River Safety & Tips

Boating & Floating
– YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE for the lives of any children and others you bring to the river or into the wilderness.
– KNOW THE RIVER: Most rivers vary in difficulty depending on different sections and current water levels.
– KNOW THE LANDMARKS FOR YOUR TAKEOUT. Arrange your shuttle ahead of time.
– STAY AWARE of obstacles on the river; such as docks, rapids or other dangerous and unseen conditions.
– WALK AROUND DON’T DROWN: Get out and portage your boat around anything you aren’t sure about.
– STAY AWARE of the weather, time of day and temperature extremes of water or air & fog


– WEAR YOUR LIFEJACKET: Anyone under the age of 13 must wear their PFD while boating or floating.
– STAY SOBER: Intoxicated individuals are more likely to suffer from stupid mistakes and hypothermia.
– DRESS APPROPRIATELY to protect from the elements especially the sun. Prepare to get wet.
– USE A LITTER BAG. Practice “leave no trace” to minimize litter on the rivers.
– Give other floaters plenty of time and room when passing obstructions in the water.
   Getting in a jam may cause multiple parties to flip.
– Kneel down in your Canoe for better stability
– Head Winds: Load your boat heavier in the front …Tail Winds: Load heavier in the rear.
– Filter all wilderness water
– DON’T carry glass containers on the rivers. It’s the law
– DON’T take anything that can’t get lost or wet, especially car keys and cell phones. Use dry bags & water proof cases.
– DON’T dive or jump into the river. There are rocks that may be hidden
– DON’T boat, float, hunt or hike alone. If you do, tell someone your plans.
– DON’T boat or float during a flood
– DON’T underestimate the river and the power of water hydraulics.
– BOAT SLOW IN UNFAMILIAR WATER and use a person at the bow of the boat to spot obstructions
– DON’T run outboard motors dry. Keep the foot of the motor in the water.
– DON’T use the anchor or drag chain in fast or rising water levels.
– DON’T anchor from the back of a boat
– IF YOU CAPSIZE, be sure have your life jacket, stay with your paddle and boat, work your way to shore, stay on the upstream side of the boat. Getting pinned is how people drown.


– Take your fishing and hunting license
– Use felt or spikes on wading boots
– Avoid injuries from fishing, hunting or hiking equipment. Stay aware of other participants.
– Watch your footing while loading or unloading from the boat
– DON’T wade in fast water or in unfamiliar water. Go slow and watch your steps.
– DON’T fish while it is thundering or lighting. Seek shelter immediately.


– Carry proper navigation equipment when hiking. Also carry a basic survival kit.
– Wear hunter’s orange while hiking or hunting during an open game season.
– Be watchful & use caution when encountering wildlife, animals, snakes and insects.
– Watch your footing while hiking. These are limestone formations and very brittle.
– Stay aware of the unavailability of immediate medical attention in the wilderness.


– Fluctuating water conditions and rain will flood your camp. Make sure you select an easily accessible back door to higher ground in case of flooding. Place a stick on the water’s edge and pay attention to the water level. Don’t set camp too close to the river.
– Weather Awareness is a vital part of being prepared while camping in the wilderness.
– Secure your food when not eating and at night. Check with your local outfitter about wildlife in the area.
– Completely extinguish campfires and do not leave them unattended.
– LEAVE NO TRACE. Pack out what you bring in.
– Always tie your boat up at night. You don’t want to wake up and find your means of transportation gone in the morning.
– DON’T set-up camp under dead tree branches.
– DON’T camp on private property. Respect the rights of landowners when paddling.
– DON’T camp in the middle of the river.