My Dirt Time The Adventures of Tom Sciacca

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Winter Camping Survival Shelter

My Dirt Time Here is a very simple camping shelter. It can be called a survival shelter and can be made out of the basic gear in what any camper, hiker or hunter should have in their small pack when in the woods. A tarp like this is with me every time I go into the woods and can be a part of any winter camping equipment list. It only weighed 1 lb 7 oz.

This tarp is kind of big at 10 x 12, but a similar survival shelter designs can be made with any survival blanket as well. Itís very simple to make. All I did was select and area with flat ground with a tree behind it. Then you get another tree or branch and lash it to the tree at an angle and hang the tarp or blanket on the angled branch and you have a shelter.

Actually I was very excited about the location I selected for this winter camping trip off the Appalachian Trail. It was a great location. For one thing, there were a few trees right there and had some good coverage from above, but I did check for widow makers. Widow makers are branches overhead that may be broken or hanging and could fall on you at night while your sleeping and make your wife a widow. The coverage above can help keep a heavy snow load off your shelter and camp site. Also, you can see behind me is a downed tree with the root bundle sticking up. It was a great start to being a wind barrier. To my left in the picture was already a big heavy tree limb which would have been a great start to another wind break if I felt the need to make one. To my right is the tree I attached the a frame tree limb to and another big tree. These two trees could have been the start to another wind break from that side. The point is that with that tarp, I set up a good quick, water tight and wind blocking shelter. But with the location, natural materials and minimal effort I could have quite a nice camping shelter and still see the stars at night. It was the perfect camping spot for me.

You might also notice that I didnít have much cold weather gear on. While the temperature was in the teens and it was windy, I did not want to sweat while setting up camp. With the fire already going and the support of friends, much of the risk involved in winter camping is reduced. But you still have to think at all times about how you're feeling, how your body is doing and what you might need to change. While hiking in, I did break a little sweat, but I was aware of it and was prepared for it. I took off my knit cap and only had one layer of my two layer jacket on for the hike in. Plus part of my winter camping equipment list are pants and a jacket with zippered breathing areas. They were great. As soon as I started sweating, I unzipped and was comfortable the rest of the way in. It's not about the END OF THE WORLD - It's not about surviving a hypothetical PLANE CRASH - It's about the SATISFACTION YOU GET knowing you can take care of yourself and/or your family in ANY SITUATION, ANYTIME, ANYWHERE!

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