July is finally here, and this means Central Oregon starts running towards one place in particular; the Deschutes River. It’s a staple for many summertime events, and there’s bound to be a crowd through the next few months. When planning a day out by the river, it’s important to note the precautions one should take to be safe and prepared. Problems like river-borne illnesses, the river’s pathway, and water temperatures tend to be issues we only address after we are afflicted.
River-borne illnesses come in all shapes and sizes, and unfortunately none that are visible to the naked eye. The ways to prevent a waterborne illness are simple; remember to be conscious of your personal hygiene and of the environment around you. Best not to wash anything in the river, or drink the river water. It is not treated for human consumption and could carry bacteria. Come prepared with some bottled water and food from home if you plan on being out for an extended period of time.
The Deschutes is not something you just float to to the end of; it runs for 252 miles with plenty of twists and turns for its passengers. There are plenty of options to book with a guide for a rafting, paddleboarding, or kayaking tour so you don’t get lost or drift too far from your planned route. If you’re going solo, communicate your plan with another person to assure someone always knows where you’ll be. As with any boating trip, you should always wear safety gear (life jacket, helmet, etc.) in case of any emergency.
The summer months mean one thing: heat. The Deschutes is a great way to combat that due to the cold temperatures of the river, but be aware, it’s not pool temperature. The Deschutes is a natural flowing river that fluctuates between 66 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the summer. This may not sound that bad, but when you think of your body’s temperature and how it adjusts to the climate it is in, this means it can get cold very quickly.
When it comes to enjoying a day out by the water, most of your safety will come down to common sense. Don’t take risks in an environment you don’t control, and prepare for the time you spend outside, in the river or on its shores. Family Choice Urgent Care is always here for your medical needs, river related or not. We hope you get the chance to enjoy the Deschutes as much as possible this summer, and chances are you’ll find us out there, too!