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If you are an adventurous person, and you are planning a water adventure in the near future, than it might be useful for you to understand the basics of building a survival raft. Although the stories about a person that needs to build a raft from scratch are mostly movie materials that does not mean that anything like that won’t happen to you. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. Learning how to build a raft could save your life someday, especially if you are traveling to areas by boat. Below are some simple instructions on how to build a serviceable raft.
Building a Survival Raft from Scratch
So, how can you build a survival raft from scratch? You will need some basic materials to start with, such as a hatchet or a small saw and some rope. Those are the bare essentials which are small enough to fit in a backpack. You would need about 100 feet of rope for your raft. You should start looking for trees and pick a location closer to the water. It is better to use already dead trees for making your survival raft because they float better than live ones. Also, choose trees that are 112 inches thick because anything thicker than that is much harder to cut down or carry. The logs themselves should be about 12 feet in length, making your survival raft long and narrow.
This length will enable superior maneuverability, and you will not need to cut down too many logs. You should know that the trees are cut into logs which have the intended length you want.
So if you want your survival raft to be 12 feet long, you will need logs that are 12 feet long, not 2 logs that are 6 feet long.
Using Trees to Build a Survival Raft
What kind of trees you choose for your raft is very important. Sometimes you will not have a choice, but even then you should know the properties of the tree that is available. For example, you will need to estimate the weight of a cubic meter of wood so that you can estimate the lifting power of the entire raft. Here’s how to do that. Water weighs 69 pounds per cubic meter. So, if the trees that you are using weigh 40 pounds per cubic meter, than you have 29 pounds per cubic meter of lifting capacity of the raft.
Let’s cut through the mathematics of this problem, as you will not be able to weigh any piece of wood you have there anyway. The simple rule when building a raft is that you will almost always need to build a bigger raft than you think! A 12 x 12 type of raft is estimated to be enough for 600 pounds of weight in gear and passengers. Lastly, remember that the easiest way to assemble the survival raft is in the water itself!