What is a poncho donut floss

Crossing waters


In a survival situation, you may have to cross a water hazard. It can be a river, stream, lake, swamp, or quicksand.
Sudden flooding occurs even in the desert, where the current can create an obstacle. Whatever it is, you should know how to cross the obstacle.


You can encounter all kinds of rivers and streams. These can be shallow or deep, narrow or wide, slow or fast flowing. Before you cross the obstacle, develop a good plan.

Find an elevated point (e.g. a tree) from which you can overlook the river or stream. So you can look for a suitable place where you can cross.

As long as you can find enough support, the depth of a river or stream is not particularly difficult. In fact, the water flows slower in deep rivers and these are therefore safer to negotiate than shallow areas with high flow speeds.

You can dry your clothes after crossing it, if necessary you can also make a raft or something similar to keep luggage and clothes dry.

Do not try to wade or swim across a river when the temperatures are very low! The attempt can be fatal and even fatal. Better to cross the river with the help of a raft. Only wade through the river if only your feet can get wet. On the other bank, however, you have to rub them dry thoroughly.

Good jobs can be:

Where the river divides into two or more arms. Several narrow arms are usually easier to overcome than one that is very wide.

Sandbanks or shallow spots in the river. Cross the river above these places so that - if you lose your footing and drift away - the water flows towards it and you can find your feet again.

Places where you can cross the river upstream and where you cut the current at a 45 degree angle. This means you have less water resistance to overcome.

Danger spots that you should avoid

Obstacles on the opposite bank. Find a place from which you can safely and easily reach the bank and march on.

A line of rocks in the river. This can indicate rapids and shoals or crevices.

Rapids or places with high flow speed (rapids), high waterfalls or places where the river has dug itself deep. Do not try to cross a river directly above or in the immediate vicinity of these danger spots.

Rocky ground, or where many rocks protrude from the river. You can slip or be pressed against the rocks by the water pressure and injure yourself. Wet rocks are very slippery and difficult to balance. However, a single rock can be useful if you cross below it as it breaks the current and less water pressure comes towards you.

Estuaries are generally wide and have strong currents. If the river flows into the sea, they are also affected by the tides. This can affect the river for miles up from the mouth. Better look for a place above the mouth.

Eddy currents in the river can pull you against the direction of flow with strong pressure and push you against or under the obstacle that created the vortex, and in extreme cases below the surface of the water.


If necessary, you can safely cross places with strong currents, rapids or deep waters. Swim with the current and don't fight it, it takes strength. Try to keep your body as horizontal as possible to the water surface. This reduces the risk of being pulled under the water.
In shallow and fast rapids, lie on your back, hold your hands on the sides of your hips and your feet down the river. This helps you to get buoyancy and allows you to steer so that you can avoid obstacles. Keep your feet up so they don't get crushed or pinched by rocks.

In deep rapids you lie on your stomach with your head in the direction of the flow. Try to get towards the shore whenever possible, but always watch out for obstacles, eddies and retrograde currents.

Alone with a stick

To wade through a fast, treacherous stream, follow these steps:

> Take off your outerwear. This means that the water cannot pull you and you save energy. However, keep your shoes on to avoid injuries from rocks and other obstacles. This also gives you a better grip when you reach the ground under your feet near the shore.

> Attach your clothing to your backpack (or stow it in it). If you don't have a backpack, tie the clothing together in a bundle. In the event that you have to get rid of your equipment, all your equipment is together and it is easier to find a large package later than to look for individual parts.

> Pack your equipment on your shoulders so that you can take it off and let go of it at any time if necessary. Even the best swimmer can be dragged underwater if he cannot remove his equipment in time.

Find a strong stick with a diameter that is easy to grasp (approx. 7-8 cm). Its length should be about 210 to 240 cm.
Then you grasp the stick and push it firmly into the bottom towards the top of the river to break the current. Put your feet firmly into the ground with every step.
Then move the stick a little further downstream, but always upstream from your position! You take your next step below the stick.
Always hold the stick at an angle so that the current presses it against your shoulder.

Cross the stream at a 45 degree angle.

With this method you can safely overcome currents that are normally too strong for a person.

In the group with a stick

If you have to cross a river with several people, do it together as a group.

Make sure everyone has their gear stowed as described above.

While crossing, the stick points parallel to the direction of flow and the whole group moves sideways towards the opposite bank.

