About the Study Guide

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Strainers

  • Water can flow easily around and through fallen tree branches. In a swift current, this creates a strainer in which the force of the current can trap your paddlecraft and pull you under the water. Always avoid strainers.
  • If you are trapped and forced to abandon your boat or board, try pulling yourself to the top of the strainer and over it. Although it’s not usually a good idea to abandon your paddlecraft, it is better than being trapped under the water.

Rapids

When approaching rapids, go ashore well upstream and check them out before continuing. If you see dangerous conditions, carry your paddlecraft around them.

Waterfalls

Remove your paddlecraft from the water, and carry it around the falls.

Bridges

Proceed with caution near any bridge or other man-made obstruction.

Fences and Low Power Lines

Watch out for these hazards that often are encountered when paddling on creeks and streams.