How to Cross Streams and Rivers

Hiking the Continental Divide trail in Wyoming

Continental Divide Trail-Wyoming

With heavy winter snows and pounding spring rains, rivers and streams are overflowing and gushing everywhere this spring. This spells danger for hikers. The recent article, “How to Cross Streams and Rivers” by Seth Levy, in Trailspace.com, is the best I’ve seen on the subject. I urge all hikers, backpackers, and campers to read it and take heed.

My contribution to the discussion is this: When fording water, if it gets dicey, don’t crouch or bend your knees. It’s a natural inclination to lower your center of gravity, but in the process you will increase your body contact with rushing water—when you bend your knees. You will be more easily washed off your feet. Plant your poles and stand erect.

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