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Pico de Orizaba
Status: Gathering Kudos

Please add a water temperature field to open-water swim activities. Garmin watches and other devices do record this in the FIT file and it's displayed in Garmin Connect so it should be fairly easy to add. When I'm traveling and planning to swim somewhere that I've never been before I'd like to be able to check temperatures on recent swim activities from other users in that area. That way I'll know whether the water is cold enough to require a wetsuit. 🥶

Status changed to: Gathering Kudos
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Jane (she/her)
STRAVA | Community Hub Team


I like this idea, but as a cold water swimmer, Garmin Tempe owner and generally a guy, who does care about temperature and measures it more often than not, I would like to warn you - temperature measurements are very tricky and can be skewed very easily.

First of all to get usefull reading, one needs to submerge sensor for a time long enough for temperature to settle. If it is a wireless sensor like Tempe, it will probably not have connection during that time as water is not very RF friendly. When you pull it out of water, it will already start to warm up from air and sun, so really just the peak, if anything at all, is more or less reliable result.

The sun itself, if sensor es exposed to direct sunlight, will greatly increase numbers. Once I hiked in below 0 dgC and got ~+15dgC reading just because it was nice sunny day and sensor on top of my backpack was exposed. It took nearly hour after relocation to settle back to ~-5 dgC.

If the temperature is measured by watches for example, it will always be greatly affected by body unless it is taken off the arm for reasonable time.

If user provided .fit files does have a temperature reading, one can hardly tell, how exactly it was measured and under which conditions, so whatever is there will most likely wildly deviate from real temperature just like from user to user and activity to activity by the same user even on the same day.

This is a very tricky one.

Pico de Orizaba

@Pavol there's nothing tricky about it. Obviously a Garmin Tempe sensor can't be used for swimming so I'm not sure why you'd bring that up. I have checked the temperature shown on my Garmin watches during open water swimming and diving activities against other thermometers and they are accurate to within a degree.

Mt. Kenya

Agree about wanting water temperature displayed on my open water swims! They used to be displayed in the past (less than a year ago). It’s only been this year, I’ve noticed the water temperature field has been replaced with “strokes per minute”. Can you please change it back?!

Mt. Kenya


This open water swim is from December 2023, so it’s only been in 2024 that it’s not displayed anymore.