How many cold lakes have you jumped in?

If I have one rule in life, it’s this: Always jump in the lake.

Sometimes the lake is warm, but it’s usually cold. (Mountain runoff!) So I’ve jumped in a lot of freezing lakes, which I instantly regret for a nanosecond, but then it’s amazing. I have also spent this morning discussing with friends and co-workers how many lakes—specifically cold ones—we’ve jumped into, which turned into a bit of a referendum of whether my answer of “like, 20?” is crazy high or the mere minimum of living a worthwhile life.

So cast your vote, and also let us know in the comments about great experiences jumping in lakes and whether my answer strikes you as high or not!

  • None!
  • 1 to 5
  • 5 to 10
  • 10 to 25
  • 25 to 100
  • More than 100. All the lakes!

0 voters

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One in particular comes to mind. In my 20s I spent a lot of summer nights night fishing at Mammoth Lake a few miles from my house (Mammoth park, Mt. Pleasant Twp.) in western Pa. We did a lot more “sitting by the water, drinking beer (shh) and listening to the local classical radio station” than actual catching of fish. For no reason my buddy and I got the idea one night that it would be a fun idea to jump in (see aforementioned alcohol consumption) and wade around. At the spillway we imagined that the lake was no more than 15’ deep, it’s only 30 acres, and once we got around to realizing that there was a chance that a turtle may be curious to see what was going on and also realizing that there was nothing underwater that we’d like to have bitten by a turtle we decided that we’d been there, done that, and it was time to get out and dry off.

For bonus points, two people were struck and killed by lightning at Mammoth Lake this past week.


If the lake is cold enough, wading in qualifies as jumping in, to me. (Am
not much of a jumper or swimmer.) And from experience, I would say that anyone who lives in Maine, Minnesota, or Wisconsin, has probably jumped (or waded into) in a lot of cold lakes.

Having been in Maine in August, I don’t think the lakes get any warmer the rest of the year.


Both my “jumps” were when I was under the age of 20. So am I less adventurous almost 40 years later , or just smarter? :slight_smile:

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When I was a teenager, we went to Canada on vacation. During that trip, I jumped into Lake Superior (:cold_face: ) and Rainey Lake, on the border between Minnesota and Ontario (super :cold_face:!). Rainey lake as so cold that my lips were turning blue after about 5 minutes, and my dad made me get out!


It might have been more than 25, but i’m a bit lazy to count now :stuck_out_tongue:

This question is hilarious.

I don’t know if we share quite the same principle, but i have another one that leads me to rather frequently jump into lakes — and also rivers, the ocean, or whatever natural body of water is the closest. I travel mostly by bicycle, and a bath at the end of the day before going to sleep is a rule — i can’t fall asleep otherwise. It really doesn’t matter how cold it is — i’ll also regret it for a nanosecond after jumping, but if i don’t jump into the water and wash myself i’ll regret it for the whole night — and perhaps also the whole next day!