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43 votes
Accepted

Figuring out from a map which direction is downstream for a river?

USGS has a web map called Streamer that will let you trace a stream or river in the US. If you click on a point on a river, it will highlight every part of the river that's downstream of that point. ...
  • 4,364
36 votes
Accepted

Is it significantly faster to hike along a river bank?

It depends and is hard to generalize about. If river volume is seasonal (think late summer in temperate countries, especially with snow-capped mountains or places with a specific rainy season), you ...
32 votes

Can horses ford deeper/faster rivers than humans?

Actually, it is often the opposite--many fords which are fine for humans are unsafe for a horse and rider, because the ground is too rocky, or the area is too narrow or steep, or the ford relies on ...
  • 1,297
29 votes
Accepted

In the US is it legal to travel on any river/creek my canoe will navigate?

All waters no, some places like National Parks require permits, see Dinosaur Monument and Canyonlands. It also differs state by state, in some states the water belongs to the public but not the stream ...
23 votes

In the US is it legal to travel on any river/creek my canoe will navigate?

Don't violate Zebra Mussel restrictions!!! There are lots of lakes in Minnesota, and many of them are connected by streams. Its is great to paddle between them in a canoe, you can go tens of miles ...
22 votes
Accepted

How do you go upriver in a canoe?

Upstreampaddling can be very exhausting, but in genereal it's more predictable than paddling downstream. I got my knowledge purely out of experience and not out of books, i paddled down the whole ...
  • 3,161
19 votes

Can horses ford deeper/faster rivers than humans?

Horses are bigger and stronger and than humans and because of the square cube law, they have more mass to surface area which makes them better suited to fording deeper/faster rivers. As to whether or ...
19 votes

Is it significantly faster to hike along a river bank?

On rare occasions it can be easiest to walk in the river. I had this happen to me on a trek in the Rocky Mountains up near Banff / Lake Louise. The valley next to the river was old-growth forest mixed ...
  • 12.3k
18 votes

Can a human survive in Saltstraumen or other whirlpool?

It depends very much on the specific geography. But the idea of "whirlpools" that suck down people or entire ships, never to be seen again (which I suspect is what fascinates you) is largely a myth. ...
18 votes

What are the risks of stream crossing with bare feet?

I think there would be many times when crossing barefoot would be fine. However, a number of potential risks do exist. Those can include: Getting scraped or cut on either the bottoms or sides of ...
17 votes
Accepted

How to carry a bicycle in a canoe?

With a large enough canoe, you can simply put the bike in the canoe, albeit somewhat precariously. What's more common though is for people to bike their canoe to an input, lock up the bike on shore, ...
  • 8,620
17 votes

How do you go upriver in a canoe?

These are main things that you would do. For most flow: Paddle upstream: What you'll do most of the time when there isn't much flow. Eddy-hop: Moving between the relatively still/upstream flowing ...
  • 1,425
17 votes
Accepted

Why do some people stand inside the river fishing?

Fishing in a river while wearing waders permits me to fish down stream and positioning my lures in the spot that is only possible while being in the water. This also helps me to avoid the many snags ...
  • 9,564
16 votes

Can I sail a raft on a European river with commercial traffic?

The good news Navigating the Danube with a raft is certainly possible, and has been done: for instance, Flossbusters are a group of Dresdners who went all the way from Bertoldsheim to the Black Sea ...
  • 3,702
16 votes

How to carry a bicycle in a canoe?

Thank you to nhinkle who posted the answer that showed it is possible to put a bike in an canoe. I have something over 100 miles of canoeing with a bike and a dolly in my canoe now. I started with ...
16 votes
Accepted

Sleeping in an inflatable boat

I would suggest not sleeping on the boat. Apart from the safety issues this will bring up - the boat could slowly lose air, or could start drifting away, the water could rise, ... - it will not ...
  • 12.3k
15 votes
Accepted

What is the most effective means of paddling a canoe, against the current, under a bridge?

I have a 17.5' Clipper Tripper, and I live in Southern Alberta, which means I sometimes get caught on the water in Chinook winds (90km/h gusts), I know what it feels like to get tossed around in the ...
  • 53.2k
15 votes

In the US is it legal to travel on any river/creek my canoe will navigate?

No. Water use, like everything else in the US, is a patchwork of Federal, State, and Local regulations plus quasi-legal muscle. Multiple overlapping laws and agencies can apply at each level. Here's ...
  • 431
14 votes
Accepted

Advice on wild swimming in Ontario, Canada

I did a lot of swimming in NW Ontario when I was a kid, and I've spent more time swimming in lakes and rivers than I have in swimming pools. I find the phrasing of this question curious, because I've ...
  • 53.2k
14 votes
Accepted

How to cross rivers or streams at night or in darkness?

Don't, unless you know the route very well and are sure the rivers can pose no danger. Travel the day before so you arrive to the trailhead before it gets dark, then spend the night at the trailhead. ...
  • 26.2k
14 votes

Can you notice a waterfall in time to get off the river?

It's always risky to be on a river that you have no information about. Apart from waterfalls there could be other dangers such as rapids, rocks under the surface, whirlpools/undercurrents, artificial ...
  • 12.3k
13 votes

How do you survive getting towed under a log jam?

While I was crossing a stream, I was caught in one such but not so serious kind of a strainer. We call that strainers. These are formed when some obstacles get piled up and let a very narrow window ...
  • 31.5k
12 votes

Sleeping in an inflatable boat

Wile the faint of heart might find this answer disturbing, Yes it is fine to sleep on an inflatable boat, if it is durable thick rubber like a Zodiak. I have done so many times, and find it quite ...
  • 861
12 votes

What is the best type of shoe to wear for crossing deep rivers?

I guess the answer really is It depends As a general purpose solution I normally bring sturdy trekking/hiking sandals on my trips. Something like the models from Teva for example (many pictures on ...
  • 12.3k
12 votes

How can I take my dog kayaking?

We're planning to take our dog kayaking in the not so distant future. We both have two Sit on Top Kayaks which easily leave him room to sit between my feet. If you can fit him in your cockpit in a sit ...
  • 15.4k
12 votes

Figuring out from a map which direction is downstream for a river?

In addition mostly to @csk's answer, there are maps that give the direction of rivers, e.g. OpenTopomap For most parts of the world, this information is redundant at the first glance since you can ...
11 votes
Accepted

What is involved in taking a canoe through a lock on a major US River?

There is not a definitive guide for all locks, however most of the major locks in the US are run by the US Army Corps of Engineers, and they do not charge recreational boaters to pass through them. To ...
  • 10.7k
11 votes
Accepted

River crossing in winter?

Traditional military routines for crossing a river under such conditions are the following Bag your pack and items in a waterproof sack/black bag Tie it up and use as a buoyancy aid Wear your normal ...
  • 2,879
11 votes

Can I use a blue plastic tarp to float my vehicle across water?

The whole thing comes down to weight, if your setup can displace more than its weight then it will float, those jeeps were made to be very light. You could be in the situation where your "wrapped car" ...

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