Whitewater Recreation  

We live in a wonderful place for water recreation. With the Gallatin River, Madisson River, Jefferson River, and the Yellowstone all within an hour drive it is a playground for the white water river folks. However, white water recreation tends to be dangerous. We have collected some resources for you to up your education and provide you with some information to have an enjoyable day on the river.  

Basics and Preparation  

ABC's of a PFD - Wearing a PFD (personal flotation device) is the easiest way to secure a safe day on the river.  This website, hosted by NRS, gives you the basics of a PFD. Including the different types, what type is appropriate for what activity and the proper way to wear it. Honestly, please put one on.  

Cold Water Layering - Recreating in the water is different from all other types of layering because cold water brings the body temperature down drastically. Here is a resource to help you to layer so that you will be warm throughout the day.   

Boating Safety  - NRS presents “the five golden rules” of boating safety. Starting with always wearing a lifejacket/PFD. It is worth a read for anyone from experienced white water folks to those who are looking to get out there for the first time.  

 National Weather Service  - Always check the weather before you go. The temperature can heavily affect your day. Look ahead of time so you are prepared.   

 American White Water - American White Water is a place to gain information about unfamiliar rivers to you in the area. Again, always check before you go for updates on rivers, their water level and run-ability. This is a great resource for you! 

Rescue Resources  

Swift Water Rescue Classes Near You - It is always in your best interest to educate yourself on rescue techniques used specifically for white water. This NRS website can help you to find a class near you. MSU Outdoor Rec also hosts a Swift Water Rescue course in the spring open to students.  

Throw bags – Throw bags are a common technique in setting up a safety zone for you and your white water partners below is how to use the equipment.  

Throwing a Throw Bag  

Catching a Throw Bag  

Stuffing a Throw Bag  

Coiling Throw Rope  

More Throw Bag Techniques  

Foot Entrapment - Foot Entrapment is a major hazard to white water recreators. Learn what it is and how to easily prevent this hazard on the river for you and your partners.