TOTM - February 2020 Emergency Outdoor Shelters

Discussion in 'Survival Topic of the Month' started by Dunerunner, Feb 1, 2020.

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  1. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    We know that exposure to the elements can not only debilitate you but if conditions are severe enough, it can lead to death. This may not be a factor in Hawaii, as I did that for two months. Tent living on the beach.

    If required to survive with few resources, what kind of shelter would you construct? A lean-to, Tee Pee, a woven sided hut? What bushcraft skills would be needed, what tools and materials? What would be the most favorable location for your local?

    Let's say this is an emergency, you are equipped with whatever you have in your Bug Out bag. You are forceably displaced by civil unrest or natural disaster and decide to retreat into the wilderness to survive.
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  2. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Living in New Hampshire, my car bug out bag has a belt axe and a small 8 inch folding wood saw. I would go to a small hemlock area, pick a good tree, make a lean to out of one of the lower limbs and cover it with branches cut with the saw and tied with para cord. The local white tail deer and turkeys have learned that is the best way to survive the cold and to stay cool and hide out in the summer. Spot I have picked out is hard to walk thru in the summer, close to a lake, has a couple of caches, has small wood for rocket stove and biggest problems would be bugs and ticks. Need deet, mosquito net for head during the day and a bigger one for sleeping, a tarp for shelter between the layers of boughs on the roof or for a ground cloth would help. Sleeping bag and wool blanket should keep it livable for almost all year. Might need some heat a few nights a year and a small area in the shelter under a poncho might retain enough body heat to allow you to survive even the coldest night as the wind will be blocked by the trees. At my age a sleeping mat to soften the ground or a layer of boughs under me would keep me off the ground and warmer. Biggest problem would be tracks, snow in winter or in grass or mud in the summer. Would use boughs rather than tarp, much harder to see and as thick and close to the ground as the existing boughs are, a slightly thicker area stands out less than a tarp. It has been 70 years now, but my brother and cousins did just that as kids, made a "fort" in the swamp and slept there nights. Of course we went home for chores and meals so it was hardly a survival experience. Best lesson learned as a kid from elders, the biggest dangers in the woods are dead limbs and fire, one can fall out of a tree and kill you, the other can get out of control in seconds and wood ashes will smolder for hours and then a breeze bring it back to life. As an eight year old with several other kids of about the same age, found out that even a small fire in the summer would bring worried adults out to find out what was causing that smoke or where was that smell coming from. Nothing like a few hundred acres of dry corn and wheat fields, a few hundred acres of dry woods, etc, to make one very paranoid.

    As an aside and perhaps off subject, here is a copy of the old Boy Scout book when it meant something. We built shelters when I was in Scouts, but older boys passed knowledge down on what worked in our area, so never read about it that I remember. Don't know if in resources, but don't think it is copywritted anymore.

    Boy Scout Handbook 1911
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2020
  3. Tempstar

    Tempstar Monkey+++

    Did this once when I broke my oil pan. 35 degrees with a strong breeze and almost dark. I built a lean-to beside the car, laid on cardboard and bundled up for a miserable night. I found that cardboard makes great insulation as I woke up and had to shed a layer.
    My take away was to have stuff in the car should this happen again. I also learned that a non functioning vehicle will soon become a cold damp coffin, thus my decision to move outside. I didn't light a fire because it was too windy, something that is common on the coast. Now I have a bag with 2 space blankets, a moving blanket, hatchet, light windbreaker jacket, lighters and matches, 1 liter of water, paracord and duct tape in each vehicle.
    Tip: Harbor Freight has cheap moving blankets really cheap that are very warm.
  4. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    Tons of videos of building winter/snow shelters like this

    I carry a so-called avalanche shovel in the auto - breaks into 3 pieces
    and can be used to make a hasty snow trench shelter

    These work well, even if uncomfortable, having spent a few nights in such a shelter myself.
    I've posted about the swag I leave in the car here - Shelter Sleep System as this site hosts photos.
    With these and my Sterno Inferno stove setup, I'd be good for a day or two - if the snow is deep enough.

