Zeltbahn floats and stretchers

Floats made of Zeltbahnen

Two triangular shelter quarters buttoned together to form an improvised float

To make an improvised floatation device, two Zeltbahnen were first buttoned together along their bottom edges as shown in the diagram. Some one and a half sheaves of straw (reeds, rushes or similar) were then laid along the long axis and tightly rolled. The ends of the roll were then tightly folded and buttoned together or, preferably, tightly pulled together by threading a guy rope through the eyes and tied. This bundle was finally tied together like a parcel until it measured some 1.8 x 0.6 x 0.4 metres.

The water resistance of the bundle and, therefore, its ability to float could be improved by tightly tying it in two more triangular shelter quarters.


Zeltbahn used as a sling to carry wounded

A single Zeltbahn could be folded and its corners rolled to form a simple sling. Although not very comfortable, this arrangement could be used to carry a wounded person a short distance. To spread the load between two bearers, a pole could be used and the Zeltbahn corners rolled and tied or buttoned in a similar way.


Two Zeltbahnen used to make an improvised stretcher

Two triangular shelter quarters could be buttoned together along their side edges with the central seams parallel and the tip of one facing the bottom edge of the other. They were then folded along the central seams and the other side edges also buttoned together. This formed a rectangle of two layers of shelter quarter with the central seams on each long side. Two poles could be pushed through the shelter quarters to form an improvised stretcher.

Copyright © 2003 David Gregory

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