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River Safety

This course is aimed at outdoor users who are likely to travel in, near or across rivers or streams while recreating in the NZ outdoors. It will include practical application of river crossing techniques and the theory of river dynamics.

Course includes: 

  • Basic river dynamics and hazards
  • How to assess whether a river or stream is safe to cross
  • Choosing not to cross
  • How to identify safe crossing points
  • Managing clothing and equipment for travel/river crossing
  • How to perform a solo crossing
  • How to cross using an approved mutual support method
  • How to float and recover if swept away
  • How to self-release from a trapped pack
  • How to safely retreat during a crossing
  • Managing a group in and around waterways

Course Prerequisites:
Participants must:

  • Participants must be fit to travel for approximately one to four hours, (depending on location) across a rough surface (boulder riverbed), with a full pack
  • Be a minimum of 18 years of age (or a minimum of 14 if their attendance is agreed to by the course director and a parent/guardian)

PLEASE NOTE: the ability to swim confidently is not a pre-requisite of this course, however if participants are not confident swimmers they should advise their instructors of this at the earliest possible opportunity.

Course Level:

One pre-course session of approximately two hours and one field day (the content of the pre-course session may be included on the field day)

Recommended Course Resources:
Bushcraft Manual – Outdoor Skills for the NZ Bush
Mountain Safety Manual 40, fifth edition published 2011

Available from your local MSC branch or by selecting the ONLINE STORE tab above

Booking a Course:
To find out what courses are available in your region please select the course type and region in the "MSC training course search" above

For a copy of the full course description please CLICK HERE



River Safety Handbook & DVD
You can purchase the recommended reading here , along with the Bushcraft Manual if this is not included in your course costs.


Free downloads


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