Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Simple Survival Shelter Kit

A few days ago I wrote a post on the fire starting kit I carry. I mentioned that I don't need a big survival kit with fishhooks, snares, and water purification tablets. I just need something to keep me comfortable until help arrives. Half of my kit is a fire starting kit, the other half is a shelter kit.

I don't need a shelter that will last for days in a blizzard. I just need something to keep me comfortable for a few hours, or, worst case, over night. Something that will act as a wind break and keep rain or snow off of me is all I need.

This is what is in my emergency shelter kit:

  • A solar blanket
  • A emergency poncho
  • A large trash bag
  • Some Paracord

All you need to keep dry and moderatly warm

Everything in this kit has multiple uses, most are useful for non-emergency situations. 

You can wrap the solar blanket around you if you are cold. It can serve as a waterproof roof on a lean-to or makeshift tent. You can also use it as a ground cover to sit on. Make sure you keep it away from fire, as it melts easily. 

The emergency poncho can be worn as a raincoat or wind break. Like the solar blanket, you can use it as a roof, or ground cover. These are handy to have in any situation. All of us have had a freak rainstorm pop up out of nowhere. Throw this on until it passes and your day is not ruined.

The large trash bag is probably the most useful item in this kit. It can be used as a poncho, roofing, or ground cover. Get one large and heavy duty enough and it could be a waterproof sleeping bag. In non-emergency situations you can use it to store your kills or meat (if you clean your game in the field). Cover you pack with one when it rains, or put your muddy boots in one before you climb in your truck. The list could go on forever. Of course, they are also great for holding trash.  

Paracord is almost as useful as the trash bag. In an emergency it can hold together a shelter. Non emergency uses are endless, from dragging game to fixing a backpack. My survival bracelet has a 7 foot section of paracord and my hat band is made from 20 feet of it. Paracord is thin, 20 feet creates a very small roll.

I keep everything in a small zip-lock bag. It fits easily in a cargo or back pocket and weighs almost nothing.

Light and easy to carry
One thing that I have been keeping an eye on, but have never tried, are emergency tents. They are basically a tube of thin plastic. You put a rope through its hole and tie the ends to two trees. It makes a pup tent. Growing up we always slept under the stars, when it rained I would make a tent exactly like this with a tarp. It worked very well. This could be a good addition, or replacement for one or more of the items I currently carry.

I never leave without a shelter kit if I am going more that a few hundred yards into the woods. 

Hey! If you haven't already sign up for my contests. Right now we are giving away a Buck Pocket Knife and a 192 Piece First Aid Kit! There are not many entries, so the chances of winning are good!

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