Today I’m going to show you 13 ways to make a shelter out of your poncho.
Every shelter that you’re about to see has its own strengths: some will better protect you from the rain and snow, others from wind and sun.
Of course, there are a lot of ways you can bend the material to make yourself a good shelter, and these are just some of the possibilities. In the end, it all comes down to your adaptability to the situation and place you’re in.
- A military poncho
- A knife
- A rope
- An axe
First I grabbed the rope and cut four smaller pieces out of it. I held onto one of the four ends of the poncho, pinched the material together, and tied a knot at the end, making sure that one of the ends would be longer. (If your poncho has a hole designated for this reason, this step isn’t necessary.) After that, I made a loop at the end of the longer end and did the same with the other three corners.
After that, I cut down branches that formed a Y shape, I used these to secure the poncho in place.
1. The All in One Shelter
First I grabbed a bunch of branches and tied them together with a piece of rope at two different places. I searched for a larger Y-shaped branch, locked one of the sides of the Y between the branches, then pushed it into the ground.
After that, I ended up with this dome shape.
I simply put the poncho over it and secured it by the four corners of the poncho with the loops and the branches.
This is how it looked from inside.
2. The Insulator
First I searched for a piece of branch that I knew would be strong enough, and then I tied the hood part of the poncho onto it. After that, I secured all four corners with the branches and the loops to make it into a shelter.
And from inside…
3. The Sunshade Shelter
For the next shelter, I searched for two trees relatively close to each other. After I found them, I just tied all four of the corners to the branches and tied the hood up higher to protect against rain.
4. The Suspended Lean-To
Using the same two trees, I tied a rope between the two and placed the poncho on top of it, with one side larger than the other. I secured the back side with the Y branches and the top ones to the tree’s branches, making sure that it was lower than the level of the rope that I used to connect the trees.
5. The Poncho Tent
Using the same two trees and the string between the two trees, I was able to make something that resembles the usual shelter form we all know. I simply placed it on the rope and secured it with the Y branches.
It looks pretty cozy to me.
Related: Finding Shelter in the Wild
6. The Vertical Lean-To
I placed one side down on the ground and connected the other to the rope I used before. To make it more secure, I tied it onto the rope at the middle top part of the poncho. This way it wouldn’t fall off. Make sure the rope is high so you get more of a vertical shelter. This is ideal to protect against rain.
And here it is from the side so you can get a clearer understanding.
7. The Horizontal Lean-To
I placed the rope lower and then placed the Y branches a little farther away. This way I can get a more horizontal shelter, which is good against strong winds.
8. The Obtuse Triangle
For the next one, I did something similar to shelter #4 except that although I moved the rope higher and placed it in the same way, letting it hang over a little just like before, this time I attached it a little bit higher than before. This way, if it rains, the rain will pour down the back side of the shelter.This is the view from the front.
These last shelter styles are for those people who get lost in a place without a large number of trees around. All you need is a few branches, and you are ready to rest.
9. The Cauldron
I searched for three branches; two of them were Y shaped like the smaller ones we had before. The third one was a simple straight branch that had all its smaller sprouting branches removed. I first pushed the two Y-shaped branches into the ground then placed the straight branch on top to make something similar to a cauldron holder structure. I placed the poncho on top and secured it to the ground.
It’s simple but effective—perfect to survive a night in the wild.
10. The Diagonal Shelter
This shelter is one of my favorites. It’s easy and only needs your poncho, the four Y branches, and a long, straight branch.
I simply hit the straight branch into the ground then tied one of the ends of the poncho onto it. After that, I tied the other three corners tightly to the ground to get this interesting shelter design.
If you want, you can even lower the size of the entrance when you go to sleep by sliding the loop lower on the branch.
11. The Airplane
For this shelter, I pushed two branches into the ground and hung the poncho up by two of its corners. I then used the Y branches to secure the two other ends.
12. The Ghost Man
This is probably one of the easiest shelters out of all of these. All I did was push a branch down into the ground and place the poncho over it so the hood was holding onto the top of the branch. I secured it and added another smaller branch for the entrance, but this isn’t necessary.
It’s a cool little resting place when you’ve walked for hours and need a minute away from the sun.
13. The Glider
This shelter requires more determination from you but gives you the possibility of only needing the poncho. First I dug a hole approximately my size and made sure I got a few inches deep. I placed the poncho on top and secured it with the Y branches, but as I said before, you don’t need to use this. If you dig deep enough, you can gather enough dirt that it can keep the poncho in place when put on the edge of the poncho. You could also gather some rocks and use those.
As you can see, you don’t need to dig too deep, just enough to snuggle under there.
If you don’t think you will be able to bug out click on the banner bellow to learn how to secure your home from looters.