Our local creeks and rivers have proven to be dangerous over the years. Low head damns, strainers and hidden logs are just a few hazards we come across on a daily bases. We ask all floaters to learn the basics and seek further education on water safety. Research the laws for Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas concerning water sports before you adventuring out. Let’s cover just the basics you need before heading out.
Dress right for the weather and take the tools for a safe float. wearing the right clothes can mean life and death. Wetsuits and Drysuits are needed for the colder months. Also, pack some dry clothes to change into. Every year around 144,000 dies to cold temperatures. When in the water your chances of surviving hypothermia are decreased. The water pulls the heat from your body as a fast rate leaving you helpless of warming up.
Always take a life jacket, drinking water, sunblock, first aid kits, throw ropes, communication device. Also never forget to let someone know where you are floating and how long you will be gone. Wear your PFD and make sure you have the right size. A PFD that is too large can slip off if you become unconscious.
Stay hydrated when on the water! Becoming dehydrated can lead you to make poor choices that can end up taking your life. Water filters are good to bring with you in case you lose your water bottle.
Sunblock is one that many people overlook. Being exposed to the sun for long periods of time can also lead to poor choices on the water and not to forget awful sunburns that can last days.
First Aid kits are very helpful in many cases and can provide you with safe tools to perform CPR to closing an open wound or broken bones. Be sure to learn the skills needed to use the First Aid Kit to its fullest. Find a local CPR/First Aid Class. It could save a life!
Throw ropes are a huge lifesaver if you ever had to use one you would know. It might not save your life but can be used to save another person life. Always be sure to learn how to use it properly. Not knowing the right throw techniques could mean the loss of a life.
The communication device is very important it means the ability to reach the outside world for rescue or help. A cell phone can do the trick most of the time but for rivers like the Buffalo River, you might want something like the inReach for two way satellite communication.