• The river is powerful and always changing.
Be familiar with current conditions
• Know the section of river you are boating.
• Your skills and experience must equal the
river and its conditions.
• Don’t be bashful – if you want to scout a
rapid, scout a rapid if possible.
• Know and be aware of river “signs”
– both natural and man-made: holes, wrap
rocks, undercuts, rock sieves, horizon lines
across the river, low head dams as well as
fi cant rapids and “strainers” (trees in
• Watch your surroundings, this includes
• Be aware of your limitations and those of
your fellow boaters and of your equipment.
• Always consider the consequences – an
accidental swim is always a possibility.
• Boating alone is not recommended. Two
or more boat parties are safer.
• You and everyone in your party should
fi rst aid and CPR
. What if you
• Be prepared for self-rescue and the rescue
of others should an accident occur. It is up
to you and everyone in your boat to be able
to help each other.
• If you are involved in an accident, please
report it to:
Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area
307 West Sackett Avenue
Salida, CO 81201
Wear a properly-sized PFD (life jacket)
designed for whitewater river use
• Helmets are a must for all canoeists,
kayakers and river boarders. They are
recommended for rafters in Class IV and
• Equip your kayak with broach loops in
addition to existing grab loops.
• Always use good, quality equipment.
Carry a fi rst aid and patch kit, an extra PFD,
a spare oar or paddle, a pump, a bailing
device and bow-stern line. Have rescue
gear: rescue ropes/throw lines, a knife,
carabiners and a whistle.
• Dress for a possible cold water swim and
changing weather. Wear pile or fl eece (no
cotton). Protect your feet with sturdy
footwear that won’t come off in the river.
Carry extra clothing, food and water.
• Bring a wetsuit or drysuit – and wear it
when conditions merit. Hypothermia is a
risk any time of the year while boating on
• State law requires that all boats be labeled
with the owner’s name and address. In
addition, please add your phone number.
fi nd your boat it’s easier to return if
we know how to reach you.