If a disaster strike and you need to flee, what would you take with you? There is a lot of debate about what to pack in your survival bag, but there is one item you shouldn’t omit: a plastic tarp. Though light and compact, a plastic tarp can perform a multitude of tasks and very well may save your life in survival situations.
1. Emergency Shelter.
With just a plastic tarp and a bit of para-cord, you can make a great survival shelter to protect you against the elements. One of the easiest emergency shelter to make is the Tarp Tent. You just tie the para-cord between two trees and drape the tarp over it and secure the ends to create a tent.
2. Trapping Body Heat.
A plastic tarp can also work wonders for keeping you warm in survival situations. You don’t want to wrap yourself in plastic tarp though. This will make you sweat, and then you will get wet – which will make you colder. Instead, put the plastic tarp between two blankets. Then wrap yourself in the blankets. This sandwich will help you retain body heat.
3. Tarp Stretcher.
One of your team members has gotten injured and cannot walk. How do you carry them to safety? Plastic tarps are surprisingly strong and can make a stretcher. You will need to long, sturdy branches or sticks to serve as the stretcher base and can just wrap the tarp around them.
4. Ant Egg Collection.
Did you know that ant eggs are tasty and nutritious? And, with the help of a plastic tarp, you can easily collect them all. Fold over the edges of the tarp as in the picture. Then find an ant hill, dig it up, and dump all of the contents (ants and dirt) onto the center of the tarp. The ants will scramble to save the eggs — and carry all of the eggs into the “safety” of the folds around the tarp. After they are done scrambling, you can just gather up the eggs and eat them.
5. Create An Animal Trap.
This only works if you dig a hole, which means you will need a shovel or something to dig with and probably waste a lot of energy in the process. However, you could be rewarded with a nice rabbit for dinner. Just dig your hole, loosely cover it with the tarp, and put some bait on top of the tarp.
6. Yukon Pack.
Did you have to flee without grabbing your survival backpack? Hopefully you did have time to grab a tarp and some para-cord, because it can be fashioned into a backpack.