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20

It depends on how many crossings. If very few, I do them barefoot and change. If there are a lot of crossings in a short distance I have shoes that I just wear for the entire hike. I'll cover both. General Rules Don't use rocks if you can avoid it. Stand on the bottom of the river. Just don't try rock hopping - you're asking for serious injury. ...


17

First off, weigh up whether it's worth crossing said river. I know this question is about if you "have" to cross it, but bear in mind that falling in is a real danger and if you do, hypothermia can onset very quickly and be deadly. It depends on the situation - if we're talking about a shallow, wade-able body of water that's not much more than a stream I'd ...


13

This is highly dependent on the type of water as well as the location, but I'll summarise a few things to be aware of. In many locations most of these dangers won't factor in, but they're useful things to bear in mind if you're trying to assess the danger of a particular body of water. I'll focus on the sea here - for other things such as rivers similar ...


11

The traditional tip is to cross at the widest point, where the river has the least power and is spread over a wider area. Often this is the most shallow point also. You will cross while facing upstream, but you can move slightly downstream to use some of the force of the current rather than working against it. If you are a group, lock arms and move in a line ...


11

I've never taken an unpowered, hand-built raft out onto a commercial river, but I do have experience under sail and under power on the Columbia River in the United States. What I know about maritime law, tradition and etiquette might not be exactly what they expect in Europe, but I imagine the principles are much the same. In most cases, a craft without a ...


10

There is one more important technique you can use that I was taught in New Zealand, where you have to cross rivers all the time. If you have a group of people (at least 3), you can greatly enhance safety by forming a chain in the following way: Position the strongest person upstream, the second-strongest person downstream and the weakest person in the ...


8

OK, this isn't a hypothetical question. You will have to ford numerous rivers fed directly from glaciers if you hike in the Swedish mountains. These are extremely cold, very rapid streams with rocks everywhere. Some basic advice is: Use a rod or stick as support. You should always lean on two points - two legs or one leg and the rod. Never have your hip ...


8

They sell fiberglass repair kits at most boating stores which are made for this exact sort of repair. It includes a fiber glass cloth which you put over the damaged area, as well as a resin / hardening agent to hold the patch in place. Any kit you buy should have instructions for applying the patch in it.


7

I'm always using sandals. There are good trekking sandals with profiled soles that gives you adhesion not much worse than trekking shoes. Of course, they are not as much stabile, but you have no problem with drying them. When the water is not higher then the knees, the current is not strong enough to be dangerous for you, of course you must always be very ...


7

I have a couple of extra points that were always relevant for us as kids growing up in an extremely tidal area (peaking at 16knots - 30mph!): Between islands, tidal races are usually predictable, and the local tide chart will let you know when slack tide (either high or low) is - these will be relatively safe times to swim. Halfway between these times the ...


6

I will not recommend crossing if the bridge is only composed of frozen snow because snow does not support a lot of weight. You should check the following: The ice should be at least 15 cm thick (be careful to differentiate the frozen snow from the clear ice, the 15 cm applies only to clear ice) The bridge should not contain any water on it (sign of melting ...


5

USGS: http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/index.php?r=us&id=ww_current National Weather Service Map: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=ffc This is an easy to read table for GA, but I can't figure out how to navigate to other states on their site: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/ffc/html/rva.php More NOAA for the Colorado Basin: http://www.cbrfc.noaa.gov/ ...


5

Everybody's method is going to be somewhat different, because they're using different footwear and other equipment (such as poles vs no poles). Plan ahead and get information on what water levels are likely to be like given the time of year and the amount of snow this year. If a certain hike is likely to be impossible to complete safely, you want to know ...


5

If you want to remain stationary, you need a solid anchor, and the best option is going to be to attach to a tree or something that you can securely fix to on the bank. Not knowing that river, I can't say whether that would work or not, so I'll discuss anchoring to the bottom. This is the same procedure for anchoring in a tide or a river, except in a river ...


5

If you have no choice but to cross a snow/ice bridge then normal practice is to be roped in with two other people and to use a snow probe. If a 3m probe passes through without resistance then it's not safe to cross. Normally the 3rd will self belay the leader and second, who start about 10 feet back, with the second belaying the leader. Cross in a ...


4

These products may be what you are looking for, they are hip-height waterproof waders: NEOS River Trekker Overshoe Wiggy's Light Weight Waders


4

During the trip: duct tape. It's strong and flexible and it's easy to carry 3 or 4 feet with you. I've used it to repair a yoke in the middle of nowhere. Once you're home: a little fiberglass cloth and some epoxy resin. Or if it's more a deep scratch than a gouge, just the resin.


3

Never tried them but I've heard Crocs often mentioned as a good and reasonably lightweight solution.


3

I also would like to add: plants or sea 'wire' (hope that this is English). They tend to grow along the river banks and if your feet get strangled into it, it might be difficult to get your feet out of it, especially when the river flows.


2

A lot of this really does depend on the type of river - you seem to be talking about really quite big, cold rivers, and I'd question whether you should really plan to cross these by fording at all since they can be a big risk. Sometimes a long detour really is the best option. Whether to take your boots off or not is really a trade off. I will also often ...


2

Adding one more, from my own experience: a "false floor". I stepped into a lake fully dressed with shorts and sandals, because I saw it was just 10 cm deep. Unfortunately, what I observed as being the floor of the lake, was in fact the upper layer of plant growth... and the lake was, at this shore, in fact more than 1 metre deep (but shallow enough to ...


2

IANAL, but... The riverbed is owned by the landowner (although the water isn't), so removing rocks (or any other item) from the riverbed is the same as removing them from anywhere else on the land. In other words, it's probably theft, so NOT legal. If you're concerned about it, ask the landowner's permission. Also note that the CROW act is pretty ...


2

I could find no authoritative source, but I would imagine taking a "few rocks" wouldn't cause a problem - unless you're taking it from a protected area or area of scientific interest of course. My reasoning is that I would imagine the situation is similar for UK beaches - technically taking stones, sand etc. is illegal but if your 5 year old son decides ...


1

I always have a pair of very light running shoes or sandals. Putting some waste bags on your boots can sometimes help, but they are easyly going apart. I consider to make kind of boots of strong plastic which I can put on my regular boots. Boots can go higher then knees. It'll be a kind of very light fishing boots.


1

An alternative to sandals and going barefoot: bring two plastic bags with heavy duty elastics. You can take big bags and tie them all the way up at your thigh, but make sure you wrap them well in strong currents, or the added surface will just get you knocked over. It's a lightweight, space efficient and extremely cheap solution. Also, rubber bands and ...



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