In scheming access routes to a field site I had two choices. One option was an eight mile hike along an overgrown old logging road through thick brush and across washouts and landslides. The other was a much shorter hike of a bit over a mile, but required getting across a river.
I looked at aerials ahead of time and considered the gradient and thought I might be able to get across the river without too much difficulty or risk. This particular river is not glacier fed and being late in the summer, I was confident the flow would be low. I was prepared to swim if need be, but on getting to the river picked a route where the water would be shallow and not too fast. Because the river was low, I was able to easily walk along the bank to the preferred crossing location.
The sweet spot, not too deep and not too fast
Finding the crossing spot I put my wallet and keys in a plastic bag. Found a good solid stick to help with balance. I removed my pants to minimize drag in the current and weight in case my wading turned into swimming.
I successfully made the crossing through waist deep water. It was a bit close but the stick helped keep me upright. It sure beat miles of smashing through brush and on a warm late summer day was not uncomfortable. I was glad of the timing as the crossing would not have been possible most of the year.