The Polar Plunge: A How-To Guide

| FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
 
 
The 2016 Polar Bear Plunge at Matthews Beach (trust us, it was colder than it looks).

Feeling up to a frigid dip in Lake Washington to start off the new year? Hundreds of locals bathe themselves blue in the yearly Polar Bear Plunge at noon on January 1 at Matthews Beach (5100 NE 93rd St.). Seattle Parks Department employee Garrison Wan offers tips for how to prep for the plunge:

1.  Wear a superfly outfit—you’ll be so cool you won’t even feel the water. 

2.  Layer: Wear your bathing suit under your clothing so you don’t have to change.

3.  Bring fluffy towels and a friend to hold them so you can wrap up in .01 second post-plunge.

4.  Wear water shoes. Not Timberlands.

5.  Save the Champagne for after the dip. (No need to ice it, it will chill in your mouth.)

6.  Run and take a great leap of faith: The faster you go, the less likely you’ll be to change your mind.

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