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Old 10-09-2009, 11:04 PM
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Default Using a rain poncho as a shelter

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Went out to the woods today to take care of something, and made a video on setting up a shelter. There are a couple of things that were skipped, such as using the waist straps as guide lines and how to stop the rain water from going down the middle support rope. But I did not think about those at the time.

The corner guide ropes were cut into lengths about 3 - 4 feet long, and slip knots were tied in everything. And why do I use slip knots? Because I like them.

When I am out hiking, I try to bring at least 2 (prefer 4) heavy duty tent stakes in my pack. These have all kinds of uses and work really well for tying the corners of the tent to.

If your going to spend the night, take the poncho, drop the edge all the way down to the ground, and put pine straw and leaves along the edge. This will help stop the night air, and cold drafts from blowing across you in the middle of the night.

While on a camping trip when I was a LOT younger, my buddy and I cut down a small tree, and left the stump about 2 feet tall. We removed the limbs, notched the stump and set the large part of the tree on the stump - forming a ling 2. We then put a heavy duty tarp over the tree, put leaves and pine straw around the tarp and put our sleeping bags under the tarp.

Even though there was drizzling rain for most of the night, we stayed dry
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Old 10-10-2009, 01:42 AM
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Awesome very informative
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Old 10-10-2009, 02:12 AM
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nice vid kev.
this winter ive been thinking of doing a vid on snow shelter building...

here are a few more vids on shelters and stuff here...

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Old 10-10-2009, 02:44 AM
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Thanks! I learned to appreciate the practicality of the military poncho in basic training in late 1968. ony got better from there. (worse? lol)
Such a simple piece of equipment, so many uses! Eveyone should have a few of these.
Good video.
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Old 12-27-2009, 07:07 PM
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watched the video, great content, kev.
great to have in the BOB. My family all have one and the liner as well. just in case
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Old 12-27-2009, 07:18 PM
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If I was in the wilderness, And the items I had in my pack was just my sleeping bag and a poncho, maybe a tarp, how about just covering your sleeping bag with the tarp or poncho. Wouldnt that be the same as a shelter?
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Old 12-27-2009, 07:25 PM
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Spent many a night under a poncho 'hooch', one of the best pieces of equipment a soldier can have. Agreed....every kit should have at least 1.
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Old 12-27-2009, 07:26 PM
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We've been doing that for the Boy Scouts, it was the buddy system( two carried a pancho and we'd put them together)....same in the Marine Corps( tent shelter halves) Florida, it rains hard, so we almost always have 2 panchos( mostly,we get caught while kayaking). I try to get a fire going ASAP......that helps morale and getting stuff dry. BTw, I like the slip knots too.
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Old 12-27-2009, 07:35 PM
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ahh the memories
Old 12-27-2009, 08:02 PM
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Here's the Go-Lite ponchos on my son and I.

Off to the right, you can see the shelter type we used.

The 6 tie off points around the poncho are fixed with 2 foot pieces of para cord, and staked into the ground. The hood is tied off to a tree branch. The closer to the ground, the warmer and dryer it is. Tight quarters, but good for an emergency. I don't believe it would carry much of a snow load.
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Old 12-28-2009, 10:48 PM
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Really good vid and photos!

The only two downsides to these that I have seen in actual practice is

1. If the wind is coming from the sides or up draft up the mountain they can blow upwards and the rain gets in.

2. No matter what you have a hole in the roof above your head.

That said they are versatile, inexpensive (the army ones) and work in most situations.
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Old 12-29-2009, 06:55 AM
Lou77 Lou77 is offline
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I can't say enough about the poncho liner, ounce for ounce it's warmer than wool. It will keep you warm when wet, dries very quick. When tied into the poncho it's wind and water proof and very light weight.
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Old 12-30-2009, 08:30 AM
skab0311 skab0311 is offline
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The shelter is great, but in the instance you talked about, why not just put the poncho on when it started to rain? Then you and your pack would not have been wet and tired anyway?
Old 12-30-2009, 04:24 PM
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Great info!


rain poncho, rain poncho shelter, shelter, wilderness survival

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