The art of building a raft

Building a timber raft can be done in various ways and for different purposes. Regardless of the specific approach, it’s an activity that allows for creativity, and is a fun, collaborative experience.


Styrofoam, barrels, boards – or timber?

Rafts can be built using a variety of materials and techniques. They can be constructed from barrels, boards, brushwood, tarps, or other floating elements. For a simple, playful raft, the requirements are relatively minimal. However, for a more substantial adventure or journey on flowing water, sturdier materials and reliable construction methods are necessary. At Vildmark i Värmland, you’ll build a sturdy timber raft using logs and ropes, designed for exploration of the mighty river Klarälven.

Vildmark Värmland - Klarälvens Camping
Foto: Tommy Pedersen

How is it made, is it difficult or simple?

Building a timber raft that can withstand the conditions of the river Klarälven for a multi-day trip requires a stable and secure construction. We use dried and barked spruce timber in various dimensions, constructing the raft in three layers of logs. To build a raft measuring 3×6 meters, approximately 400 meters of rope is used.

While the lashing and assembly techniques may seem complicated at first, with training and guidance from instructors during the construction process, it is a skill that anyone can learn. Building the raft is physically demanding work, as the logs stored in piles on the shore must be carried and rolled into the water. The actual lashing and assembly takes place in the water. Despite the physical challenge, the process of building the raft is very much a collaborative effort. Everyone has a role to play, and by working together and helping each other, the task is achievable and rewarding for all participants.