Sun (even at midnight !), sea and beach - for a real campsite at the sea, only one thing is missing: beachlife ! Arctic !? Uhh, let´s not mention it (at least for a few seconds ... ). And bathing dress ? That is something for softies, why not wearing a full survival suit, right away ? Anyone can do that.
For dedicated polar swimmers (and those who would like to be that), Longyearbyen is exactly the right place, because since summer 2008, we issue our Longyearbyen Camping Arctic Naked-bathing Certificate. Just to mention it: surface temperatures of the water in summer, near the shore, are usually somewhere between 4° and 8° C (above Zero, of course !).
As usual, acquiring a serious certificate requires the fulfillment of certain conditions - in our case: in front of a witness from the campsite staff a hearty rush from our nice pebble beach into the Advent Fjord, a full dive, and some swimming strokes in the sea - of course naked, otherwise we would have in the end participants trying it the easy way with a survival suit ! Out again, get dry and dress quickly, rush back to the service building - and then a warm shower is not so bad, nevertheless. The shower coin is a free extra from us to the successful candidates, as well as the certificate documenting the achievement.
Certificate holders accept the publication of the annual certificate lists by Longyearbyen Camping.
For the more bashful: Study the pictures to the right: not much detail to see, uhh, even if you click on them for enlargement ? Our tip: Doing the swim at midnight is not only most in style - you will then also swim into the midnight sun (clear sky provided), blinding partly witnesses or photographers on the beach. Eventual pictures taken then may be more spectacular with glittering sea and spraywater, but not very disclosing, thus reducing the risk of any of the naughty paparazzis usually sticking to your heels putting a disclosing picture into your home tabloid. Bold alternative strategy: publish a bathíng picture from Longyearbyen Camping yourself in your Facebook profile !?
Non-customers of the Campingsite can also acquire the certificate (of course only after having fulfilled the same conditions), but have to pay NOK 100 for certificate plus shower coin - provided someone of the staff has time for being the witness and doing the certificate.
And to avoid unnecessary discussions:
Everybody can bathe at our beach or elsewhere in Spitsbergen also with clothes and without witnesses, just as well, this is a free country. But as we regularly get the same questions:
- No, we do not issue the certificate for having been bathing somewhere else in Spitsbergen, before. If you have done this, you are an expert already, and can easily repeat it for the certificate.
- No, we do not issue the certificate for bathing in any kinds of clothes, be it swimming trunks, bikini, bathing suit, slip, scarf, shirt, thermo socks, rubber boots, survival suit or whatsoever. OK - we made an exception once, for a lady: she was allowed to wear the plaster around her broken arm.
- No, we do not issue the certificate if you claim that someone else (or even nobody) has witnessed your swim. It has to be somebody from our staffwitnessing your swim, then being able to sign the certificate without being sleepless during the following night for possibly having given false testimony.
Everything understood ?
By the way: swimming in the sea, for certificate or otherwise, is done purely at your own risk and we recommend to stay close to the shore where you still can stand. Specifically, we do not recommend this to persons with general or temporary heart or circulation problems/weaknesses.
The certificate gains popularity !
In its first year 2008, we issued impressive 103 certificates over the summer - but then, we had also unbelievable 3400 overnight stays. In 2010, with only 2400 overnight stays, we reached already 187 new certificates !
And more international: in 2008, 17 countries were represented by the new certificate holders - since then, we have become even more international. For example: in 2010, a Chinese lady, an Iranian and a Morokkan joined as the first certificate holders from their countries.
Since 2008, the following 29 countries have representatives among our members: Australia, Belgium, China, Czekkia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungaria, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuenia, Morokko, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, USA.
And braver: 2008, all our certificate holders did "it" in July and August - brave enough. But since, our guests have pushed the limits: bathing with frost in the air in the very late summer season in September, or since 2010 even in our late winter season with ice on the beach, water temperatures around 0°C and air termperatures somewhere between -30°C and +3°C ("advantage": the water is then usually "warmer" than the air !). So now we have issued a special winter version of the certificate, as well !
See also » Spring) ?
Find yourself on the lists (or haven´t you joined, yet ?):
» Certificate list 2008 (103 new holders) as PDF dokument
» Certificate list 2009 (82 new holders) as PDF document
» Certificate list 2010 (187 new holders) as PDF document long loading time !