Replicating the pool experience at home without a pool | Summer Survival Guide | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Replicating the pool experience at home without a pool

It's still only June, but already temperatures have hit the mid-90s. On a hot day, nothing feels better than a cold dip in the neighborhood pool. But now, with public pools closed for the summer due to coronavirus, getting near a pool is only fantasy (unless you have a rich friend with a pool, the ultimate luxury). However, this has not stopped me from fantasizing about hanging out at the pool, packing a pool bag, getting a cold soda from the vending machine, and taking a post-pool nap after hanging out in the sun for hours.

CP ILLUSTRATION: ABBIE ADAMS
CP illustration: Abbie Adams
There are ways to replicate parts of the pool experience at home. None of them will be exactly as good as the pool, but they're better than nothing!

Kiddie Pool
If you're lucky enough to have a backyard, then buying an inflatable pool meant for children is a pretty good deal. You can throw your kids in there for a while, or you, an adult, can hang out in a couple inches of cold water alone. It may not be as big or deep as a regular pool, but at least you can have a cold drink while you're "swimming."


Throwing Water
There are many methods and vehicles to disperse water, including water guns, water balloons, and sprinklers. Water guns are probably the superior choice, as they are reusable and refillable, while balloons are disposable and also sting on impact. Ultimately, these activities are best reserved for children, because there's something unsettling about the image of a group of adults having a water balloon fight.

click to enlarge CP ILLUSTRATION: ABBIE ADAMS
CP illustration: Abbie Adams
Fill a Bathtub with Cold Water
This one is admittedly pretty sad. A bathtub full of cold water sounds more like a punishment than a treat. But if it's hot enough that you're sweating indoors, it might just do the trick. Grab a pool toy, like a noodle, some goggles, or one of those floaties that can hold a drink, and you might just feel like something maybe resembling being at the pool. Or you might just feel sad.

Sunbathing
Find a roof, lawn chair, or public park (if you're that confident) and sunbathe as if you were at an actual pool. The pros are that you get tan (don’t forget to wear sunscreen!) and get some vitamin D, but the cons are that you might get sunburned and too hot without the relief of cold water at the end. Get one of those spray bottles and periodically spritz yourself like a cat who's misbehaving.

Shower Beer
When all else fails, there's always the shower beer. Or shower seltzer. Or, fuck it, a shower glass of wine with ice cubes in it.


At the end of the day, none of these activities can ever replace a tasty dip in the pool, but we're in the middle of a pandemic, so all your summer experiences are going to be replaced with a paltry version, but that's OK. At least you're alive!

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