Download Gear Checklists to be sure you have all necessary equipment for river travel.
KIDS DON'T FLOAT
There are child-sized life jackets available to borrow at many of the BLM boat launches. Visitors are encouraged to borrow the vests in the event one was forgotten for any children in the group. Vests can be returned at any of the "Kids Don't Float" facilities.
KNOW YOUR LIMITS
- Solo travel is not recommended, always travel with at least two boats in your group. Accidents can occur in seconds and emergency assistance can take many hours.
- Engage a licensed guide or outfitter if you lack experience, proper equipment or river knowledge.
BEFORE YOU GO
- Prepare a float plan and leave it with friends or relatives. Be sure to inform them of your safe return.
- Become familiar with the difficult parts of the trip. Remember that river difficulty ratings may change during high water.
- Know your group's abilities. At least one person in your group should be trained in first aid and CPR. Practicing self-rescue techniques and escaping from an overturned craft can help ease tensions in the event of a situation on the river.
- Pack your gear in watertight bags that can be securely fastened to your craft.
SAFELY SHARING THE RIVER
When boating narrow river sections and rapids, all boats should keep as near to the outer limit of the channel or fairway, which lies to the boat’s starboard side, as is safe and practical, and always be courteous to other boaters. For example, motorized boats should exercise caution when near non-motorized boats, particularly in narrow river sections and in rapids, and reduce their speed when passing close. The wake of a motorized boat can easily swamp a canoe. In narrow river sections, non-motorized boats should keep well to the side to allow motor boats to maneuver through the deeper channel, giving them as much room as possible.