Polar Bear Dip ‘Not as Horrible as it Seems’
Prince George, B.C. – Dave Horton is a veteran when it comes to polar bear dips.
The Ness Lake program director has participated in the camp’s annual Polar Bear Dip each year since it started 16 years ago, and he plans to do it once again this Sunday.
“I’ve done it all 16 years and it’s really not as horrible as it seems,” he tells 250News. “My big tip is to walk down to the water in sandals and then when you come out of the water just toss your feet in your boots and then run up. You’d really have to muck around to try and get frost bite.”
And when it comes to the weather, Horton prefers participating in freezing temperatures.
“We’ve done it below minus 20 and the colder it is, the better it is in a lot of ways. My favourite years were doing it when it’s below minus 20, minus 25 because when you come out of the water, the water just evaporates off your body,” he says.
“You don’t have to towel off, your hair freezes solid. We’ve also got lots of hot showers for people. We’ve got cinnamon buns and hot chocolate. You’ll get cold for a little bit but you don’t stay cold.”
But despite his fondness for the cold, he acknowledges the crowds are a lot bigger New Year’s Day when it’s warm outside.
“If it’s super cold – if it goes down to minus 20 again – we’ll probably see between 40 and 50 people. If it’s around zero, plus or minus five degrees, we’ll see up to 70.”
He says all proceeds from the event will go towards sending less fortunate kids to camp.
“We desire to see every kid have the opportunity to come to camp, enjoy the outdoors, enjoy what it means to live in northern B.C.,” says Horton. “But we know there’s families that can’t afford it and we just want to make sure they can come regardless of that.”
He says the $20 registration fee can be paid on site or online by clicking here. The dip will take place at around 2:45 p.m.