Fire on water

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Please always ask for permission before making fires in your garden or anywhere else! This activity should be done outdoors, and make sure you have a spare bucket of water to hand in case you have to put out a fire quickly.


  • Basin, bucket…something to hold water in and float a fire on!!!
  • Sticks and string. Could be dry wood of thin branches that you cut.
  • Scissors.
  • Fire starting supplies like tinder and matches. Maybe a home-made firelighter.

Now we are going to make a raft out of sticks and string. It might be a good time to practice your clove hitches and square lashings! It’s not essential by all means, so if you can’t tie fancy knots, don’t let it spoil your fun.

Obviously the better the raft is tied together, the higher chance it has of staying together.

So, here’s the start.

Next, we’ll built up the body of the raft. Place a row of sticks over the top of your frame and wrap the string around the ends and the cross-piece below.  Keep using your string and sticks until you have a floor over the raft. 

Like this……

Now we need to build up our fire.

Tinder at the bottom, cotton wool with a bit Vaseline is ideal. Anything you know will work. It’s a fun experiment not a University degree course in fire lighting!!!
Build your dry stick in a “hashtag” shape.

Choose your preferred fire lighting method, be it matches, lighter of Swedish fire steel.

(There’s no photos as I got carried away with myself and couldn’t wait to light it. Yes, I’m an adult and fire still excites me!!)

Now if you’ve built you raft well it should hold together. See how long you can keep it going for.

Contributed by the Bushcraft team