Encountering high water or swift water on spring hikes isn’t uncommon. Warmer temperatures are causing winter snow to melt, so streams, creeks, and rivers are gushing. I just wrote an article for the About.com Survival Skills website titled “How to Make Improvised Flotation Devices,” which offers information about how to use items such as clothing, deadwood, plastic bags, empty containers, and other items as floatation devices.
I wanted to add a few additional demonstrations here; these either expand upon the ideas I share in the article or offer additional information. This video, for example, demonstrates one version of a plastic bag floatation device:
And this demonstration shows how to use a tarp and pine needles to make a floatation device sturdy enough to support a heavy man’s body weight:
While improvised floatation devices might not have the durability or buoyancy of manufactured life jackets or other high-quality personal floatation devices, it’s good to know how to make them in case you need something to help support you when you need it the most.