Build an Easy Poncho Raft for Crossing Rivers


Crossing Rivers and Streams with Equipment

If you find yourself crossing large rivers or streams, like I wrote about, you may find it difficult to carry your equipment.  You can safely float your equipment across slow-moving streams and rivers if you use a Brush Raft!

If you make it correctly, the Poncho and Brush Raft will be able to support about 230 pounds of stuff on it.  That means that this could actually help YOU float across the river!

 bush raft

Equipment Needed to Construct a Brush Raft

All you need is 2 ponchos, fresh green brush, two small saplings and rope (or vine) to build an awesome raft.  Simply do the following:

How to Make a Brush Raft for Equipment Transport

bush raft

Tuck the Poncho Hoods into the Poncho

Do this on the inner side, so it is not showing and tie the drawstrings tightly, so there is very little chance of water getting through.

Use Rope or Vine to Tie Corners

Next, you will grab some rope or vine and tie it to all four corners of the ponchos (and the four sides if the poncho has grommets for it).  Leave it hanging loose and long enough to reach the other side/corner.

Place a Poncho on the Ground.  Fill it with Brush.

Place one poncho on the ground, with the inside facing up.  Pile about 18 inches of brush on top of it.  Pull the hood drawstring up through the center of the brush.

Build a Frame for Ridgidity

Make an X out of the saplings, place on top of the brush, tie into place with the drawstrings.  This is called an x-frame.

Add More Brush

Add another 18 inches of brush on top of the frame and compress it a little.

Tie Off the Corners and Make a Bundle

Pull the poncho sides up around the brush and tie them off, do so with the corners diagonally as well now.

 

Lay Out and Tie Second Poncho around the Bundle You Just Made

Next spread the second poncho on the ground (inside up like the first) next to the bundle you made.

Roll the bundle into the center with the tied side down.  Tie up the second poncho the same way you did the first.

Float the River

Float the Raft with the tied side of the second poncho facing up.

This isn’t the most “water-proof” raft, but it can hold a lot of weight.  Try it and see how simple and useful this can be when crossing a large river.

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