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Always make sure to wear a life jacket, and make sure that it fits properly. A life jacket should be “comfortably snug” when you fasten all the buckles or zippers. After you are all buckled in, lift your hands over your head and turn your head left and right. It fits if you can do this without the life jacket touching your chin!
Be a swimmer! Make sure you know how to swim and feel comfortable going underwater.
Take a friend! It’s always a good idea to avoid going down the river alone.
No alcohol. Alcohol impairs judgment, and rivers constantly change, so make sure you think clearly when on a river trip.
Wear shoes. The bottom of rivers can have sharp rocks and broken glass that cut your feet as you enter or exit the water.
Make sure your skill level matches the river rating. If you are a beginner to non-motor boats, avoiding rapids with a rating class above two is best.
Avoid high water! Dam releases or heavy rain can change the rating of a river.
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