Missouri's Meramec River cabins, camping and float trips.

River Safety Tips


Canoe Missouri on Meramec River
Rafting in Missouri on Meramec River
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About the Meramec


The precepts listed below will help insure that you and those around you have a safe enjoyable experience of the Meramec. Most of them are just plain common sense guidelines, but are listed anyway because sometimes (especially during the excitement of having fun or while under the influence of alcohol etc.), a personís common sense may leave him/her. Please, when in - on - or around the river, keep the following points in mind:

  • Lifejackets and other floatation devices are for your protection, in Missouri there must be a floatation device for each person in your craft, and children seven years old and under must wear a floatation jacket or vest at all times. Don't take unnecessary chances, anyone who is not a strong swimmer, feels apprehension on the water, is overly intoxicated, and all children should wear a jacket or vest.

  • Never dive into water that you havenít checked for proper depth and underwater obstructions.

  • Avoid swimming in fast water, use the slow spots and backwaters for play.

  • Never sit or lay in your craft with your arms or legs under the seats, thwarts, or other fixtures (especially children). Be easily able to swim free of your craft should a spill occur.

  • Steer your craft well clear of other crafts and obstructions in the water, if a collision is going to occur grasp the sides of your craft and use your weight and balance to attempt to keep the craft upright.

  • If a spill does occur, donít try to swim against the current, swim or float feet first with the current to the nearest bank (use your feet to avoid snags, log-jams and other objects).

  • Keep your gear in watertight containers that are firmly attached to your craft.

  • Get off of the water during severe electrical (lightning) storms.

  • Donít take a float that is too long for the amount of time you want to spend, most people enjoy a leisurely trip more than a hurried one. Floating times vary according to the type of craft, river conditions, and how hard you paddle:

  • 5 miles nonstop in a canoe = 2 - 3 hrs.avg. (Light paddling).

  • 5 miles nonstop in a raft = 4 - 5 hrs.avg. (Light paddling).

Donít TIE Multiple Boats Together!

This practice may at first seem harmless, and it can be fun for groups to connect their boats and float as a single craft, but it is illegal and there are safety and courtesy concerns which arise from this practice that all floaters and river utilizers should be aware of: Steering groups of boats tied together becomes very difficult, they go wherever the current takes them. For that reason floaters who engage in that style of floating often just assume that most everyone else in or on the river is just going to get out of their way. This is rude, inconsiderate, and can be dangerous! The same principles of common courtesy which exist on our streets, sidewalks etc. apply to travelers on the river.

GORP "Canoe Rescue Techniques"
Canoe Over Canoe, Boat Bump, Paddling Awash,
Swimming the Canoe Awash, Roll Out and Throw Bag Rescues.


above tips by Bill Kammer


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Riverview Ranch Riverfront Resort
7945 Highway N
Bourbon, MO. 65441