Poncho Lean On
It takes only a short time and minimal equipment to build this lean-to. You need a
poncho, 2 to 3 meters of rope or parachute suspension line, three stakes about 30
centimeters long, and two trees or two poles 2 to 3 meters apart. Before selecting the
trees you will use or the location of your poles, check the wind direction. Ensure
that the back of your lean-to will be into the wind.
To make the lean-to–
Tie off the hood of the poncho. Pull the drawstring tight, roll the hood
longways, fold it into thirds, and tie it off with the drawstring.
Cut the rope in half. On one long side of the poncho, tie half of the rope to the
corner grommet. Tie the other half to the other corner grommet.
Attach a drip stick (about a 10-centimeter stick) to each rope about 2.5
centimeters from the grommet. These drip sticks will keep rainwater from
running down the ropes into the lean-to. Tying strings (about 10 centimeters
long) to each grommet along the poncho’s top edge will allow the water to run
to and down the line without dripping into the shelter.
Tie the ropes about waist high on the trees (uprights). Use a round turn and
two half hitches with a quick-release knot.
Spread the poncho and anchor it to the ground, putting sharpened sticks
through the grommets and into the ground.
If you plan to use the lean-to for more than one night, or you expect rain, make
center support for the lean-to. Make this support with a line. Attach one end of the
line to the poncho hood and the other end to an overhanging branch. Make sure
there is no slack in the line.
Another method is to place a stick upright under the center of the lean-to. This
method, however, will restrict your space and movements in the shelter.
For additional protection from wind and rain, place some brush, your rucksack, or
other equipment at the sides of the lean-to.
To reduce heat loss to the ground, place some type of insulating material, such as
leaves or pine needles, inside your lean-to.
Note: When at rest, you lose as much as 80 percent of your body heat
to the ground.
To increase your security from enemy observation, lower the lean-to’s silhouette by
making two changes. First, secure the support lines to the trees at knee height (not at
waist height) using two knee-high sticks in the two center grommets (sides of
lean-to). Second, angle the poncho to the ground, securing it with sharpened sticks,
Poncho Lean On