Waterfalling: A how-to-do guide

Getting out there and exploring waterfalls is something that many do as roadside stops, tourist attractions or trail hikes.  Others chase waterfalls in more challenging off-trail areas.

Knowing what to bring with you is one of the  first steps to a good outing.  For any trip into the woods, some standard items should be brought.  I will usually have a ziplock bag with most survival type items in it and just grab it on each trip.  Here are some  other items to bring:

Water bottle, snacks, lunch, change of clothes or swim trunks, goggles, water shoes, hat, sunscreen, bug spray, mini towel, first aid kit, hiking shoes or boots and outer clothes appropriate for the weather and of course, cell phone or GPS.

My survival kit has: matches/lighter, Swiss army knife, emergency blanket, AAA and AA batteries for my GPS and headlamp, head lamp, spare laces, small amount of duct tape (rolled over batteries), wrist watch, whistle, compass, emergency power charger for cell phone, hand warmers, fire starter (sticks), bear banger or signal flare.

For the more remote falls, ‘bushwacking’ and orienteering may be required. For those hikes, good knowledge of the area with maps, GPS and description of the falls area is essential.

As a safety tip try to adventure with others, and leave a trip plan with someone.  If someone knows your location and estimated time of return, it could mean the difference of a rescue in several hours or days.  When heading out solo,  I will usually include a map with a trip plan in an email to a friend. I’ll also print a map with my route and leave it visible in my car.  It may seem extreme, but if injured in the woods on your own — time is essential.  (There are also expensive digital SOS signals available .)

Knowing and mitigating the ‘when-then’ scenarios and a little prep will help you enjoy the trip.

When you find your chosen waterfall, have a look at your maps or info to see if there’s additional falls above or below your spot.  The elevation lines on maps will help you see if they are accessible or too much of a drop to continue down or up stream. You may find a little known fall in your efforts.

A good example of endless falls, Above: Goose Creek, NB

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