I can’t even begin to describe the way I feel about ponchos – yes, those things you carry around in your B.O.B like all the time without actually having a chance to use it. I know that my “opening” statement could’ve come out sounding a bit off, but it’s the truth. One the one hand, they’re very useful for a lot of stuff besides rain.
However, I am sometimes annoyed by the fact that a good poncho is heavy as shit and that you never get around to use it. This is the very reason why I’ve made the journey to the all-knowing, and all-seeing Oracle called the Internet, in hopes of finding other uses for that over-sized raincoat.
Have to admit that I was a little bit surprised by the fact that most people who wrote about ponchos tend to emphasize the non-rain-use part, which I think it’s great. Anyway, because most of you are probably thinking about the same thing right now, here are X ingenious ways to use a poncho during an SHTF situation. Enjoy!
- Water collector
When SHTF, water becomes top priority (remember, remember, the rules of threes). Obtaining it might be a bit problematic, but don’t lose hope. While scouting for a water source, lay your poncho in a clearing. You may want to check the weather beforehand to see if there are any chances of rain. If you have Mom Nature on your side, that poncho of yours will soon become a veritable water tower.
- Taking shelter
Besides food and water, you will also need to find shelter. The simplest way to take cover from the elements is to take out your poncho and to turn it into a makeshift tent – just stick a long pole under the hood and get yourself some sack time. You’re going to need it.
- Crafting a mattress
Nothing’s worse than having to sleep on the bare ground. Sure, it’s no delight waiting for the Sandman to come when you’re lying on a thin sheet with rocks prodding you in the back, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can make your own mattress by stuffing your heavy poncho with leaves, grass, fresh moss or pine needles. Snap it shut, place in on the ground, and sleep like a boss.
- Creating a hammock
Since we’re still talking about sleeping, nothing beats the comfort of a hammock. Ever! Well, a hammock’s kind of heavy to carry around, not to mention the fact that it’s a nightmare to make that thing fit inside a backpack. If you’re looking to relax after a long day of hiking, take out your heavy poncho, and use whatever cordage you have on hand to tie it between two trees.
- Shower curtain
Even a seasoned survivalist needs a good shower every now and then. Well, the idea of getting naked even there’s no around for miles can be a bit unnerving, but you can wish that anxiety away by making a shower curtain from your heavy rain poncho. Hang from the nearest tree, get inside, scrub until you drop, and come out a new man or woman.
- No more dripping
As a person who spent most of the summer looking for holes in the roof, I can wholeheartedly say that my heavy poncho spared me a lot of trouble. Sure, the roof still needed patching, but at least I managed to get myself a breather by plugging some of the larger holes with the poncho. Looks like a nasty piece of work, but who’s complaining?
- Red Riding Hood Cosplay
Yes, I know it sounds kinky, but I was, more or less, referring to how you can use your poncho as a basket. There are a lot of goodies lying around the forest and simply not enough hands to collect all of them. So, get into your apple-picking gear and enjoy your foraging.
- Controlling hemorrhages
Although it’s not advisable to use a tourniquet to control the bleeding, sometimes it may be the only way to prevent a person from going into hypovolemic shock (that’s what happens when someone loses more than 20 percent of his blood supply).
If you don’t have anything on had to use as a tourniquet, cut a long strip of poncho material, apply it above the wound, and start twisting with a stick.
- Carrying sick or injured party members
If someone from your hiking groups becomes injured or experiencing life-threatening symptoms, use the heavy poncho as a stretcher to carry him down to base. Don’t forget to get in touch with the local emergency serves and to stay on the line until the operator says that you can hang up.
- Protection against toxic fumes
If you’re about to cross an area which is filled with toxic fumes (a thing that happens very often during a wildfire), get the heavy poncho out of your bug out bag, put it on, cover your face and nose, and pull strings to keep it shut.
- Improv pillow
Being lost in the wild without any hopes of seeing your loved ones doesn’t mean that should give up the comfort of your home. What most non-preppers don’t realize is that we really don’t drink our own piss or eat half-digested berries from bear’s dung in order to survive. Nope, we use our noggins to increase our comfort and increase our chances of getting out alive.
You already know how to fashion yourself a mattress using a heavy one. If you also remembered to pack a light rain poncho, then you have everything you need to create a bedroom fit for a king.
Go around the woods and scavenge soft stuff like pine needles, leaves, moss, grass, soft earth. Put everything inside you light poncho, pull on the strings, put on the mattress and sleep as if you have not a care in the world.
Hope you enjoyed my article on ways to repurpose a poncho. Any thoughts? Hit the comment section and let me know.
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The Lost ways II (4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis)
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