Survival use for trash bags – Some Ideas

Garbage bags are all over the place, they litter our streets and they’re produced in the millions so they are everywhere.  Luckily they’re not just good for being thrown away after being filled with garbage, there’s other uses for them that just need a bit of imagination, here’s a few prompts.

Here’s one of our regular survival tips from survival expert James Manderville.

Emergency poncho


Plastic rubbish bags (garbage bags), particularly the large, heavy-duty type, are exceptionally useful in survival situations. Staying warm and dry is a priority when exposed to the elements, particularly if you don’t know how long it will be until you have access to shelter and heat. Cutting a hole in the top of a large plastic bag and slipping your head through it instantly makes it a rain jacket and windbreaker.


But that’s just the beginning of the uses of a rubbish bag. They can also be split open and used as protection from the sun.

They make a good internal lining for a debris shelter.

They can be filled with leaves for use as a pillow or mattress, or simply as something to sit or lie on that will keep you from getting wet on the damp ground.

They can be filled with snow and left to melt for water and they can be used as a liner in a hole to catch rainwater.


They are an effective covering for a backpack to keep it dry during a shower or storm.

A heavy-duty rubbish bag can even be filled with air and used as a flotation aid to assist in river crossing. Several bags can be used to make a raft.




Thanks to James Manderville for this survival tip.  Jame is an ex-Army survival instructor and runs the popular survival website site Survival Expert. He has many years experience in difficult terrain, notably the Amazon, the African bush and climbing in various mountain regions including the Drakensburg Mountains and the Andes



jack-beckett is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival