The Most Useful Piece of Equipment You Can Own

Note: This article may contain commentary or the author's opinion.

Usually when you read up on a survival site about equipment it’s some fancy thing that costs a couple of hundreds of dollars. While we all love the latest tech and gear, sometimes the simplest things are the best. After all, if you only have one part, that’s less parts to break down later. What is this wondrous piece of gear I’m talking about? It’s a tarp. I’m going to give you several uses for a tarp.

  • Obviously, a tarp is the primo choice for making a shelter. You can make an A frame shelter, a teepee, a lean to, or even a geodesic dome if you’re creative enough.

  • They also make a really awesome ground cover in a survival situation. That way when you’re lying on the ground you don’t get the wet from the earth.
  • It can be modified to become a rain poncho. You can hold it up over you to keep the rain off and if there’s two of you, depending on the size of the tarp, it can work for both.
  • If you dig a hole and place it inside, you can catch rainwater. The tarp will act as a barrier in order to keep dirt out of your fresh rainwater.

  • If you fold one in half and hang it between two trees, it becomes a hammock. When in a survival situation it typically is better to sleep off the ground if possible.
  • If you have one of those bright orange tarps that are typically sold for hunters, you can lay it down on the ground flat as a signal for help.
  • Should you be injured and have friends with you, one folded in half or more can be fashioned into a type of stretcher.
  • You can use it to bring a large animal to your camp by rolling the animal onto the tarp and then dragging the tarp to the camp.
  • A tarp can work as a shower curtain went out of doors to keep some privacy.
  • It might work as a sail on a raft. It could even be strung up on a disabled motorboat.
  • With a camouflaged colored tarp, you can use it to cover your vehicle and supplies, then toss some branches and leaves over top in order to disguise it better. In the same line of thinking you can use this as a blind when hunting.
  • It can be used as an emergency blanket although it doesn’t work as well as something designed for that purpose.
  • You can make a sack out of it. Place the goods that you want to carry in the center of the tarp. Fold and wrap the goods well and use the grommets to tie the pack closed with rope. Double the rope to make shoulder straps.
  • It can be used to make a pit trap. Dig a hole big enough for the animal you’re interested in trapping and place it over the hole. A camouflage one works better obviously but any will do.

So, as you can see, it is a very versatile tool to have in your bug out bag.  I would recommend more than one if you have the room.

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