Bug out bags are a hot topic in the prepping and survival world. Everybody has their own ideas about what is most important to put into the bag that will aid in your survival. It is easy to assume you need everything except the kitchen sink. You don’t. Experts will warn against packing so much gear you end up encumbered and won’t make it further than a mile or two before you are tossing things out of your pack so you can actually move.
The key is to pack items that have numerous uses. You can’t afford to pack gear that only serves one purpose. A survival poncho is one item nearly every prepper agrees needs to be included in a bug out bag or in a survival stash. It is one of the most valuable pieces of gear you can add to your supply and it weighs almost nothing and takes up very little space when folded properly.
These are 10 ways you can use a survival poncho. There are sure to be more if you open your mind and think out of the box.
1. Shelter / Tent
Ponchos can double as a shelter or tent. The water-repelling material makes them an ideal choice for a quick A-frame shelter. Use a couple of branches to set up the frame and drape the poncho over the top. Use rocks to hold down the sides to block drafts from coming in.
2. Ground Cover
Ground barriers are a necessity. Putting your poncho on the ground over the top of a pile of leaves or pine needles can help keep you dry, a little more comfortable and ultimately preserve your body temperature.
3. Sleeping Bag
Your poncho can also act as a sleeping bag. It is important you are completely dry before you use the poncho as a bag or blanket. Cover the poncho with dried leaves or pine needles for extra insulation.
4. Water Bladder
Use the poncho to transport water by forming a bowl with the material. Be careful you don’t overload the poncho and end up ripping it. You can use the poncho to scoop water out of a lake and carry it back to camp for purification.
5. Keep wounds dry
If you have a wound that needs to stay dry, wrap it with gauze or bandage it with sterile material from your first aid kit. Wrap a portion of the poncho around the area to keep it dry, which will speed healing.
If you have set up camp and can’t keep all your gear inside your tent, use the survival poncho to protect your supplies from rain or snow.
Use your poncho as a makeshift basket to collect nuts, berries and plants you forage. You could also transport firewood by making a basket and tossing it over your shoulder to haul back to camp.
8. Wind Block
If wind is an issue, use cordage to tie your poncho between two trees to create a wind block. If you just need a quick block to get your fire going, have somebody hold the poncho over the area until your fire catches.
9. Trail Marking
Shred the poncho to use as trail marking strips. If you are going out hunting or checking out the area, leave a marked trail so you can find your way back by tying strips of the poncho to trees.
10. Transport a Kill
If you have been fortunate enough to take a deer or other large animal, put the animal on the poncho and drag it back to camp.
Because ponchos are so light and serve many purposes, it makes sense to pack several in your bag and in your vehicles. Never leave home without your survival poncho. <<