Improvised Tarp Boat

Summer is the time to practice summer survival skills.  Here’s a great one I think you’ll enjoy.  This one comes right from the pages of my latest book, Build the Perfect Bug Out Survival Skills.  This is a step-by-step photo series about how to build an improvised boat from a tarp!

Step 1: Lay your tarp flat on the ground.  This is a 9’x12′ tarp.


Step 2:  Pile pine boughs or leafy branches in a circle about 12″ tall.  This will be the diameter of your boat.  Leave at least 1′-2′ of tarp around the perimeter.


Step 3: Lay a gridwork of sturdy sticks (1″-2″ in diameter) on top of the circle.


Step 4: Pile another 12″ of green boughs on top, again in a circular pattern.


Step 5: Wrap the tarp around the circle and tie it to the gridwork of sticks.


Step 6:  Cross your fingers.

Each month, I teach a new survival skill to Survival Skill of the Month Club Members at Recently, I used a slightly more advanced technique for making an incredible full sized canoe. Although the full Skill Sheet is 8-pages, I’ve included a photo of the one below with pictures of the finished boat. Isn’t this incredible??!! The entire frame is made from flexed saplings and then it’s skinned with either plastic or a waterproof tarp.

Page 5 from one of Creek’s Survival Skill of the Month Club Sheets “HOW TO MAKE A MODERN BULL BOAT: December 2017”

Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,


Creek Stewart is the Owner & Lead Instructor at Willow Haven Outdoor Survival School located in Central Indiana. Find out more about Creek online at

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