In a survival situation, a small backpack that can transform to different uses besides simply carrying items will help your odds of survival. Here are instructions for making a lightweight and durable multi-use survival bag.

Project Steps

Collect all required materials.

Lay out all the material and lay the cotton towels with the edges overlapping to form the shape of the tarpaulin layer.

Sew the edges of the towels together to form one large cotton sheet.

Lay out the tarpaulin lining and draw a 5.5 foot diameter circle.

You can cut a 2.25 ft length of rope, pin one end to the center of the fabric, and then create a 5.5 ft diameter circle.

Cut the circle out of the material.

Using the tarpaulin as a blueprint, draw similar circles on the cotton, emergency blanket, and plastic liner layers.

Lay the fabric in this order from bottom to top: tarpaulin, cotton, emergency blanket, and plastic liner.

Line up the layers then drop the rope on the edges.

Roll the material over the rope and hold down the edge material with clips.

Carefully stitch the inner portion of the folded edge using a sewing machine.

Ensure that you leave a space where the rope loops out of the fold.

Flip the material over with the tarpaulin liner on top.

Find the center of the circle and draw a 9 inch radius circle about this point.

Lay the velcro on this circle and hold it down with duct tape.

Sew the inner and outer edges of the velcro (i.e., inner and outer edges of the velcro circle). Ensure that stitching is through all the layers.

Cut 8 strips 6 inches in length from the backpack strap material.

Approximately a foot from the edge of the circle, sew one of the strips in a loop fashion onto the fabric.

Repeat the process above for 7 more loops and maintain an equal distance between loops (approximately 6.5 inches on the outer diameter of a circle with a foot smaller diameter than the larger circle).

Cut 2 strips 4 feet in length from the backpack strap material.

Loop the cut strap through one of the loops and then sew the ends together.

Repeat the process above using a loop adjacent to the one previously used.

Using the knife, cut small holes every 2 feet on the outer edge of the folded edges.

Use these holes to pull the rope through and scrunch the material to create a bag-like appearance. This will require some strength and time.

Using the materials listed in this guide, the bag will stay slightly open.

Cut another 10 foot length of rope. Thread this section of rope through all the loops.

Tighten the rope once it is through all the loops.

This should create a closed bag.

The survival bag has multiple uses, the first of which is an actual back pack.

If the ropes are cut, the bag can open up and become a blanket or sleeping bag.

Utilizing the existing straps and rope, a makeshift shelter can be built by tying the ends to objects in the environment. The layers reflect back body heat and also have insulating properties, and this will provide a very lightweight and durable shelter.

Flipped over, the reflective material can be used as a long-distance solar signal.

If a hole is cut along the inner velcro circle, a person can place their head through it and a warm waterproof poncho is created.