Magnetic North - equipping alpine seekers
equipping alpine seekers

Contrast baths

How to do a full body contrast bath

Materials needed:

  • Epsom salts (I recommend these––free shipping)
  • A spotter (headrushes are common)
  • Two bath tubs or other bathing basins (streams, lakes, saunas, showers, snowbanks, and buckets also work)
  • A robe or large towel for between baths
  • A towel for when you're done bathing
  • A water bottle for during the baths


  1. Draw one bathtub full of piping hot epsom salt water––as hot as you can tolerate without being in pain.
  2. Draw the second bathtub with water cold enough that ice cubes will float in it.
  3. Immerse your body in the hot water and remain in it for three to four minutes.
  4. Switch to the cold bath and remain in it for thirty to sixty seconds.
  5. Return to the hot bath then cold, alternating in this way as many rounds as you like. At least four rounds is preferable. If you don't tire of this cycle, call it quits when the two baths become tepid.
  6. Once you're done bathing, take a shower. This might seem unnecessary but it is important to rinse all of the salts off of your body.