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By way of the Manteau (Via Poncho, not Pancho Villa)

OK - So much for the clever title... We're here to talk about the all-in-one, really inexpensive (alright, darn it - cheap!) wonder tool for emergencies, survival and comfort: The Poncho.

For as little as 74¢ each, these thingamajigs can be your salvation in a storm, and much more.

Here are some interesting uses for a poncho:

Use the poncho as a bag: Ever find yourself in need of a bag? We're not just talking about in an emergency - what if you are out and about, then the bag you are carrying precious cargo in bursts? Or you find a pile of free "what-evers" you want to collect? Well if you have your emergency ponchos stashed in your purse, backpack, glove box, desk, wherever - just tie off the neck and arms and BAM! You've got a large plastic bag!

 In an emergency, these are great for water collection, portage, and storage: Water is the most essential survival need. It can be scarce in survival situations. A poncho can be used to collect night-time dew, rainwater, or you can fashion it into a bladder for carrying or storing fresh water from a clean water source.

 A Poncho as a Tarp: Whether you need it to catch fallen items or protect from moisture below, or avoid dropping items or rain from above, what is a poncho but a sewn ‘sealed up tarp? Well... if you need to spread it out, just it open and just it flat!

 A Poncho can be Shelter: Open up and drape over a cord as a makeshift tent or shelter!

 Protection from the cold and wind: Warmth is critical to life and comfort - wind can pierce the warmest woolens, but these ponchos block the breeze and keep you snug as well as dry.

 First Aid: with a poncho - while everyone should have a good first aid kit with them at all times, there are situations one may find where improvisation is critical to first aid care giving.  A poncho can be used for a great number of first aid purposes, you can use as a sling, swathe, wrap, or tourniquet. If you must move the injured person, you can use it as a stretcher/drag/tow thingy. You can even make the same water bag mentioned above and fill with cold stream water to use as a cold compress!

 Emergency Signaling: Ponchos are often obnoxiously bright and can be used for signaling your location, waving or placing in a high location (on a peak, up a tree) to alert overhead searchers to your whereabouts,  and can also use to send smoke signals, or even as a trail marker.

 Cord/Rope: Ponchos materials have great tensile strength when twisted into a rope! Since quality ponchos are made from rip-resistant nylon or PVC, they are strong enough to turn into cords you can use for anything that needs to be tied. Just use scissors to cut them into long strips and braid if you need thicker/stronger!

 Shade: We typically think of ponchos for rain - but they are really useful protection against sun, too... set up a lean-to, canopy, or just hold over your head for protection from the sun's heat and UV rays.

 Bedding: Yep - in a pinch you can use a poncho as a pillow or mattress. Just stuff with leaves or extra clothing. Ponchos can also serve as make-shift Sleeping bag, or as a Sleeping bag cover, or bag liner!

 Sail: Sound far-fetched? Not really - a sail can be used to help float your way to safety on the raft you just lashed together with the poncho-made cording above, or can add a sail to a sled or drag you've fashioned to help bear the weight of your supplies or an injured person you are pulling along as you send your way to safety.

While we can't spend a week writing this article, there are many, many more creative uses for a poncho. We've listed some here for you to use your imagination... if you don't "get it", write to us and ask us to explain how you would use a poncho for any of these in particular:

Bear-proof food storage (tie in a tree using rope), Bellows for fire, Blanket, Body Bag, Bug-out bag cover, Gather fruit, berries and nuts, Gear raft or float, gloves / Hand Protection, Greenhouse, Hammock, Haul / Drag firewood, Insulation, Latrine bag (bucket liner), Mask (as in dust/protective, not Halloween - although there could be some fun ideas for that, too!), Mattress, Minnow trap, Padding, Papoose, for Patch and/or repair, Privy privacy, Sandbag, Scarecrow, Seat cushion, Shoe liner / Shoe Repair / Waterproofing  shoes, Sled, Sling seat, Solar shower/water heater, Splint padding, Waste or trash bag, Window covers... we could go on...

Oh, yeah - you can use it as a poncho, too.
Wow - what do you think? A good investment for 74¢?

One-Size-Fits-All Disposable Rain Ponchos serve a myriad of uses - Rain Suits, too!

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