You've seen in movies, people getting caught up in quicksand.

Usually, it has a pretty dire ending if one were to get stuck.


How common is Quicksand though?

Experts say quicksand -- super saturated sand or sand that has become nearly liquified with water -- is common around the world. Source

I recently came across a story about a gal who, out of the blue, found herself sunk into quicksand, it made her drop in seconds.

Crazy Right?!

It made me ask myself though...

Does Washington State have Quicksand?

Short Answer: Yes

Here's what a person has said about finding them in Washington State...

"Yes, try the rivers near the coast. I walked into a patch on the Hoh river just upstream of the rock face by the Oil City Rd entrance to ONP." -Source

How can we spot Quicksand?

"Eye Your Terrain: If water is bubbling up from below the ground, you may have stumbled upon some quicksand. Terrain with a rippled appearance is also a key indicator. Test Before You Step: Tap the ground in front of you with trekking poles or a walking stick." - Source


But what do we do if we get caught in Quicksand?!

  • Eliminate excess weight
  • Backpedal: Before you sink too deep, take a few quick steps backward to where the ground was solid. Avoid large lunging steps, because a straddle position will make it harder to maneuver if one leg gets stuck.
  • Keep your head above water: Keep your arms and head above the surface at all times.
  • Float your way out: If you sink and find yourself waist deep, lean back into a back float position. Much like sitting, this evenly distributes your weight, and allows your feet to float up to the surface. After your feet break through the surface, slowly inch your way to “shore.”
  • Use Your Resources: Assess your surroundings and utilize any trees with reachable branches. Only grab them after you have achieved a safe position
  • Free Your Legs: Inch by inch, move your legs one at a time upward toward the surface of the quicksand. With every inch you move a leg up, allow a moment for the quicksand to fill the space it once occupied.
  • Use a Trekking Pole: If you have a trekking pole with you, now is the time to use it (arguably it was before you got stuck, but hindsight is 20/20!). Lay the pole on the surface of the quicksand and lower your back onto it.
  • Breathe Deeply: This will promote both buoyancy and calmness.

What should we not do?

  • Panic: If you find yourself sinking in quicksand, the best thing you can do is stay calm. The more you struggle, the harder it is to escape. Despite movie scenes to the contrary, people are not dense enough to sink all the way under quicksand. Keeping your wits about you will make the escape process easier.
  • Heave-ho: Although it may be tempting, don’t ask your hiking buddies to yank you out of your sandy trap. Slow and steady movements will be more successful than pulling up against the powerful quicksand vacuum.
  • Swing Your Arms: Back float your way out, don’t back stroke your way out. Keep your arm movements controlled, small, and close to your core to avoid further liquefying the quicksand.
  • Front Float: Do not try to float out on your stomach! This increases the danger of getting your head stuck below quicksand.


Be careful out there! And send this to your loved ones so they know too!

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