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How to cross a raging river

When you're out on the trails, you might find a wild river standing between you and your destination. You could try to make your way around, sure, but who knows how far that thing goes before a crossing becomes available? If you must cross the river, follow these instructions to make sure you do so safely.

1) Be confident that you can survive a plunge. If you're not positive you can keep afloat while being swept downstream, you're best off finding a calmer part to try and cross.

2) Have an idea of the river's power before crossing. Even shallow water can sweep you off your feet if it's moving fast enough.

3) Critical equipment should be sealed in waterproof containers before you cross. If you take a dip, you don't want that GPS device getting wet!

4) Walk diagonally downstream and try to shuffle, instead of lift, your legs to better maintain balance.

With these basic considerations, you should have a much easier time getting across the river.

back to Camping Tips | posted on 4/25/2011

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