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River Crossings

CROSSINGS ARE EXTREMELY HAZARDOUS & SHOULD BE AVOIDED ESPECIALLY IF ABOVE THIGH DEEP OR FLOWING FASTER THAN WALKING PACE

DECISIONS TO BE MADE
  • whether to cross, where, what method.
  • don't fight against river
  • use mutual support methods
  • anticipate what might go wrong
CHOOSE A PLACE TO CROSS
  • run out
  • river bed
  • speed
  • depth
  • entry & exit points
  • curves & bends:faster on outside, between 2 bends ideal
PREPARATION
  • Wear close fitting garments & secure all openings.
  • Wear boots with gaiters but remove socks.
  • Carry non waterproof items & fire lighting equipment in plastic snap lock bags.
  • Waterproof contents of packs, especially sleeping bags.
  • Prepare the pack for floating by placing in a large plastic bag or groundsheet & sealing.
  • Fording streams Cross diagonally in a downstream direction, with body parallel to current.
  • DO NOT use a single rope to cross.
  • Safety precautions: Know those who are non-swimmers.
  • Strongest or most experienced person to make a test crossing.
  • Check personal preparation of each member: boots & gaiters securely laced, waistbands & chest straps on packs undone, no hanging straps or loose clothes.
  • Shed pack quickly if swept off feet
  • Decide order of crossing so that the strongest are able to help.
  • Have person on each bank to catch anyone swept away.
METHODS OF CROSSING
  • individual a pole as prop
  • linked arms
  • arms across shoulders grasping top of pack straps
  • thin pole & linked arms
  • log, upstream arm over, downstream arm under, lock arms together underneath
  • swimming with pack as float need run >4x width
  • rope 3x width of river, pulling pack which is used as float

[Category: Leadership Skills|River Crossings]
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