Best Rain Ponchos For Prepping and Survival

A rain poncho is useful for a lot of things. beyond just being a coat to wear to keep dry. There are a lot of different options for best rain ponchos out there from your one time use disposable to a made for extended wear military style. I have tried to include a variety of options that suit most adults but I made sure to include some disposables that are kid-sized.


A poncho can be used to make a covering for you to get through bad weather. A lot of people have ridden out some pretty bad storms with just a good poncho.


Something loose and the right color can help you conceal yourself and/or your gear. This means ponchos are also useful for concealing caches while protecting them from the weather too.

Distilling Water Wealers Rain Poncho Em... Best Price: $17.43 Buy New $18.49 (as of 10:05 EDT - Details)

I learned about an interesting method for purifying water. To do this you build a fire and boil water. A poncho can be used to form a tent. You can catch the condensed and dripping water at the edges.

Large Enough For 2 People In A Pinch

Size of the poncho you buy is important. A poncho that is large enough to cover your backpack and you or large enough for someone to get in with you in a bad situation.

Boosts Waterproof Characteristics and Helps Gear Maintain Waterproof Coatings

Even if you have a waterproof bag, a poncho over it is going to help it wear longer and make it less likely that any water leaks in. Just because your bag starts out waterproof during SHTF that doesn’t mean it will stay that way without Scotchguard or better care.

Makeshift Mattress or Pillow

An extra poncho made of nylon or any heavy duty fabric can be made into a mattress or pillow by stuffing it full of leaf litter or whatever dry filling you have on hand.

Curtain or Door For A Wilderness Shelter

A poncho sometimes has reinforced grommets so you can hang it up or attach it to gear. This makes a good door or curtain to keep out Coleman Adult EVA Ponc... Buy New $4.98 (as of 10:05 EDT - Details) bugs, allow for better heat retention, and ensure the most shade. The right color can also help conceal the opening.

Heating Water

In a survival situation, you can put water in a poncho that has been tied correctly and add water. Let the poncho hang in the sun and you will have hot water to wash within less time than you would think if the sun is shining directly. You could poke a hole in it if you wanted but if you don’t want to do that then you can scoop out water if careful.

Sled For Dragging Heavy Loads

A poncho has a smooth surface that in a pinch can make a good sled. If you have to drag someone out for medical attention for example or what if you are hunting during SHTF and need a way to get your kill back to camp? While dragging is going to be very hard on or even ruin the best poncho, it could help you out if you really need to get a load somewhere. This might be a good reason to have more than one if you have room in your bag. A lot of them do not weigh that much and with so many uses why not?

Hunting Blind

Hunting can be harder than what it seems. During a survival situation, you need to take advantage of any opportunity you can to give yourself an advantage. Always remember that even in areas where game seems plentiful, the population is likely going to get depleted fast where there are very many people.

A bit of hunger or the potential of it and a lot more people are going to be out there trying to get what they can. Game quickly becomes Lightweight Rain Gear ... Buy New $8.79 (as of 10:05 EDT - Details) wiser that there are major predators around and that can lead to it being a lot harder to get anywhere near them. Being able to conceal yourself is a major advantage. A poncho of the right color or camo pattern can help you stay totally concealed so you can get the jump on your prey.

Bear Hang

We have a lot of black bears in our area. One thing you always remember when going camping is to hang your food or anything smelly and attractive, in a bag that is high enough and far enough out in a branch so that varmints cannot get into it. I never liked having to hang up trash either but it is better to be safe than sorry. A poncho can be tied into a waterproof bag that you can hang stuff in. This is a useful tip if you forget your regular food/bear hang bag. Some paracord or other cordage is also needed for ease of use but you could just tie a poncho with stuff in it up in a tree and that would be better than nothing.


I hope you are never in a situation where you have to use a decoy but a poncho that is stuffed and clearly visible could throw someone off your trail or buy you the time you need to make a getaway. If it is actually an incident that is turning violent, there is something to be said for making someone expend some of the rounds from their gun, into a decoy rather than finding there mark in you or someone you care about.


If needed you can cut up a poncho that is made of ripstop nylon and use the strips for cordage. This means you can use it as a tourniquet, 4ucycling Raincoat Eas... Buy New $15.99 (as of 10:05 EDT - Details) braid it to make a rope, etc.

Net For Fishing Or Straining

Although it would be anything but ideal, if you needed to you could make holes in a poncho and use it as a fishing net or to strain things. During a survival situation, you sometimes have to just go with what you have.

Emergency/Disposal Versus Heavy Duty

There is something to be said for having a really high-quality poncho and a half dozen of the inexpensive disposable kind that you can fit in a fairly small pocket. They can be used for a lot of things and also make great trade material. This can also allow you to help out others.

Color Considerations

Like anything, there are a lot of different colors out there to choose from. This is something that you need to consider carefully. If you are wanting to go Grey Man, then you want a mild color or camo that blends in. In the case where you want to be seen then the brighter the better. A bright poncho can even be used to help signal for rescue or help. You would be amazed how far away you can see a blaze orange poncho under some conditions. This is another case where you may want one poncho of a light color and one that is bright and visible.


Plastic or PVC ponchos work well except they do not breathe well so you wind up drenched in sweat if you are on the move Ponchos are a little better about this than raincoats because they fit much more loosely in most cases. PVC and plastic are, of course, some of the cheaper options out there. Buauty Rain Poncho Rai... Buy New $21.49 (as of 10:05 EDT - Details)

Disposable Options

These ponchos are great for trade and barter during SHTF. You can stash them in cars, boats, backpacks, purses, etc. There are a variety of colors in a pack. The kid-sized ones offer a more comfortable choice for the little ones in the family. Both packs below do include clear ponchos for when you don’t want a bright color.

Wealers Bulk Pack Emergency Disposable Ponchos 5 Different Colors

Note: You get some clear ponchos too despite the models wearing bright colors.

If you want a lot of ponchos for emergencies or some to have for trading when SHTF. This pack gives you a lot of options because of the color variety. The green and clear are useful when you don’t want to stand out. In a marine environment, the blue might blend in some as well. Red and yellow would be useful for signaling or if you need to stand out for safety reasons like walking on the side of a busy highway or in an area during hunting season. These are disposable ponchos meant for 1-2 uses but like anything, if you are careful you can get more use out of them than they are meant for.

Coleman Adult EVA Poncho, Blue, One size

Coleman still makes some pretty good gear. This is a full-service poncho but it is budget priced. It is a step above a disposable, but it is not military grade so don’t make that assumption. This is a good option for stashing in your car or in a backpack when out hiking. I like that it Snugpak Patrol Poncho ... Buy New $44.95 (as of 10:05 EDT - Details) includes the grommets for hanging or tieing to things.

You can get a Kid sized version of this poncho too.

Lightweight Rain Gear Poncho Emergency Survival Cover Shelter Norwegian Military Surplus

You got to love how small this poncho reduces down to for easy carry. I could just put this in the pocket of some cargo pants even if I needed to. I am a fan of military surplus because it tends to be good quality and made to tackle some ridiculous conditions that a lot of people hopefully will never have to experience. The classic OD green color is perfect for when you want to blend in and keep a low profile. The smaller opening at the face helps keep the weather off of you. It doesn’t have a drawstring on the hood so that is something to be aware of.

Read the Whole Article