Improvised stretcher

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A stretcher, is used to move patients who need medical care, it is carried by two or more people which reduces the load each person carries.

Carries are useful to move the patient out of immediate danger but are hard work - this is a better way to evacuate a patient longer distances like when needing to get a scout with a sprained ankle to an extraction point on a hike.

Improvised stretchers are made up with available materials with the patrol at the time... and as always it is better to practice improvising before you actually need it - Be prepared!


Core to the improvised stretchers are:

Improvised stretchers

Stave and shirts

Use two scout shirts (or jackets) and put the staves through the sleeves. This is a reasonable stretcher and is better suited to lighter scouts and cubs.

Staves and ropes

Takes some time to make - and need some cover (like a blanket) to prevent the ropes from biting into the patient.


  • Two Scout staves,
  • Two short staves,
  • Four x 2.5m ropes (the type normally wrapped around a scout stave when hiking!),
  • One long rope.

Only rope

Staves and blanket

Probably the quickest and most effective improvised stretcher to use, make sure

  • there is GOOD overlap on the two sides of the blanket,
  • the overlap is on the upper surface of the stretcher (directly beneath the patient).