Monday, June 8, 2015

Survival 101: Tarp Uses for Emergency Situations

Every emergency kit — whether stashed in the trunk of the car or stuffed in your hiking pack — should contain a tarp. There are endless reasons why tarps are one of the most reliable and affordable emergency supplies available, so don’t get caught in a dangerous situation without one. Here are a few ways a tarp can help save your life when you’re in a bind.

Shelter from the storm: Tarps are easily one of the simplest and most affordable ways to construct a protective shelter on the fly. Because they’re so compact, they can be carried in your hiking, camping or wilderness survival kit easily without adding too much extra bulk or weight. You can use just about any structure, like a tree or ledge, to support the construction of your makeshift tent. Always choose a tarp with grommets and carry rope in your pack to make the process move quickly.

Protection from the elements: Having adequate protection from the elements can help your body maintain a safe core temperature. Exposure to rain, wind and snow can cause conditions like hypothermia, frostnip/frostbite, loss of vision and other compromising conditions. Always choose a UV-resistant, waterproof tarp — such as a polyethylene tarp — to help reinforce the tarp’s ability to shield you from extreme weather conditions.

Warmth when it’s most vital: In addition to reliable sheltering, tarps can also be used as an emergency blanket. They can help trap in essential heat so that your body maintains a healthy temperature until rescue. In situations where sun exposure is a concern, tarps can effectively filter out broad-spectrum UV rays to keep you shielded from the damaging effects of the sun.

Additional applications: Tarps, especially brightly colored yellow or orange tarps, can also be used as a flagging device to help alert rescuers of your location. Additionally, they provide safe, dry temporary flooring, reliable covering of your food/supply storage and can be even used to create a water basin for collecting rainwater.


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