5 Ways to Survive using a Bin Bag

When you are preparing to go walking, taking a survival kit with you is crucial as you don’t want to end up stranded in a disastrous situation. There are many items that would come to mind first when putting together a survival kit, but one of the most overlooked pieces of kit is probably the humble bin bag.

There are many things you can do with a bin bag and after the essentials such as food and water, they are probably one of the most versatile additions to any survival kit. Here are just a few things you could use a bin bag for if you are in a sticky situation:


1. Use it as a Rain Mac

Bin Bag Mac

It is very simple to use a bin bag as a waterproof jacket, simply hold the bag up in front of you and pinch the bag where your nose would be. You can then push a hole through the front of the bin bag just big enough for your face to fit through. Push your arms through the corners and there you have it. It is important to never put the bin bag over your head until you have created the hole for your face.


2. Medical purposes

A bin bag can help in a variety of medical situations and is not to be underestimated. If you have a bandage over a wound, putting a bin bag over it can help keep it dry. When you’re feeling cold, a bin bag can help offer an additional layer of warmth by trapping heat on your skin. If you need to keep a part of the body cool, simply fill the bag with ice and hold it to the skin. A bin bag can also be used as a sling for a broken arm or as a tourniquet for severe bleeding.


3. Food and Drink

Bin Bag Water Survival

It may be surprising to think that a simple bin bag can be used when you need food and drink, but when you need to survive; you would be amazed how useful it can be. If you need water, dig a hole in the ground and line it with a bin bag to help collect rain water if you have no containers. You can also use a bin bag to carry water from streams or pools. Just as with water, a bin bag can be used to store and transport food, but the best thing you can use it for is a trap. They can be used to net fish and bugs and can also be used to quickly catch birds and small animals such as rabbits.


4. Build a Shelter and Keep Warm

If you are stuck out in the wild and you know that you may well be there as night falls, it is important to make a shelter to shield yourself from the elements and wildlife around you. To create a shelter, cut the bag down one long side and long the bottom, then using duct tape, or string, secure the bag using a tree branch or rock to cover you.

If you already have a shelter, bin bags can help to line it and keep it waterproof. If you need something to lie in, simply stuff the bin bag with leaves and debris, and for a sleeping bag all you need to do is wrap yourself up well in a bin bag or two.

Bin Bag Shelter



5. Floatation Device

If you come across a body of water on your trip, or even get caught in a particularly lethal storm, bin bags can be used to keep you afloat. Simply fill the bags with air and twist and tie them shut. Heavy grade lined bags are very buoyant and if you hold one under each arm they will help you to float. You could also attach them to rafts to aid in buoyancy.


  • It’s best to carry heavy grade lined bags for maximum protection
  • Bright yellow bags are more visible and can be used for a signalling too

If you are looking for more walking and hiking survival tips then check out the rest of our guide…

Walking Safety GuideHere

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