© 2012 By Gary Benton
Use what is around you, but be sure it floats in water.
As shown in the illustration, use plants if wrapped in a waterproof wrapper, or us logs. Logs should used as shown, or in an emergency you can use one large log. Try to keep your extra clothing and gear as dry as possible. This is not suggested for water travel for long distances, but rather for crossing deep streams or rivers.
Additionally, if the river or stream is flooded, do not attempt to cross until the water level has gone down to a normal level. Rushing water, or flash floods, can and do kill people every year, so keep your eyes open when crossing. It's not unusual in the American Southwest to have a wall of water over 4 feet high come rushing down a dry river bed after a hard rain in the mountains.
Keep in mind, we also suggest you stay where you are in most cases, unless you know beyond any doubt where you are at and where help is located. To blindly set out looking for help is foolish and in most cases will result in your death, especially if the weather is severe.
Survival requires the survivor to think before they act, so use situational awareness at all times. Know where you are and what you're doing. Before you do something, think of the results, both good and bad of your actions. Acting, without thinking, can get you injured or killed. Floatation devices are the same mind set. Think before you use something to attempt a river crossing.
Emergency Floatation Systems