One essential item in any backcountry survival kit? A heavy-duty garbage bag, which you can quickly and easily transform into a potentially life-saving shelter. Here’s how to use a garbage bag for survival:
- Holding the bag sealed end up, cut a slit no longer than your face along one side seam, starting about 8 inches down from the corner. This allows you to use the corner as a hood, providing warmth for your head and protection from wind and rain.
- You may or may not want to cut arm holes, which create two additional entry points for heat-stealing moisture and wind. In dire situations when warmth and protection are essential to survival, your best option is to forgo them.
- Pull the bag over your head, position your face in the hole, and do your best to seal the open bottom beneath you. A sitting position is often most effective. Remember: Comfort is not the goal. Staying alive is.
This column originally appeared in AMC Outdoors. Photo courtesy of Outdoorsafe.com.