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Float Across Deep Water Using Your Backpack as a Buoy (floatation device)

By Editor | June 10, 2010

Float across river with backpackDuring spring melting snow and lots of rain equals streams and rivers that will be overflowing.  If you are hiking along and your trail suddenly turns into a deep river crossing then you can try using this outdoor survival technique.

Use your backpack as a floatation device, hold the backpack in your arms in front of you. Apparently even a heavy backpack has enough buoyancy to float like a lifejacket. Better yet if you are prepared and have a dry sack, put your vital belongings underwear, socks, shoes…camera into the sack first. No dry sack no problem…if you have some plastic bags that will work as well, just tie the end air tight. Place the air tight dry sack or plastic bag at the bottom of the backpack and any clothing or other items you want to keep dry on top, this way the items will be less likely to get wet.

A. Look across the deep stream or river for a safe zone what you can head to, just in case the water is too powerful and you cannot make it directly across. Do not, try floating in white water conditions where it is possible to be pushed hard into rocks injury yourself. It goes with out saying as well, that you should not float in a river that has a waterfall just around the corner. Before you leap study the river path and current intently.

B. Take off all your clothes or down to at least a thin layer of synthetic underwear, preferably long underwear so you can maintain some heat. Do not wear loose clothing as it will make it hard to swim, get caught in current and also may get caught against jagged rocks.

C. Place and hold the backpack (improvised floatation device) in front of your chest with elbows resting against the top, palms facing down holding near the top of the pack, then fludder kick your way across the river.

D. Once you make it to the other side of the river, make sure you quickly change into some dry clothes, drain your backpack as quickly as you can then do some push ups or begin hiking right away to warm up your body and blood flowing, so hypothermia doesn’t set in.

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Topics: Articles, Camping, Hiking and Backpacking, Survival | Comments Off on Float Across Deep Water Using Your Backpack as a Buoy (floatation device)

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