By Kate Hasterlik, photos by Laurie Lane
July 21st, WestSlope Chapter TU and MFG’s hosted the very first Wader Safety Clinic in Missoula!
Carl and Taylor, from Montana Rescue, led the discussion and clinic for our 35 participants and volunteers at Splash Montana.
The purpose of this clinic was to address the safety in wading: i.e. identifying routes across streams, how to wade with partners, downstream precautions to consider, foot entrapment, gear selection, layering suggestions, the timeframe after with possible hypothermia and addressing what not many of us have felt:
~The lack of mobility and reaction time when you've slipped and fallen and you're waders are filling. And what to do next!
Many of the participants commented on how heavy their feet were and how difficult it was to maneuver, as they floated along the “lazy river” at Splash Montana. Another moment for many, was the difficulty of getting out of the pool and how to rid your waders of all that water. The biggest take-way was the realization that their belts were too loose and without one, your efforts to swim were nigh impossible.
Carl and Taylor did a great question and answer session with everyone after the swim, nailing down this experience and what the similarities will be in an actual river.
And then we all had the opportunity to do the slide, which on a 95 degree night seemed a perfect end to the water session.
Thanks go to West Slope Chapter for the merchandise and TU membership gifts for all participants!
And big thanks to all the Board member volunteers; Carie Graham, Carey Schmidt, Laurie Lane, Mark Kuipers and MFG’s Bryn Gibson and Serene Cusack.
Knowing before it happens might save you when it happens.
Here is to keeping Montanans safe on our rivers!