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One of the principal hazard in cross-country travel is river crossing. If the walker is a swimmer the pack can be wrapped in a ground-sheet which has its corners and loose-folds tied together.

This will support the traveller who holds the pack in his hands and by kicking with his legs he can cross safely with his pack.

It is advisable to tie a short length of rope to the wrist so that if the pack slips from the hands it can be recovered.

It is inadvisable to try swimming a river with your walking boots. Take them off and place them in the pack in the ground-sheet.

If a party of 4 or more are crossing, tie 2 or 3 packs together after each has been put in its ground-sheet. One party stands by on the bank while the other party crosses.

ALWAYS place a layer of fern or grass or small brush beneath your pack before folding the ground sheet on it.

If your ground sheet leaks slightly, this precaution will give your pack an inch or two clearance and keep it dry. chk rptt

With a frame rucksack, lay your frame uppermost, with a swag, place your swag roll and dilly bag side by side before folding the ground-sheet.


Small bolsters made of ground sheets can be rolled up and lashed together if there is a party travelling together.

This makes an excellent raft, stable and buoyant for ferrying the party along the river or to crossing the river.



It is Very important point to check, especially under the Tropics since many trees don't float specially the Palm tree which does not float even when dry.


Raft stays one of the oldest way to travel on water and is the safest and most rapid way to cross a river or to travel in most places.

However it is a long tiring job even with the proper equipment to do so in survival conditions, but if raft becomes indispensable go for it, this may be your most salutary decision & wisest move.

The Spruce wood of polar and sub-polar regions makes the Best Raft although any dry wood will do as well as the bamboo from the Tropics. Each trunk going to built the raft MUST be first roll into the water to assure its floatability.

One can construct a raft without nail nor ropes when one has an axe and a knife. 3 men are quite comfortable on a 12 by 6 feet raft with some equipment.


1) Construct the raft on 2 sleigh-logs which are bevelled so that you can slide them on the beach. One log is easy to handle but a full raft is a lot harder to move.

Level the 2 main logs with the axe so that the other logs forming the plat- form will adjust themselves uniformly.

2) Near the ends of each log, cut a notch on the superior and inferior face, while MAKING SURE that those notches are NOT facing one another, the bottom of those notches MUST be wider than its opening.

3) To join together all raft logs, trust in every notch a 3 faces piece of wood which length will exceed by 30cm the width of the raft. Start on one side then end by the other.

4) To each end of the raft attach each one of the 2 three faces piece of wood so as to consolidate the whole thing.

When the raft is put to float, those pieces will swell and will tighten the entire construction.

5) If those pieces don't tighten strongly enough, jam them with small thin piece of wood which will swell when wetting.


Easier to built than above; and faster as well. Take 4 main logs align them over and under the platform logs (7 of them).

Make notches into the 4 main supporting logs so that the platform ones will fit snugly with them, you can also to make it tighter fit, axe notches to the platform log. (Not a necessity).

Once both sides are well fitted just rope together the pressure bars logs which extend about 1 to 1/2 feet past the platform dig a notch in each opposite face which will be used to anchor your rope & act as pressure bar.


Using a tarp or 1/2 a tent or any other waterproof material, one can make an excellent raft which carpentry will be made of brushes insuring its floatability.


During winter in northern regions when the middle of a river doesn't ice up because of the strength of the current, one can cross this river by improvising a raft with an ice block using an axe.

If there is a split in the ice, one can detach a great surface using a pole. This improvised raft MUST measured 2 by 3 meters and at least 30cm in thickness. The pole is also used to push the ice raft in the wanted direction


One can cross in a raft over a river which is deep, cold and fast raging while using the perpendicularly movement which animates the surface waters in the river curbs.

This method is useful when there are many persons to cross over but you MUST fill those following requirements.

1) The raft MUST be maintained to a certain angle in report to current direction (see photo)

2) The cable length starting from its attaching point MUST be equal to 7 to 8 times the width of the river.

3) The attach to raft cable MUST be adjustable so that it MUST be possible to change the angle of the raft in report to the current direction, so that it can return back to the starting point shore.


3 long logs, STANDING dead wood (test float BEFORE!) (Bundled plants, limbs ok!) Notch to fit or lash.

Square raft will spin. Listen ahead for rapids.


Rock or pail trailing on short rope from front centre, keeps raft in main channel.


Stretch waterproof material over domed frame of Willow sticks.


With trappers it has been seen an astonishing one. An Indian having killed a beaver at 300 feet from the shore, had to go and get it while it still floated. It was fall and the water was too icy for him.

He then cut 3 dry logs about 15 feet long and 9 inches in diameter and place them in a fan shape in the water, upon which he just threw about 15 big spruce branches across his 3 logs as a platform.

At about 1/3 of the way at back to 1/2 half depending of weight and amount or type of branches at times.

He then took a 12 foot pole and pushes his raft toward the open water to get his beaver safely and back while he threw a fishing net for added work. He came back some 15 minutes later with its beaver.

