You can spend all of the time that you need making detailed plans for your Montana adventures, but there's one thing that you can't avoid that will always turn a good day into a nightmare.

Lady Bug
Photo by Simon Kuznetsov on Unsplash

Montana is easily one of the most beautiful states in the country, but before you head out into the great unknown, there's something that you need to know. Montana is wild, and if you're unprepared, you will regret it. I promise you. If you plan on spending time outdoors, make sure you are aware of your surroundings and have the supplies that you need in case you get stranded. Montana's wilderness can be unforgiving.

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When it comes to planning for a trip, I'm pretty OCD. I have to make sure that I have everything that I could possibly need before I leave. Whether I'm planning for a short trip or an extended vacation, I always plan for the worst. However, there are some things that you can't prepare for, and some of them can instantly ruin your day.

What Can Instantly Ruin a Good Day in Montana?

The weather in Montana is unpredictable, to say the least. Don't bother checking weather apps and watching the news, because most of the time, the "so-called" professionals have no idea what they're talking about. During the winter, snow storms and harsh temperatures are known to wreak havoc on travelers on roadways throughout the state.

Thunder Storm
Photo by Eugene Triguba on Unsplash

According to the Bureau of Land Management;

Weather can be one of the most hazardous factors on the river.

Over the weekend, some friends and I floated the Yellowstone River. We had planned to get in at Pine Creek and float to Mayor's Landing. Unfortunately, our trip didn't go as planned. We had checked the weather forecast, and it was calling for sunny skies and highs in the mid-80s. We were expecting a beautiful day on the river, but we were wrong.

A couple of hours into the float, thunderstorms rolled through the Paradise Valley. It was literally a torrential downpour. We tried to seek shelter under some trees along the edge of the river, but it was raining so hard that it didn't help at all. Before long, lightning and thunder were right above us. Since we were already soaking wet, we decided to get back on the river and float the short distance to Carter's Bridge and cut our trip short.

Floating River
Photo by Jason Abdilla on Unsplash

I have floated the Yellowstone River countless times, and have experienced some bad weather, but Saturday was the first time that I'd officially been rained off the river. If you're planning to float a river this summer in Montana, here are a few helpful safety tips.

Stay safe out there, friends.

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