A Monday night rescue on the Gallatin River serves as an important reminder: safety should be kept in mind anytime you want to have fun on the water.
Rental services like Big Boys Toys in Bozeman work to provide the resources for adventurers to have a good time while being safe.
They, along with Gallatin County Search and Rescue, say the water this time of year is high, cold, and moving at dangerous speeds.
The staff say knowing where you are going well, mapping out your course, is one important step to staying ahead of the unknown — also, knowing where problem spots with rapids are in advance.
They add that having the proper equipment is also important, including having insulated gear even if it is warm out.
“The water and the wind, together, can make you colder than you think you are going to get, especially if the clouds take a turn and cover the sun it can get chilly. So, gear-wise, especially in early season, making sure that you do have insulating layers, just in case,” says Sarah Williamson, storefront manager at Big Boys Toys.
Williamson also adds that wearing a life jacket can make all the difference, along with rapids-specific safety gear like helmets.