It may surprise you how while using no rope or tie whatsoever it could still remain together the branches and logs. But why any ties, since there is no need.

The Indian own weight on the floor mat of branches and the opposite pressure coming from underneath, (the one making the logs to float) is more than enough to retain all the raft together without any other support.

But try it only on calm water lake or slow river unless you really have to.

The reason 3 long logs can be used so satisfactorily for such a job is that it can be readily paddled or pole depending of the water.


It can be steered with a long oar, sweep or some other rudder arrangement.

A shore square raft on the other hand has too much tendency to spin. You can decide to lash it with rope, vine, roots, spikes or even by burning out the necessary openings.


Lay the 3 logs in position near the water, assure their floatability before of course.

You will then need 2 substantial crosspieces across the top, one near each end. A couple of tough rugged poles will do. Set these in places and mark on the logs beneath where each pole is to go.

Then cut 6 notches so that each is narrow at the top widening as it goes deeper into the log.

When the 2 crossing pieces are finally driven through each series of 3 notches the fit should be snug. Once the raft has been allowed to soak, it will then be more firmly interlocked.


You will be only prudent if you take every possible precaution when using such a raft particularly under the stress and uncertainty of emergency condition.

Keep listening and watching as far ahead as possible for some notable patches of bad water which often give NO Warning until one rapid is almost on you.

For this reason it is good to scout ahead whenever this is at all feasible. If you have a rope you may be able to line the raft through rapids while walking safely along or near the shore.

Otherwise you will probably do better to let the raft go with the idea of retrieving it later if that is possible.

You will have to provide as well as you can for the safety of any outfit you may have along in 2 ways:

Either by tying it to the raft or, packing it in as waterproof a bundle as you can manage with some provision, such as the inclusion of a chunk of light dry wood under so that it floats.


One day you may find yourself on Brion, floating alone on such a raft or down a broad sluggish river like many in the North.

A rock or pail or any old container plastic or metal which is hung beneath the conveyance by a short line affixed to the front centre of the latter will automatically tend to keep your carrier in a main channel.

Besides thus acting as a guide, this arrangement can also conserve a lot of energy spent needlessly in boooooring dreary hours of steering.


Old sourdoughs stunt need to locate the outlet of a quiet bayou body of water is to float bannocks crumbs or bits of some other light substances and to observe which way they drift, to the BAR?


In connection with water there is one special precaution that any one venturing along a rocky open sea coast MUST HEED.

That is to hold fast at the first feasible spot upon the approach of a BIG wave.

Deliberately choosing to get wet rather than taking the chance of running across uncertain footing and thus risking in many exposed area the Very Real PERIL of being INJURED and even to be swept away and drowned.


Visibility is sometimes so deceptively restricted in dangerous terrain, that it is foolhardy to keep going. Seek shelter & Wait.


Construction wood MUST ALWAYS be dry & able to float.

And that the density of wood being average 0.8%. In other word 100kg of wood well dry gathered as raft could only carry 20kg.

You MUST then add floaters such as wood barrel or metal or boosters (grass or fern and bush wrapped up in waterproof ground-sheet tent material and tied together with or without wood underneath, and some wood or fern or grass inside in case of some leakage).


Rubber mattress or tire tubes, or javel plastic bottle container type with CAP on, of course will act well as floaters and easy to lash to a log in single or double file all along will act as new space age survival 2001.

Also 4 to 6 to 8 put in pairs and under each underarm even in the crotch could be well used as life jacket of sea survivors.

Lot of deserted beaches, now have a lot of pollution ropes, & plastic containers of all kind for many purposes.


Found on beaches gives a strong and quick fire, throw it in a fire going already and see the temperature rise fast.


Made of 5 car or trucks air tube linked by a light frame stick of wood or aluminium or plastic tubes (5) and cover over by a light floor, (brush or water proof material in bundles). Use the floor mats as sails.


The reeds have about 1.5cm diameter at the big end and 2 meter long. Cut them at the closest of its root and make tight "boot" rolls of about 50 to 60 to 80cm in circumference with strings or rope or root or fibrous bark etc. linking them at each end.

Make 2 frames with your walking stick or a pole of 20cm less than one of your tight "boot" roll in size and put it together.

UBAS?: Qu'es-aco? Mah Radash? Is it fattening?

Here are the plans of the military SECRET of these primitive Karajas Indians of South America, oh well we learn from all.

If you camp near a river or near the sea, you will certainly find an old tree trunk yet big enough to carry your weight.

To each end of the trunk attach a lattice across. To each of the ends of lattice fix a small log piece & or tie a series of plastic containers.

This will make 4 floaters which will prevent the trunk to overturn and insure your stability. Safety caution comes, first.

At the centre and on each side of the trunk attach a small log which will be used as foot rest.

For the shape of this raft and speed bevelled the ends of the logs. Shape wise it looks like a fine square or rectangle crossed by a heavy log dead centre underneath.