs. Winners can choose from any A2 print on his Seastudio website. (And if you’re looking for a present for yourself or a friend, you might want to know - this year he’s doing calendars).

Seaweed Collector’s Handbook by Miek Zwamborn – £9.95 x 20

1639132694_seaweed_book.jpgSeaweed is so familiar and yet so much of it is largely unknown to us. This is one of our favourite books to gift and take on adventures. Dutch poet and artist Miek Zwamborn shares her discoveries of its history, culture and use, from the Neolithic people of the Orkney Islands to sushi artisans in modern Japan, with a series of recipes based around the truffles of the sea.

Lomo 3mm neoprene beanie – £5.99 x 20

1636113948_lomo-neoprene-beanie.jpgIdeal for keeping your head warm during winter swims, these fresh looking double lined beanies fit securely around the head and can be worn under your favourite silicone swim cap.

OSS Swimmer Eco Tow Float and Adventure Light — £52.84 x 2

1638183769_twofloat.jpegDark, short days mean the need to bring your own light. New for 2021, The OSS Eco Tow Float (£35) is a new inflatable dry bag made out of recycled plastic bottles. Comes with SOLAS reflective material,  safety whistle and external tag for lights (or cameras). Designed in consultation with  RNLI safety experts, this is a high quality, high vis, 20L tow float. Two winners will receive it and an adventure light (£14.95): this is the most durable safety light out there, and can be added to the bag inside or out. It’s visible from 5 km away, with a 250 hour battery life, flashing and steady settings, waterproof to 100m and a heavy duty clip.

OSS Readers Pack — around £30 x 3

1638183806_bookbundle_christmas-shop-2021.jpegGet cosy with a copy of Wild Swim (£14.99), by our very own founder Kate Rew, an OSS mug and a hot chocolate stick, and our new 5 pack of bookmarks (like the mug and hot chocolate packs, these bookmarks will go on sale during November). Books are signed. Wild Swim has over 100 swims in river, lake, lido and sea, with lists of tidal pools and photography by Dominick Tyler. Part coffee table book, part guide book, mostly a book you can read cover to cover in bed just for the stories.


The Outdoor Swimming Society is a free space dedicated to sharing information and inspiration to an international audience. Our mission is to protect the heart and soul of free swimming, and provide a space for people to find others. 

We do not charge for membership, and most of the work is done by volunteers.  This is our thing in terms of asking followers for help: an annual Christmas Cracker Crowdfunder where you can put some money in the tin, with a chance to win. Please give so we can carry on bringing ideas to life. Here’s what we did in 2021:

  • Entertained over a million website visitors, reading 2.5 million features 
  • Provided a SwimCouchto5k training programme to get us all out of lockdown and into the water, with over 80k hits
  • Kept going! Despite covid. Covid hit humans hard, which hit volunteers hard - but we kept going….
  • Created 12 issues of elsewhere - our monthly journal, with the kind of specialist information on the art, sport and science of swimming only The OSS can provide (thanks to editor Beth Pearson, and all our contributors)
  • Did a mini mass trespass on Kinder and constant behind the scenes work on access by our team, inland access group and PR to give swimmers a voice 
  • Provided a community (now twice the size - 150k people) on FaceBook, Twitter and Instagram - with inspiration, information and a way to find the others. Including specialist groups around access, and wild swim group admins
  • Plus more - our Outreach projects included support to charities Level Water, Surfers Against Sewage and the Seagrass Project, a new virtual event The Longest Day and assistance to others in the community.

“[I] discovered a new life for myself with all the information, inspiration, courage and delight shared by the OSS and this fantastic community. Thank you.” Sue, who entered the draw in 2020.


With huge thanks to all of you this Christmas - the individuals who make up our community; everyone on The OSS Team for their stalwart efforts to keep us thriving; all the charities, campaigners and volunteers creating and protecting our swim spaces, and all the companies who partner with us over the year and joined this society fundraiser. It’s been a rocky few years but we’ve found our way through it, and year after year The OSS community provides me with the most treasured and random gifts - whether that’s new information on the physiology of cold or the temperature that kills all duck fleas (still up for debate), or the idea of an otter making use of an ice channel. 

A special thanks to @niall_verso whose image of Jonathan at The Cove, Greystones, Co. Wicklow, Ireland last Christmas eve captures the defiant adventure of all those who love winter swimming. 

– Kate Rew, Founder



Please provide your contact details when purchasing entries to the prize draw, as we'll need these details to let you know if you have won a prize.

Our prize draw closes on Monday 20 December at 23:59. The winners will be notified by 5pm on Friday 24th December 2021. Unsuccessful entrants will not be notified.

A list of the winners will be posted on the prize draw page on The OSS website.

In alignment with gambling regs, the raffle is open to residents of Great Britain only (Scotland, Wales, England). For our international friends, do become a member and we would be grateful for donations.

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1 entry


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4 entries


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Postal entry

Send your details to:
The Outdoor Swimming Society Christmas Cracker
Ali Couch, MBX128, 61 Willow Walk, Tower Bridge, London SE1 5SF

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