IMPORTANT WHITEWATER SAFETY INFO
Whitewater paddling is an extremely
dangerous sport with a high risk of death or serious injury.
This website is designed to help you easily find the right
stretch of whitewater to paddle based on your location and
your paddling abilities, it does not have any information on
current conditions or safety advisories for the location you
select. You need to search for more info on the selected
stretch of river before you go. Not having the latest
information about a paddling area is extremely dangerous and
may cause death or serious injury.
wear a helmet and a lifejacket on the
BASIC FEATURES OF A WHITEWATER STREAM
areas right behind large obstructions in the river such as
large rocks where the current is very slow or even slightly
backwards. These are great places if you need to stop in the
middle of a rapid for some reason.
HUMPS AND HOLES
A hump forms over a large submerged rock
as the water is forced up over the rock, the water on a hump
is flat and dark and quite shallow. You could easily scrape
the bottom of your boat against the rock if you pass over a
hump. Often times there is also a hole right after the hump. A
large hole can easily suck a person down and spit him back up
a few yards downstream, kayaks and rafts often get stuck in
holes. If you get stuck in a hole calmly but forcefully paddle
downstream until you get loose. If you get sucked down don't
panic, you'll probably pop up again in a few seconds a few
yards downstream, but not for sure, you could get stuck in
something under the water, or you could get your foot stuck in
something on your boat which may be stuck in the hole and not
coming with you. Many beginners quit after having a traumatic
experience with a hole. Very skilled boaters like to play
around in these holes but unless you are an expert you should
try to avoid holes at all cost, always keep an eye open for
humps and paddle around them.
A chute is the easiest way through a
rapid, look for "V" shapes pointing downstream, the best way
through a rapid is along the tips of the V's. But also keep an
eye open for backwards V's, there's usually a rock at the tip
of a backwards V. It is often easier to see a chute when you
are downstream from it, so if you can't see the chute in the
rapid and it's a rough rapid you may want to get out of your
boat and walk downstream first to look at the rapid from there
before running it.
Standing waves usually form in deep water so there are usually no rocks to worry about. If there are rocks they tend to interrupt the smoothness of the wave so keep an eye out for that.
EMERGENCY ITEMS TO BRING
| THINGS TO WEAR ON
No need to explain
why. Make sure it has a whistle attached to it. If it
doesn't, get a whistle and attach it to it.
In case you fall in and
hit your head on a rock. Without a helmet you might pass
out and drown so always wear a helmet.
|WATERTIGHT PACKAGE |
These items need to be packaged in a way that they remain dry even when submerged in water, under pressure for some time. Since you don't need to get to these items normally you don't need to worry about easy access. Just squeeze all the items into a good quality strong plastic bag, (not the free ones you get at the supermarket) and seal it well with duct tape. Then squeeze the bag into a watertight plastic container to prevent punctures, then seal the container well with duct tape. If nothing bad happens you'll be keeping this package in your boat for all time so seal it well so you only have to do it once ever.
In case you have an accident and get
stuck injured you need some dry clothes to keep warm.
With a roll of duct tape you can make
emergency repairs to your boat, paddles, and other
equipment. You can also use it along with sticks to make
a temporary cast for a broken limb.
In a very small 1-2 oz bottle. Make
sure it's sealed very tight so the alcohol won't spill.
You can use rubbing alcohol for disinfecting wounds and
starting a fire.
You need some type of waterproof fire
starter with you, we've included it in the waterproof
package since they are so small they won't make much
difference in the size of the package. There is a large
variety to choose from at any camping store.
|NOT WATERTIGHT |
These items are ok to get wet but you need to keep them together so they don't get scattered. Put the stove in the pot and put the other items in the stove and put it all in a bag together with the watertight package containing all the dry items.
WOOD POWERED BACKPACKING STOVE
If you get injured you need to get
warm fast with minimum effort, you may not have time or
energy to collect wood for a fire so you will need a
small wood stove like the Trailstove wood powered camp stove, a
stove like that will warm you up with just a few small
sticks of wood, you will also need it to boil water to
drink to warm you up. Whatever stove you use it needs to
be made of Stainless steel and have no moving parts, or
electric parts. The Trailstove is the top (and only)
choice for this purpose. The Trailstove also comes in
handy if you want a hot meal or a hot cup of coffee in
the middle of your trip.
Either aluminum or
stainless steel, to heat water to drink to get you warm
fast. You can of course use the pot along with the stove
to make hot meals or drinks during rest stops.
Amazingly useful for
all kinds of things that could happen on the river.
Always carry rope.
To signal to
rescue planes or helicopters that are looking for you.