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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Survival Preparedness: Poncho Bivouac

ACU Poncho with Ripstop
This is no Sears Poncho. As you can see in the photo there are eyeholes at the corners which can be utilized to connect the poncho with para-cord to makeshift stake. You can then secure the top of the poncho to two trees or other free standing objects, This creates a quick and effective lean-to in the event of an emergency, when you need protection from the elements. The Army Study Guide has some great diagrams for a quick view of this technique.

The poncho proves to be a great protection when you must operate in foul weather and need a lightweight layer to stay dry. This particular poncho is designed to military specifications and offers 35 square feet of coverage. It is also manufactured with a Ripstop, so small tears are put to a halt before spreading through the rest of the fabric. 

You can roll up the poncho into a tight ball to take up little space in a pack or simply secure it to the outside of your bag for easy access. This simple layer can prove effective in trapping body heat and keep out moisture so that you stay dry and warm in rainy conditions. It may seem very basic, but the limited shelter it can provide as a makeshift bivouac can garner big returns in comfort, if stuck outdoors over a wet rainy night. 

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