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#261061 - 05/31/13 07:57 PM To cross a river ...
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2747
Loc: Alberta, Canada
I've been contemplating a scenario where I need to cross a slow-ish river (Class 1-2) with only the tools in my pocket and the clothes on my back. Probably a major glitch when hiking or canoeing solo. Estimate 100 yards of moving water as an average distance. And I'm a lousy, lousy swimmer.

Techniques? Other considerations? What say you?

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#261063 - 05/31/13 08:55 PM Re: To cross a river ... [Re: dougwalkabout]
TeacherRO Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 2396
Survival and hiking books cover this extensively; tools, where to cross and even primitive boat building. Its good to know

Teacher

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#261064 - 05/31/13 08:57 PM Re: To cross a river ... [Re: dougwalkabout]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6854
Loc: southern Cal
Didn't we have a thread similar to this a year or so ago? Having fished the corpses of those who attempted to cross rivers of this nature and given your constraints, my comment would be - don't cross the river......
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#261067 - 05/31/13 09:09 PM Re: To cross a river ... [Re: dougwalkabout]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3601
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I remember that one, hikermor. I think it was a winter scenario from Dweste. As I recall, he took quite whipping over that one.

Water and non-swimmers make me nervous, Doug. Depends on how deep, how fast and how cold, but I'd recommend a life jacket and swimming lessons as a starting point. Just remember that sometimes the ability to swim is irrelvent. Stay safe!!
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#261068 - 05/31/13 09:25 PM Re: To cross a river ... [Re: dougwalkabout]
bsmith Offline
day hiker
Addict

Registered: 02/15/07
Posts: 584
Loc: ventura county, ca
how to cross a mountain stream, the us army way:
crossing a stream
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#261069 - 05/31/13 11:28 PM Re: To cross a river ... [Re: dougwalkabout]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2747
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Phew! It seems I have angered the gods.

Thank you all for your concern. Let me assure you I have no suicidal tendencies. Couple that with a healthy respect for the power of moving water.

We are not talking about a swift, deadly cold mountain stream here. I have canoed many happy miles on the river in question. I have a fair sense of its moods, its sweepers, where an eddy might form, and most importantly when to stay off (ice, breakup, flood stage). I have also floated several spring miles in a lifejacket just for fun. (Not related to canoeing, for the record.)

Still, I duly ponder the (unlikely) scenario of needing to cross without my usual kit, especially considering that bridges on the upstream sections are an hour's drive apart.

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#261071 - 06/01/13 04:20 AM Re: To cross a river ... [Re: dougwalkabout]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3601
Loc: Ontario, Canada
LOL! I think it's safe to say worried, not angered. smile

What's your primary concern: How to get yourself across? (i.e. walking, floating, navigating, etc.) Choosing the safest route? Staying dry as you cross? Getting across with someone else? (i.e. a dependent) Getting warm and dry afterwards? Not getting stuck in debris? Predators?
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#261072 - 06/01/13 04:24 AM Re: To cross a river ... [Re: dougwalkabout]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3601
Loc: Ontario, Canada
_________________________
Mom & Adventurer

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#261073 - 06/01/13 04:25 AM Re: To cross a river ... [Re: dougwalkabout]
Glock-A-Roo Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1076
Originally Posted By: dougwalkabout
And I'm a lousy, lousy swimmer.


I'll save you some time. Become a better swimmer. Then worry about what the Internet thinks about crossing rivers.

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#261077 - 06/01/13 12:53 PM Re: To cross a river ... [Re: dougwalkabout]
jshannon Offline
Addict

Registered: 02/02/03
Posts: 585
Loc: North Texas
In April a group of us backpacked the eastern 80 miles of the Ozark Highlands Trail which ends with a ford of the Buffalo River at Woolum. We started the hike on a weekend of one of the last big cold fronts so our low temps were in the low 20's. By Tuesday the temps were getting warmer but there was another front coming Thursday night and we were planning to cross the Buffalo River on Saturday. We increased our mileage and did get out on Thursday afternoon when it was warm. We found our upstream area where crossing was recommended. It was over the waist and the water was moving and slightly wanting to lift your body weight off the river bottom. I was a bit nervous, but we managed to get across without swimming ; ).

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