One More River to Cross
Safety around running Water

  • Study the river before crossing - walk along edge & look for best possible place to cross

  • Look for the wide, shallow areas, which are usually safest

  • Avoid the main current - eddy hop

  • If you can't see the bottom, it's probably too deep to wade across

  • Watch for debris floating in river

  • Look for sand, gravel or cobble bottom

  • Look for gradual slopes to enter & exit (avoid cutbanks)
Gauging Depths

Safe for 1 person
wading with a stick

Safe for 2 or more working together

Seriously think about another crossing

Other Crossing Options
  • Crossing on a log keeps feet dry, but if you slip, you will most likely be injured - avoid dry or rotten logs

  • Rock-hopping - be carefull if rocks are slippery or loose

  • Run a taut rope to solid anchors on each bank, if possible

  • Use a canoe or john boat when possible

  • Do not cross if it looks dangerous - walk to safer crossing

Water Safety Procedures

  • Safely enter canoe or boat:
    Keep your center of gravity low & move in slowly, transferring your weight to the bottom center of boat. Reverse maneuver to exit.

    If you fall or get swept away...
  • Float on your back, keep your feet up in front of you.
    Don't try to stand in fast water.
    Use your hands to maneuver until you reach shallower water.
    Use your feet to push off obstacles. Falling into cold, deep water can result in hypothermia.

  • Flash floods: Don't camp or hike in bottoms of canyons or deep arroyos. Water travels fast - if it's raining upstream you can be flooded even if the sky is clear overhead. Watch the Weather!