It’s best not to wade across the river at all. Wet shoes and socks after fording the river ford can cause serious problems after a few kilometers. And the course of the river may be stronger than it seemed from the shore.
Safe crossing of the river with a strong ford and swim current, ford search, signs of a strong current along the coastal strip.
If you still have to wade the river, explore the places upstream and downstream. To choose from all possible options the most convenient and safe. If you choose a place between two bends, this will give you an advantage. After the turn, the flow slows down somewhat, and therefore it is easier to cross the river there.
Try to find the shallows on which you may be able to cross the stream, jumping from one to another. Avoid garbage areas along the coastal strip. Its presence may indicate a strong course. In addition, there is a danger of running into something under water.
If there is ripples on the water, this means that there is a pile of stones at the bottom, which can also complicate the passage through the river. The smallest places are usually found in the widest places of the river. And vice versa – the greatest depths and flow velocities are usually found in the narrowings of the river bed.
Signs of shallow water are:
– Wide reaches with an increased flow rate over the entire width of the river.
– Places where the river is divided by islands into several branches.
– Stones protruding above the water.
– Islands across the entire width.
– Aquatic vegetation.
During the day, especially in calm weather, the surface of the water over shallow places and rifts is more even and light than over deep ones. There it has a wavy look and a dark color. Small ripples on the surface of the water indicate shallow water.
When wading through the river, find a long stick. It will serve you as an additional support and thereby increase your stability. Crossing the river, ford stand facing the stream and move slowly, but purposefully. Trying to speed up can make your water flow knock you down.
Cross the river swim.
If you have to swim to the other side, undress and put everything you have with you in a large garbage bag. Tie it securely so that air remains inside. Thanks to this, the bag can be used as a watercraft. Swim diagonally slightly towards the stream and choose a course so that you take into account the drift.
Based on the book Survival in the Wild and Extreme Situations. 100 key skills in the special services methodology.