CROSS WATER CAREFULLY
Always exercise caution when in and around water sources and cross water carefully.
Central Washington’s natural lands are scattered with crystal lakes and rushing rivers that can be thrilling to explore. When hiking alongside a river, creek, or stream, keep in mind that water is powerful, even in seemingly calmer sections. Always exercise caution when in and around water sources and cross water carefully. Here are a few key points to remember when hiking or backpacking:
- Always unhook backpack straps before getting near a water source. That way if you fall into the water, your pack won’t weigh you down.
- Avoid injury by wearing proper footwear when crossing. Carry water shoes when you know water crossings are inevitable.
- Avoid water that is higher than your knees. Deep water makes it easier to lose your balance or be swept off your feet.
- Logs, rocks, and other materials near water can be slick, test their stability before moving. Using a hiking pole or a single foot will help you determine if your next step will be stable.
- When crossing, face upstream to pinpoint where faster currents are flowing.
- Play it safe. If you don’t feel comfortable crossing a water source, turn around! There’s no shame in ending your hike early if you feel uneasy about the undertaking.
With these outdoor tips in mind, you’ll be good to go with the flow during your next hike in