Heading to a sauna party? Follow these 7 tips and you won’t be left out in the cold

With sauna becoming more popular, more and more folks are being invited over to backyard saunas and mobile sauna gatherings all over town.  Just yesterday, a couple millennials were spotted at a Minneapolis intersection, hunched over their Uber apps, used towels draped over their shoulders, radiating the unmistakable post sauna glow and bright smiles.

What a warm sight!

Yes, the sauna cat is finally out of the bag, and before you start packing a travel bag to attend your next sauna party, consider streamlining with:

  1. Nix the water bottle.  Drink 32 oz of water before you go out the door.  Getting in front of hydration is critical for a good sauna session.  Drinking a shit load of water before you go to a sauna party ensures that you’ll have enough water in your system.  Critical for avoiding dehydration, drinking 32 oz of water before sauna will jump start your sweat and toxin release on the bench.  As bonus, you don’t have to worry about forgetting your water bottle when it’s time to go home.
  2. Wear what you’re gonna wear.  When dressing to go to a sauna gathering, put on your bathing suit, Troxers, or socially accepted boxer shorts underneath your clothes.  This way, when it’s time for sauna, you can “drop trow” and get on the sauna bench as quickly as Ricky Rubio being tapped on the shoulder by the Timberwolves coach.  Yes, we know, in Europe we nude up when we sauna.  But in North America, when we sauna in public domains, couples are invited over to backyard sauna parties and in a lot of cases we are sitting on the bench with a stranger of opposite gender.  No matter how liberal and free range the sauna bather, it’s fucked up to nude up in sauna at public sauna parties and that’s all there is to that.
  3. Leave it all behind.  Jewelry, watches, and all that noise.
  4. Come baring a gift for the host.  This is often either overplayed or unplayed.  If being invited to a newly built sauna, consider a memorable long lasting gift such as sauna backrests, or Nate’s Firestarters.  If the sauna party is a more transactional event, bring an extra beverage to offer or share, as Sauna Joe suggests.
  5. Beverages and snacks.  Not critical.  Dealer’s choice.  You’re going to sauna, not out to dinner.  That said, a little Margie style home cooked treat is an incredibly thoughtful and memorable finish to an awesome sauna gathering.
  6. Footware.  Wear slip on and off shoes.  Consider nixing the socks.  Spring, Summer, & fall saunas are best served in sandals, like Jesus on the mountain.
  7. Towel.  Veteran sauna goers don’t bother with a gym bag, but drape their towel like a priest’s stole.   And this makes sense because we are all evangelists, pilgrimaging to sauna and willing to share our own spirituality and inspiration.  Open arms towards mind, body, spirit restorative processes shared whilst chilling out in the garden all misty wet with rain.

priest stole 2

So, in summary, given that we are all prone to ADD & ADHD, following the above 7 tips mean that at the end of your sauna party, after our final clean rinse, we towel off, get dressed, and as we say goodbye, we only need to remember two things:

  1. Our sauna towel draped as a priest’s stole, and
  2. Our wrung out Troxers stuffed in our jacket pocket.

As we saunter off from the sauna party, going commando, we can embrace that indescribable euphoria of relaxation and rejuvenation.  The endorphin rush can buzz freely.

This is freedom.  And we wave this flag high.




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6 thoughts on “Heading to a sauna party? Follow these 7 tips and you won’t be left out in the cold”

  1. Howdy Glen
    After having been really really clear on nudity in public we are advised to “Come baring a gift for the host.” What sort of gift are we to bare?

  2. Ha! You got me. Baring gifts for sauna is much like: “I just Finnished building my sauna benches.”

  3. At a co-ed sauna party, acknowledging the taboo of unilateral nudity, what is the etiquette around changing out of your wet shorts afterward? If the only place for changing is the “lobby” of the sauna, does one just get after it as quickly as possible? Exercise towel Olympics to keep covered while making the change? Other?

  4. Great list Glenn!
    When the guest list includes children a good idea is to pack a “sauna bag” for each kid which includes the above but with one additional important item: Pajamas!

    Slip the kiddo’s into some comfy PJ’s after the last round before you load them up in the car. They will be asleep before you leave the driveway.

    Tuck them in when you get home and you and your S.O. can enjoy some 80 proof tea on the couch before bed.

  5. Towel Olympics… lol… As a 30 year sauna veteran, I always avoid changing clothes in bathrooms for the obvious smelly and sticky reasons. I’ve often had good luck changing out of my wet Troxers after sauna sessions away from the sauna “lobby” and behind a tree or between a couple cars. Such cat like behavior has been good training ground for clothes changing in other places, like airports. A quick change may be had ducking behind a vacant gate podium, Superman style. Out of the work monkey suit and into casual travel garb. In this case, one isn’t nuding up, but merely down to the Troxer level, hardly worth even the most prudish American to *gasp*.

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