If you spend as much time outside as I do, sooner or later you’ll get caught in the rain. So what can you do when the weather turns foul, and you forgot your rain gear at home?
Trash Bag Poncho **

The basic and multi-use trash bag is a hero when it comes to survival tasks. Lay a trash bag in a hole and catch the rain. Cover the roof of your shelter with it to minimize leaks. If it’s the standard black trash bag, you can even use it to melt snow for drinking water.

These are all fine uses, but my most commonly used application of the trash bag is as a poncho. We’ve all seen the guy who has a trash bag with three holes ripped in the end (one for the head and two for the arms), but let me suggest a more storm worthy option. Rip just one hole in the end of the bag, and leave the hole tight enough to barely poke your face through, keeping the top of your head covered.

In cool or cold conditions, insulate your poncho. If you remember our post on adding insulation to your clothing a few months back, (link) you can perform the same trick with the trash bag. Tie the bottom of the bag shut at your hips and rip the face opening large enough so that you can stuff insulation into the bag. Start filling this contraption with grass, leaves, or any other insulating materials that you have nearby. Now you have shelter from the rain, from the wind and from cold temperatures.

If you’re not packing a trash bag in your survival kit or first aid gear, I hope this post will convince you to make the addition.

Tell us about your craftiest improvised rain gear in the comments below.