mountain river whitewater

American Whitewater Pens New Safety Guidelines for River Runners

Plan on paddling rivers or whitewater this season? Refresh yourself on the latest responsibility code and safety guidelines.

Today, the nonprofit American Whitewater released a new responsibility code for river runners “based on time-tested guidelines for recreating on our rivers,” wrote American Whitewater.

The new guidelines are part of a full program called Paddle Wise, developed by American Whitewater in partnership with NRS. “Be your best self on the water and help protect, restore, and maintain access to our rivers!” declares the Paddle Wise webpage.

“The goal is to create a simple and shareable responsibility message for the increasing number of individuals participating in whitewater recreation,” American Whitewater wrote.

Similar to National Park’s “Recreate Responsibly” hiker code or the “Know Before You Go” skier code, Paddle Wise is the river recreation-specific equivalent. The code covers seven main principles: knowledge, preparedness, safety, environmental awareness, respectfulness, inclusivity, and Leave No Trace.

“With a surge in river running participation, we decided it was time to dust off the basic guidelines for paddling responsibly and re-present them for those not in the know, and for those who should know but maybe forgot,” the nonprofit announced.

If these spiffy new guidelines aren’t a reminder enough, remember: It’s always a good idea to check your safety gear and make a plan before you head out on the water.

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Mary Murphy
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Mary is based out of GearJunkie's Denver, CO office. She has a degree in English and Journalism, and been writing professionally for over four years. Her outdoor interests span from running to sport climbing, from landscape photography to pack-paddleboarding. If she's not writing, you can most likely find her at the top of a fourteener, or in a local bakery.