    and of course, there is still a cardboard box - Living in a cardboard box - not as much fun as you might think
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  5. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    There is the Bothy bag - something I see now used in the UK/EU

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  6. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grampa Monkey

    I carry around a Wiggy arctic weight parka and pants in what ever car/truck i'm driving , and a Minus -50 Arctic weight sleeping bag in the plane.
    I see Cardboard listed, yes, it works quite well, and wadded up news paper ( Or any paper) also does an excellent job keeping in the warmth! Combine that with one of the good space blankets and you should have no trouble at all!
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  7. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    I like my wiggy gear.
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  8. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grampa Monkey

    Would LOVE to have a Wiggy arctic weight sleeping bag, but man, they are heavy! Still..................
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  9. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

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  10. mysterymet

    mysterymet Monkey+++

    One of those walk around sleeping bag snowsuit things? I love them and want one really badly!
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  11. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

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  12. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    On line, many years ago I found a retreat camp ground that had "used" wiggy bags for sale. Used only one season and they were in excellent condition as the used new at the start of each season so I purchased one and still have it. Nope don't remember the name.

    Any way I also purchased from Wiggy a sleeping pad, and slept for 3 weeks in the middle of the Fourteeners, Co. with no problem with nights into the 10s.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2020
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  13. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grampa Monkey

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  14. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    North Face goose down twin mummy bags, zip together and stored in the shop in metal containers
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  15. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    I will respectfully disagree about a vehicle being a poor place to shelter. Quite the opposite, they are superb and I’d argue better than a lean-to in the wind. You just need to know how to do it.
    I used to camp out in my Toyota SUV both winter and summer, even with my girl friend inside. The car was nice and warm, snuggly and most importantly, dry regardless of how hard it rained or the snow blew.
    Your vehicle likely got damp or wet and that was cold because you probably didn’t have adequate ventilation. One’s respiration puts out a lot of moisture and vehicles are so tight anymore it gets trapped and things get damp from condensation .
    The trick to ventilation is put a tarp over the car and bungee cord it down so windows can be opened a crack or even wide open and the tarp keeps the rain and wind from blowing in. You can even use a poncho or rain coat, open the door, drape it over the top half of the door on the outside and then close it holding the coat in place.
    Use a sticks or box or something to hold the bottom away from the windows or door so air can flow up under and into the vehicle. You then adjust the window(s) opening to control the temperature and humidity.
    Cardboard is indeed good insulation. Cut it the same size as the windows and wedge into place on the ones you don’t open for ventilation to substantially increase their R value. Stuff cardboard, spare clothes, wadded up newspapers, etc. on floor, along doors, on dash, in back window for more insulation. If you get enough, it will stay warm enough just from body heat even with some ventilation happening.
    For summer I found these window sceens that you stretch over the door so you can have the windows open and keep the bugs out in summer. Again we’ll do the tarp trick so we can have windows open in the rain so we don’t get condensation from our respiration.
    My winter preparedness box in the back of the truck in addition to water, spare clothes gloves, etc. also includes one of the small portable Buddy heaters, a spare tank ot two and a small CO detector.
    Keep the gas tank always at least half full and if stranded, you are good.

    I have camped in my vehicles in all kinds of weather, 90 degrees down to 10 degrees. I’ve slept in it when 20-30 degrees out dozens of times. In the Toyota, we’d just fold the back seat down and stretch out in back with a sleeping pad and blanket or sleeping bag. We did the same thing in the back of a pickup with a cap on the bed. Worked fine. Other than leg room and the ability to stretch out, I can’t imagine not staying in the vehicle if stranded. You can have much better weather protection plus better protection from critters too including the crawling, slithering, winged, 4 and 2 legged varieties.

    Last edited: Feb 4, 2020
  16. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    Enough vines around here for cordage to build the Taj Mahal...use elephant ears for water proofing, pine sap for glue. Not going to sleep on the ground...too many critters and usually too wet, so a hammock is in order.
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  17. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    You priced Conex buildings lately? I priced a 40ft in Lafayette and again in Lake Chuck
    $3500 delivered from both places,I'm like I just as soon build a shed?
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  18. john316

    john316 Monkey+++

    a very nice copy

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