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Fast & Simple Ultralight Shelter Using Rain Poncho Or Tarp

From original article: November 10th, 2012

Fast and Easy Survival Poncho Shelter


If you need to bug out or you just love to go backpacking, you will certainly need some sort of shelter on your trip. Especially for survivalists, who may one day leave their home and belongings behind and head for the hills, a shelter is a necessity. But most tents are either way too heavy or just too expensive for most people. And there is the space that a shelter takes up in your backpack. Here is a demonstration using a rain poncho or a plain old plastic tarp to make a very simple ultralight DIY shelter.

You can make a field shelter with just about any square piece of material as long as it is waterproof and wind resistant. The idea is to have a shelter that takes up no extra space in your backpack, is easy to set up and is ultralight. This shelter will provide you and your backpack protection from the rain. It is also a proven bug proof shelter.



Simple Poncho Survival Shelter


First, find yourself a nice clearing right up against a tree. In a thunderstorm, you cannot use a tree due to danger of lightning strikes. In this case you could use your trekking pole or a stick pushed into the ground. The idea is to provide a place for your backpack to lean up against so it will not fall over.




This part is optional, but I like to first lay down a ground tarp to protect myself and my gear from ground moisture and cold. The tarp also protects your sleeping bag from snagging on sticks and stones on the ground.


Laying out the ground tarp


Now prop your backpack up against the tree, trekking pole or stick. Get your poncho or tarp and place one of the narrow ends over the top of your backpack and tuck it in a little so it stays snug. Use some carabiners to fasten your poncho to the backpack on the top and both sides.




Laying out a poncho shelter




Fasten your poncho shelter to your backpack


The image above shows how to fasten the poncho to the backpack. The image also shows you what it should look like when you have the poncho covering your backpack. The poncho should be tucked in at the top some and covering the backpack around the sides completely so the backpack is no longer visible.

Now stake out or tie down the two ends at the foot as shown in the photo below. Stretch the poncho so there is no slack and the rain can run right off at the foot area. To get in and out, simply slide under the poncho up close to your backpack and snuggle in for the night.



Poncho shelter


If it is raining out, you should tuck the ground tarp up inside the poncho to keep water from running into your shelter. Clip it to your backpack using one of the eyelets on the tarp. To get in, simply undo one side of the ground tarp from the backpack, slip in and re-attach the tarp to your backpack. Now you have a water proof and bug proof ultra light survival shelter.

In the video I said it was a 5 minute shelter, but honestly it only took me about 3 minutes to set it up from the minute I took off my pack to the minute I was settled inside. The rest was me demonstrating how it works. See for yourself above.

The only important thing to consider is your height when choosing a poncho or tarp for this shelter. The poncho needs to be at least a foot longer than you so it can cover your backpack and yourself.

You can watch the video here: Watch the video now  Poncho shelter cross between bivy sack and GI poncho shelter


Check out my outdoor and survival channel for more exciting videos: TR Tech Tactical And Survival


Feel free to ask any questions or get help with your project on our Discussion and support forum

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Troy Reid


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