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Thinking "Out of the Box"

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  • Thinking "Out of the Box"

    When we think "shelter" most of us think tents, tarps, shelter halfs etc...

    However, don't let that thinking limit you. The things listed above are shelter beyond a doubt, but there are others people seem to forget about or not realize. Here are some things to think about depending upon the time of year and your location of course.

    Living in Wisconsin if I can keep the insects/rain off of me during the warm months, the wind/snow/rain off of me during the colder months I will be fine. So what other options are out there? Well they may not be the most comfortable, but they could save your life!

    Here are some things you can use that I almost always carry on me.

    A warm hat. If I'm wearing one during the winter I still carry an extra one. During the warm months I still carry a warm hat for cool nights and it will keep bugs off your head.

    Gloves...same applies to the hat reasons above.

    An uninsulated, waterproof/windproof shell. Parka and pants. Being uninsulated it is light and easily packed.

    During warm weather months I ALWAYS carry a bug net for my head.

    Poncho...this is a priceless item in my opinion and it's uses are numerous. Shelter obviously, but also an item that can be used to collect water, cover your gear or lay gear on, it can be used to drape over you when using a flashlight so you remain hidden, it can be used to carry gear if a pack strap breaks, another layer of protection over you, a blind, gound cloth and I'm sure there are even more uses.

    A tree that has been blown over...see photo. It blocks the wind and gives you a shelter which is almost finished saving you time.

    Winter months...a cedar swamp, deer go there to get out of the wind and deep snow and so can you. Knowing that deer and other animals go there you also have a food source to hunt or trap.

    On a very cold, windy day any low area will break the wind.

    Winter...face mask/neck cover

    A partially downed tree with the root system partially exposed gives you a place to crawl into. Hey, there's a reason bears love to use then, in turn always check first for anything that might have had the same idea as you did first.

    Two years ago we winter camped one night in a large culvert blocking one end with pine boughs and placing a fire at the oppisite end. That was awesome to be honest!


    Shelters you can build...a debris hut for example

    In short, use your imagination, don't limit yourself to the obvious and practice, pracftice, practice! These things could not only save your life, but they also make for a lighter pack.

  • #2
    Great post. Good useful info,thanks.


    • #3
      Thank you PT945, I left you a comment in your albums by the way.
      Originally posted by PT945 View Post
      Great post. Good useful info,thanks.


      • #4
        Thank you.


        • #5
          space blankets are great shelter material and are very lightweight and take up no space at all in your pack only downside is once unfolded you'll never fold it up again so use it for tinder ..burns great. :)
          Survival is not the art of living it's the art of existing


          • #6
            I've used lean-to's on several occasions over the years and have found these to be the most comfortable. They are easy to make and depending on your needs as basic or sophisticated as you want them.

            SEMPER PARATUS


            • #7
              Great post. A tarp and some rope usually works out ok, sometimes with a hammock, however IMO hammocks are better for warm weather sleeping. Then you have the mosquitos and tarps dont prevent these from attack. Hard to have a hammock and tent so a mosquito bar that hangs over and touches the ground is useful, or just sleep in your tent. A mist bottle and towel make hot sleeping more bareable. As for primitive shelters, the ones mentioned are the norm with the lean to being the simplest to construct. A double lean to is awesome with a space at the 2 ridges for smoke to escape, and fire within, closing in the side walls but for a small crawl in door the whole shelter reflects heat all around and makes it cozy. Lots of space too for firewood, gear and other campers. In the absense of fire, leaves and moss stuffed in clothes and piled on top of a debris hut being only big enough to lay down in and prop yourself up on your elbows, becomes wilderness insulation and with enough of it, one can remain warm. The squirrels do it. A trashbag stuffed with leaves make a good door plug to hold in the warmth.


              • #8
                One thing to remember do you want to be found or not? You should practice both methods.

                If NO: Use available cover for shelter (Blown over tree, tree branches), look for hidden areas like draws and thickets to stay in.

                If YES: Use a space blanket as a lean to cover shiny side out. Stay in the open as much as possible to be spotted from the air.


                • #9
                  Absolutely! The ideal shelter location, if you want to be seen, is just inside the canopy on the edge of a clearing with a southern exposure. You can put out signals in the clearing while having the treeline to shelter in .


                  • #10
                    If you want an inexpensive survival blanket.....spend the 6.50 or so to get you a SOL survival blanket......they really work. !100% more effective than the cheap space blankets. Check them out.. a BOB must have. Tried to post a pic......failed.


                    • #11
                      I am finding photos fail to upload when they exceed the file size limitation. Resize the file size before uploading.

                      ON WINDOWS: Right click the image file, choose EDIT. Click on IMAGE; RESIZE. Click on the radio button PIXELS and enter 300 for Horizontal size. The image will resize proportionally. Save the file and exit.

                      ON MACINTOSH: Right click the image file and click OPEN. Click on TOOLS| ADJUST SIZE. Enter 300 for width. Click on OK. Click on FILE|SAVE and exit.

                      Now the file size will be within the limits allowed on the Forum.

                      Good luck.
                      If it was man made it can be man re-made.