Having Fun with Homemade Rafts

One of the most exciting things you can do is ride across a river on a raft. Learning how to build a raft seems like an impossible task, but it is not. You just need the following materials. Requirements Life jackets Cooler Large scissors Rope (100 ft) "Short-cut" saw Wood Paddles or poles Step 1 Go to a wooden area near you. Find some dead trees that are about a foot in diameter. Trees much thicker than this will be difficult to chop down. Good choices are cottonwood and dry poplar trees. They are light. You can also use white cedar. Avoid maple. They are very heavy and difficult to float. Step 2 Saw the trees. Cut them to a length of 12 ft. If you want a more maneuverable raft, make it long. About 16 logs will be required. More may be needed depending on how wide it is. Step 3 Saw the logs. Ensure the pieces are lengthy enough to stretch along every log when they are put together. Step 4 Collect all the logs and place them at the riverside. Use sections of the rope to secure the large logs. Cut the scissors with a rope. Secure the logs at the bottom, middle and top. Fasten a couple of thin poles to the uppermost logs. Connect the rope at the ends. Fasten another thin pole across the rafts top diagonally. Secure the ends. Step 5 Now that you know how to build a raft, you can test it. Place the raft in water. If it does not float, take out some of the bigger logs. Test it. If the raft still will not float, secure the big logs together. It should be fine now. Step 6 Put your cooler or an object similar to it on the raft. You can use that to sit on. Tips and Warnings This raft can sit only one person, but can hold two to three people standing up. Always wear a life jacket when riding on the raft. It doesn't matter if it is just a river or you are close to shore. You should construct the raft close to the water. It will be very hard to transport the large logs if the water is some distance away. If it has to be some distance away, get someone to help you. Rafts can be hard to control, so you should have poles or paddles. If it is your first time, do not move too far from the shore.