Join the Largest Ostomy Community
Next >

I am planning to go snorkeling in Lake Superior. Can I swim without a bag on?


I am planning to go snorkeling in Lake Superior. Can I swim without a bag on?

MeetAnOstoMate - 30,214 members
Join a supportive community of individuals who understand your journey and can provide valuable insights, guidance, and companionship throughout your ostomy experience.

Isn't Lake Superior polluted enough already?


It wouldn't harm you but I wouldn't advice going in without a bag on just my view not saying I'm right it's your life & choice....have you looked at stoma caps very small bags they wont hold much there more for people with colostomys who irigate 


Hilarious, xnine!


Not a good idea with the polluted waters everywhere, other danger as well. What if it comes in contact with a jellyfish! Keep it covered and have a lot of fun.


apply water proof taping and/or water proofing over barrier.  It should last a while and also take a spare change of everything.  Don't risk any infection!


Why would you want to go without a bag? I f you think it would be in the way there are a lot of things you can use. You might also come in contact with something that would not be good for you. Best wishes and stay safe


My answer would be, "Why would you not?"


If there are jellyfish, you'll need a dive skin, gloves, and a hood, anyway so the pouch will be necessary. 


Best way to think of it is if you are not willing to drink it then it would be a bad idea. Your stoma which is your large or small intestine depending on what your situation is full of blood and can take in dangerous bacteria and viruses. Without your stomach acid killing things directly that can go straight into you blood stream. Best thing is a small stoma cap or small bag. Do not know if it is worth the risk. 


Hi all i swim in the big lake (superior) so please dont go without a bag on.


As someone who lived near Superior for 10 years.. I wouldn't. In the summer there can be a lot of bacteria, virus, and other single-celled nasties in the lake. I know it's a "one way" thing but I still wouldn't risk it. The town where I lived (mqt) discharges their treated wastewater into the lake. If it's warm, there can be a lot of gross bacteria and algae. Take care and have fun.. be safe. Superior is very dangerous.

Also, FYI yall, there are no jelly fish in freshwater lakes. You're safe there :,D


No sharks either, but watch out for Muskie and lamprey eels! And, of course, bacteria, which exist naturally everywhere.  A good reason why no ostomate should ever swim without an ostomy bag in any body of water other than their own (clean) bathtub.



There are thousands of them in there. Freshwater jellyfish, but if you mean they are harmless then you are right. They do have stinging cells but they are so small that they don't usually hurt vertebrates. They say a few people have reported redness or itching, but most people do not feel them at all. It is reported that every Canadian province has them except Alberta and Sasketchawan, but that won't keep me from swimming in Lake Superior the next time I am there!


Bowsprit is right, of course. There are jellyfish in fresh water lakes; they are just very small - 1 inch across. I have never actually seen one, but I hear they do exist. And they don't hurt. But no sharks.



I go swimming lots and just put a big water proof bandaid over my stoma, but I also irrigate so nothing will come out.  You know your body best so you know when you swim and when you have your usual output.


I just can't imagine why you would want to do that. You do have to get in and out of the water ..... could be tricky.

Besides, I believe the lake will be quite cold and you may want to wear a wetsuit. 

Interested to hear others weigh in on this one.


I wouldn't recommend snorkeling without a bag, nor would I snorkel in that lake. It would be good to know what type of appliance you have. If you use a Convatec, Coloplast, or Hollister appliance and if you must snorkel there, then wear a bag and apply 3M waterproof tape over the gasket tape. Also there is a company called Stealthbelt that offer products to protect bags in various activities, as well as consealing them. Good luck! Michael


Well where I live it would attract sharks!


In the ocean and pool almost daily.   Suggest you look into a simple wrap from Ostomy Secrets.  Remember  to stay hydrated.  Stay safe and smart.  Enjoy ..


Just home from Holiday up in Cairns, Queensland, Australia. Wish I did go, worried more of somewhere to do bag after swim. If with Family and friend's  Go for it.. Empty bag and new one ready when get out, been swimming lot's of times. I would say GO 4 IT


A new form of Skinny Dipping.


I would't want to expose my stoma, and the skinn around it, to the various short term negative risks in a polluted lake. A seemingly minor skin problem has the potential to cause longer term issues under your apperatus. But I tend to err on the overly cautious side with regards to my stoma. 


Coming from someone in the Lake Superior area, since the lake is so clear and unpolluted, you probably could if you really want to. But it is very cold water and I would still be worried about bacteria, etc that is in every body of water, I don't think I personally would want to. 


CAN you swim without a bag on? Yes. SHOULD you swim without a bag on? No...

I found the following in an online article re. sharks:

A bull shark? This species isn't as well known as the famous great white in Jaws, but it has a unique trick—its kidneys can recycle salt vital to the animal's cells. Normally, a freshwater dip would dilute the salt in a shark's body, causing its cells to rupture and kill it. Recycling the salt its body already contains allows bull sharks to adapt to a freshwater environment. Bull sharks are one of a very few of the 375 species of sharks with this physiological-altering ability, and they do it better than any other.

“Bull sharks couldn't really deal with the winter temperatures in the Great Lakes, or the scarcity of food, but it's possible that if one swam in, it could live for a while,” said Amber Peters, an assistant professor specializing in marine ecology in Michigan State's Department of Fisheries and Wildlife.”



Hi "L" and others...

This is Marsha.   I have an ileostomy, so with it  continuously working, I'd never consider going without a wafer and pouch.  For those who have colostomies,  and or irrigate/   I know the  thought of going wiwthout a pouch is intriguing.   But the stoma is " mucosol" tissiue, quite different from skin, and although it can withstand salt water, fresh water, shower / bath and pool water, it has the same poperties as inside the mouth, and I'm sure you wouldn't want to explose you mouth and gums to direct contact with lake/ or ocean water for extended periods of time...    I've had my ileostomy f or over 55 years, and have swam an snorkeled, all over the world,   mediteraneon, Australia, great barrier reef,  the carribbean..... and more.   Never would I even think of not wearing a pouch.    It's just "part of me",   even if I need to repace it after an excursion...     Protect yourself, your stoma, but do enjoy snorkeling, wherever you are doing it..  It's great fun..   Marsha


Well done Marsha. Your long experience and strenuous activities are proof that these things are not a bar to an active life. Comasol tissue? If it is the same as what's in the mouth, then why are we told not to get shampoo on the stoma while we can use strong gargling mouthwash to keep the mouth clean. 


Sorry. Mucosol tissue, that is what Marsha said.

* Please, do not post contact information, personal information or advertising.
All times are GMT - 5 Hours