Helena National Forest
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  • Canoeing/Kayaking

    Remember: you are responsible for your own safety and for the safety of those around you.

    The USDA Forest Service wants you to make it home safely from your canoeing or kayaking adventure! Please follow these tips:   

    • Remember there can be rapid changes in rivers, lakes, and streams. 
    • Before you go, learn basic water rescue techniques and first aid.
    • Carry the proper equipment including dry clothing and a first-aid kit. Store all extra gear in a secure watertight container.
    • Pay attention to weather and water conditions. If the water temperature and air temperature combined total 100 degrees or less, wear protective clothing.
    • Always wear a US Coast Guard approved personal flotation device when you are in a canoe or kayak.  
    • Know your skill level and be honest with yourself to choose water that matches your ability.
    • Check current water levels before heading out.  
    • If you capsize, hold on to your craft and get immediately to the upstream side. Float on your back, feet together and pointed downstream. If you go over a ledge or drop, tuck into a ball. Release your craft only if it improves your safety. Stay upstream away from the boat.