Seeker's Survival Prep
The Basics

Expedient Shelter


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Expedient shelter can be a necessary item when having to deal with storms or other chaos we encounter when away from home and in the situation where you are on your own; it's cold, wet, and you are getting tired...all you have is the items in your BOB and an hour or so before it gets dark...

I always have parachute cord and usually a length of light-weight nylon rope rolled up in the tarp in my pack; find a couple trees a few feet apart [6-8] and string the rope between them 4-5 feet off the ground;

fold the tarp over the rope and secure both ends; with an 12x12 that gives me enough room to sit or lie comfortably and have room for a small fire; I carry metal tent stakes to pin down the edges; 2 packs of them at Wal-mart cost about 8 bucks and are worth it...

The ends of the tarp I will fold in to make a closed flap I can fasten with cord or plastic tie straps thru the grommets; it isn't pretty, but it does help keep the wind out and the heat in...
just remember to leave an opening for a smoke flap...

I use a space blanket for a ground cloth and with any luck can pick up enough limbs and branches to start and maintain a modest fire; try to avoid burning green wood if possible; you get a lot more smoke...

a few shavings of magnesium, some tinder and wood, and in no time I have warmth, I am in the dry, can heat food or drink, and rest with some protection from the elements... location plays an important part in selecting your campsite especially in cold weather.

 A hilly area with trees is preferred to open or flat areas; cold air settles and warm rises so a nice spot midway between the high and low area is preferred. One thing to remember is Pine trees give off heat which is a plus, and a pile of pine straw makes a fairly comfortable mattress pad.

 A lot of your preps depend on if you are sheltering for just the night or for several days; for temporary use, try to find a large enough tree to be somewhat stable in windy conditions and with a medium sized limb within 3 or 4 feet of the ground that you can trim to put your tarp over,fastening that end to the tree. Scoop out a firepit at the other end and attempt to locate enough large stones to ring it with; these help to contain the flames and also serve to radiate heat once they become warm.

I try to keep a Ziploc baggie full of dryer lint in my backpack, for it makes excellent tinder when combined with a few magnesium shavings, and will quickly start a fire even with damp wood; even in rainy conditions, most of the fallen limbs and tree trunks will be dry on the bottom side. Try to avoid lying directly on the ground if possible; a pile of leaves, pine straw, or fresh cut pine boughs covered with a ground cloth or a trash bag plus a thermal blanket will help insulate you and help retain body heat.

You can always carry a small dome tent or 2 man tent along with your bedroll; however, the amount of gear and supplies I carry places a limitation on how much I can easily fit in my bob and not break my back packing it, and my experience is the tarp is a lot more adaptable to the terrain than a store bought tent...











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