1. The first thing to keep in mind is to take things slowly. Since most hard running waters will be on the colder side, one should be careful to wade in slowly – the same as you would with calm waters. Jumping in all at once may shock your body too much, and in hard running waters especially, this may prove dangerous. Begin in shallow waters. Start by just putting your feet in, and get used to the temperature of the water. Once you feel comfortable, you can wade in deeper.
2. Given that these are, presumably, rather powerful running waters, the key is to make sure you’re still wading, and not swimming. Swimming in hard running waters, especially far from shore, can get extremely dangerous, and is a needless risk to your life and well being. Now, keeping this cautionary piece of advice in mind, make sure that you stay in water that is shallow enough for you to stand up in. Make sure you have a good sense of balance, and try not to get knocked off your feet, as this may be dangerous, since the running waters may end up sweeping you out to a deeper area of the river or lake – which is definitely not a good place to be, especially in an environment with powerful, fast running waters. Strong legs and a good sense of balance go a long way in hard running waters. Getting into an exercise routine that will build up those leg muscles prior to wading out into those waters would not be a bad idea at all. Jogging or running will help with this, in addition to balancing exercises. In addition, familiarity with being in the water will help you keep from panicking in potentially dangerous situations. Perhaps most importantly of all, make sure that you do know how to swim, in case you need to. Running water – especially hard running water – is often unpredictable, and you should do your best to be prepared to survive in any situation.
3. Of course, wading into hard running waters is different from running through a placid lake, or one with only very gentle waves. The most important piece of information to keep in mind when dealing with this sort of environment is that the water is much, much stronger and more powerful than you are. On the off chance that you get knocked off your feet and end up having to swim – though, as stated earlier, this is something to be avoided if at all possible – there are a few important survival tips that you should always remember. That is, if you end up engaged in a battle against the current, you will almost certainly lose the fight. As such, never ever fight the current. If you find yourself out of your depth and caught against a strong current of running water, do not swim against it. Instead, try to go along with the current. If you have experience with ocean waters at the beach, try to remember how that feels. Just as you don’t want to swim against the ocean tide, you don’t want to swim against a powerful current in a lake or river. Go with the flow, and most importantly of all, do not panic!
4. Prior to wading into the water, make sure you have a basic idea of what sort of terrain you’ll be wading across. Sharp rocks, glass, and shells are all obviously dangerous to bare feet, so you should do what you can to avoid them. If possible, choose a section of water that other people have gone swimming or wading in before, so that at least some precedent for safety is established. And naturally, you should know what sort of aquatic wildlife to expect. The last thing you’re going to want is to wade through water infested with leeches or flesh eating fish.
5. Now that the cautionary advice is out of the way, it’s time to enjoy your wading experience! Take things slowly, and do your best to enjoy the experience. Running waters are often surrounded by a lot of natural beauty, so use it as an opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the most breathtaking sights that nature has to offer.