Position the heaviest member of the group downstream on the stick and the lightest member upstream. As a result, the lightest one breaks the current and the others can move behind it more easily. If the first loses his footing, the others can brace themselves against the current until he regains ground under his feet.

In a group with a rope

If you are in a group of three or more people and have a suitable rope, you can use the technique shown in the graphic.
However, the rope must be three times as long as the river is wide.

Source: US Army Survival Manual


To determine the width of a river or other obstacle, you can use the following method:

1) Find a prominent point on the opposite bank. (Green point 1)
2) Mark this point exactly opposite on your side. (red point 2)
3) Find a second prominent point on the opposite side some distance away. (green point 3)
4) Also mark this point exactly opposite on your side. (red point 4)
5) Connect the red point 3 with the green point 4 with an imaginary line and continue this line further back.
6) Connect the green point 1 with an imaginary line with the red point 4 and pull this line further backwards.
7) Then you measure the distance between red point 2 and red point 4.
8) You transfer the distance at a right angle from the first line to the second. (blue dots 5 and 6)
9) The distance between red point 4 and blue point 6 gives the width of the obstacle or river

There are various aids that you can make yourself so that your equipment crosses waters safely and as dry as possible.

This is easy and relatively safe if you pack your equipment in a strong plastic bag. (e.g. a sack for construction waste) You close the opening of the sack tightly with strong adhesive tape.

If you don't have a suitable plastic bag, you can also use a sturdy tarpaulin or a poncho. (If you are using a ponche, make sure that you also carefully close the opening for your head.) Put your equipment in the middle and pull all ends up. There you tie them tightly together so that a kind of sack forms. The air in the luggage and in the "sack" gives enough buoyancy to float on the water.

However, these methods are less suitable for heavy equipment.

In the following, I will describe some aids that you can use to bring heavier loads safely across the water.

Australian poncho raft

Push the hood of two ponchos inwards and close them tightly with the cord.
Spread a poncho inside out on the floor.
In the middle (see picture) you put two sticks about 120cm long, about 45cm apart.
Then you place your equipment between the two sticks and roll the pocho tightly around your equipment.
Tie the ends of the poncho together, then fold them over and tie them together again.
You put this "package" in the middle of the second ponscho or a tarpaulin. If you want to get more buoyancy, you can put a larger amount of fresh, green grass or delicate twigs beforehand.
Fold the corners of the second poncho or tarpaulin to the middle and tie them together.
Finally you loop ropes about 30cm apart around the resulting raft.
If you have a weapon with you, you put it on the raft and secure it with a rope.

You push this raft in front of you while swimming. In order not to lose it with faster currents, you can attach a rope to the raft, which you attach to an empty canister with the other end.

Donut poncho raft

With this raft you only need a poncho or a tarpaulin.

Find sticks that you stick in the ground in a circle.
Then you braid a solid wreath around these sticks and tie it together with a cord.
Spread the poncho or tarpaulin on the floor (the hood turned inwards and tied with the cord) and place the braided wreath in the middle.
Then you fold the poncho (the tarpaulin) over the wreath and fasten it firmly to the wreath with the eyelets and a cord.
You put your equipment in the middle of the wreath or - well fastened - on the raft.

You push this raft in front of you while swimming. In order not to lose it with faster currents, you can attach a rope to the raft, which you attach to an empty canister with the other end.

Wooden raft

The construction of a wooden raft is much more time-consuming than other methods and only possible if the appropriate material is available.
Look for dry, firm logs. Light wood floats better than heavy wood. Wood lying on the floor can be rotten or saturated with moisture, so standing, dead wood is preferable.

Place the logs next to each other and make a notch in each log at the top and bottom at the same height. (This is where the crossbars come to rest later)
The notches should fit the crossbeams as precisely as possible.
Then you put the lower crossbeams on the ground and place the tree trunks with the notches on them.
Then you place the upper crossbeams in the notches of the tree trunks.
Fix the crossbeams with ropes on one side so that they stay firmly in place.
On the other side, you also fix the crossbeams. To do this, you tie a loop at one end of the rope. Then you loop the rope around the two crossbars and guide the free end through the loop.
With strong lever movements you can tighten the rope with the help of the loop and thus fix the crossbeams well.
Finally, loop the rope around the crossbar several times and knot it securely.

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