How to Build a Raft

How many times have you walked a nature trail near a stream or river and thought how much fun it would be to build a raft, but then thought that it would be too much work. In actuality all you need is some type of cutting tool. The following instructions will help you build a raft without rope or nails.

Step One:

First of all you want to choose a location to build where the water is calm but still deep enough to be a suitable raft launching spot. You don’t want a spot that gradually drops off to deeper waters but not one that drops off too quickly either. What you are looking for is a miniature continental shelf. Ideally you are looking for a spot that drops into the water abruptly but then be only about 2´deep. When you are finished, it will be much easier to board your raft.

Raft How to Build a Raft

Step Two:

Now you need to gather up enough suitable logs. The logs should all be about 8 feet long, and depending on how heavy you and your supplies are you will need 5-6 of them. You will want to get two of the slightly curved to act as stabilizers.

Step Three:

Once you have the logs that you will need, find several strong sticks. You won’t need any rope to hold it all together because you will be laying down the sticks crosswise to the logs. If you lay them down perpendicularly to the logs it would be impossible to sit without falling off. You might want to gather another stick, longer and thicker than the rest, to use as a paddle.

Step Four:

Let´s put everything together now. Arrange the logs in a way so they will not roll out from under you. To accomplish this place the logs into the water and test each one, rolling it over, and check the direction of the roll. Find two logs that are the most unbalanced. These are the ones that you will use as crosspieces, to hold the raft together. Lay the sticks that you gathered perpendicular to the logs. You will need to find the perfect point of balance for this so try placing one stick and putting your weight on it. If it doesn’t push the logs down evenly correct the location of the stick until you find the best, most well balanced spot. Once you’ve located it, lay down the rest of the sticks on either side of the first.

Step  Five:

Now you’re ready to jump aboard and shove off. Stand above your raft with a leg on either side and slowly sit until most of your weight is on the raft. Have your paddle ready. If the raft is balanced, pull your legs up on either side and get as comfortable as possible. Slowly push off from shore.

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