Chapter 17 of "Brian's Winter" revolves mostly around Brian's struggle to retrieve a survival pack from the crashed plane. The plane is partially submerged in a lake located in the middle of the Canadian wilderness, where it crashed, stranding Brian in the beginning of the story.
In the opening portion of chapter 17, Brian is working to rebuild his shelter after a tornado tore through his camp the night before. As he is about to lie down to rest after completing his shelter, he remembers that the plane may contain a survival pack. Brian resolves to retrieve the pack the following day.
The next morning, Brian realizes that he has to traverse the open water of the lake that is separating him from the plane. He decides to build a raft so he can float across to the plane. Brian struggles for a time as he tries to figure out how to lash together the logs of his soon-to-be raft. He eventually settles on weaving branches between the logs to hold them together.
Once he completes the raft, Brain hauls it to the edge of the water. However, building the raft and lugging it to the water's edge took most of the day, so Brian decides to paddle out to the plane in the morning. The following day, Brian makes his way out to the plane on the raft in search of the survival pack.