Quick shelter with minimal tools.

Discussion in 'Primitive Shelter' started by branchd77, Jan 17, 2016.

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  1. branchd77

    branchd77 Administrator Staff Member Gold Supporter
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    What is the best quick shelter you could build with minimal tools?
     
  2. Jason

    Jason Active Member
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    The easiest one that requires no tools to build is a simple lean to but it also depends on the surroundings of you have next to no trees or limbs out of trees in the area you are very limited, best bet is carry a simple plastic poncho or 2 and some string, even if you only have to use 2 stacks of rocks you can make a tent or lean to with them requiring no tools at all.
     
  3. Dutch

    Dutch Active Member
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    A squirrel's nest is the easiest shelter I have ever built and works great at both keeping warm and dry. Simply build a pile of dry leaves about 4 feet high and 6-8 feet long (depending on how tall you are), then cover it with inverted pine boughs which can be plucked from trees without a knife, or any other field expedient water shedding material. Just burrow into it feet first and wrap your head with a shirt or jacket. It will keep one person warm and dry, or two people downright hot. I have gotten ticks from such a shelter, but never been bit by anything painful or poisonous. Obviously this is only a temporary shelter, but it can be reused if maintained properly.

    Edit: Oh yeah, a long stick laid flat on the ground sideways and pushed ahead of you will rake up tons of leaves. No assembly required.
     
  4. Charles R. Stevens

    Charles R. Stevens Active Member
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    It's surly dependent on environment. Who, what, when and where?
     
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  5. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    I would say a basic lean to would be my choice.
     
  6. Deb H

    Deb H Active Member
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    Hmmm...what about if you live in the desert? I am in AZ, and there aren't many trees down where I am. Mainly Saguaro cactus.
     
  7. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    I have no experience of deserts, I live in the UK!!:D
     
  8. Charles R. Stevens

    Charles R. Stevens Active Member
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    I grew up in Cave Creek, just a couple hundred yards south west of the corner of Cave Creek Rd. And Carefree hwy.
    saguaro ribs make good tent poles... The natives used creosote bushes and saguaro ribs to make shade, add dirt for winter rooves.
    A military poncho and poncho liner strung with a air gap between makes good shade, a high quality space blanket improves it. Hard to find suitable trees for hammocks but they get you off the hot ground. Simplest shelters involve digging... I always laugh at folks from the woodlands talking about survival..
     
  9. Arkane

    Arkane Master Survivalist
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    I keep a folded up space/survival/emergency blanket in each rear trouser pocket above and beyond any other survival kit I have or have not got!
    One can always rig something up regardless of where you are to improve your lot with a space blanket or two!
     
  10. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    I agree with Jason, a lean-to is the easiest way to go.
    Keith.
     
  11. thomas pendrake

    thomas pendrake New Member
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    I am here in Florida and we have plenty of palmettos, which lend theirselves to quick and easy shelter construction, as do elephant ears and banana plants. There is no excuse for not having at least a pocket knife, unless you just escaped form jail or being kidnapped.
     
  12. remnant

    remnant Expert Member
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    The two cardinal concerns about a shelter is security and escaping any rains and or floods. Therefore I always consider a shelter up a tree to be safer. You just insert several gunny bags into each other to form a thick pouch for warmth. Cotton sacks are the best. Insert yourself into the middle area of the tree canopy and where you will be held in place by branches. Then cover the top with a nylon sheet to guard against pain and dew.
     
  13. Okaviator

    Okaviator Member
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    If you have lots of trees nearby I would recommend building a lean-to. It's a very simple and easy way to build temporary shelter. However, keep in mind that this is a temporary shelter option.
     
  14. OneFoot

    OneFoot Active Member
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    any naturally occuring shelter is the easiest to make and/or improve ie: rock overhangs, undercut cliffs, small caves or even a depression in the ground would work all that matters is keeping your core temp stable.
     
  15. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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  16. watcherchris

    watcherchris Master Survivalist
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    I keep one of these in my Daily BOB along with a 50 foot roll of 1/8th diameter nylon rope from Lowes.

    I also keep one in my various vehicles...three of them...along with the nylon rope...and also one each in the bottom of the seat of my scooters...along with the 1/8th nylon rope.

    These poncho tarps have extra material on one end to cover up your backpack should you be carrying such an pack. It works out nicely and I've had to pull over the side of the road and don it several times when journeying to and fro work on my scooter.

    But it also functions as a sort of tent/tarp...in a pinch...even better if you have two of them.

    https://www.amazon.com/Equinox-1457...qid=1517164932&sr=8-4&keywords=equinox+poncho

    I do not consider this as good as a natural formation like a cave, log,..or outcropping .but it will do in a pinch.


    Thanks,
    Watcherchris
     
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  17. Tom Williams

    Tom Williams Moderator Staff Member
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    Nice poncho ! Check out polish military one from a surplus store brivght colors after shtf will give you away dark brown green and camo patterns for after shtf
     
  18. watcherchris

    watcherchris Master Survivalist
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    I checked it out ..the polish military canvas poncho halves. I is a nice piece of gear and just what one would need in the cold winters of Poland. But agree with some of the posters ..it is a heavy piece of gear in canvas and particularly if it got wet.

    I've used heavy canvas in this shipyard...even fire proof canvas and it is heavy in weight.

    I have bookmarked it and some of the u Tube videos to go with it.

    Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

    Watchechris
     
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  19. Tom Williams

    Tom Williams Moderator Staff Member
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    Lightweight gear is nice for a weekend hike strudy long lasting gear better for long term the easiest quick shelter is poncho and something to wrap up in back to something to block wind sit or lay against it. A space blanket or wool blanket to wrapup in poncho to cover i prefer a wool blanket
     
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  20. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist
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    As to ponchos:
    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_...ng&field-keywords=swiss+army+poncho+camoflage

    I've had a couple of these puppies and they lasted me almost 20 years. I finally managed to destroy one of my two. Now they cost $30 U.S.!!! Holy guacamole!

    Rope

    Nylon rope may be OK for camping, however never tie a heavy load down in the back of your truck with nylon rope. It stretches. For non-stretch applications, I always use treated Manila (wearing gloves when doing so). Manila (abaca) rope at 3/4" almost gives me 5,000 lb tensile strength -- 1" gives me 8,000 lb. If this gets wet, it shrinks -- gotta think about that. My dad used it exclusively, due to its not stretching when hauling big heavy stuff like 4' x 8' pool tables (1" slate). Manila is treated with oil to preserve it.

    Polyester doesn't stretch, however I don't know much about it. Unlike nylon, it doesn't mind getting wet -- thus used for marine applications. Since it doesn't stretch much, it is more "brittle" than nylon, i.e. it will break/snap if overtaxed. One can get rope that is polyester outer shell with Kevlar strands.

    Polypropylene hawser rope, mooring rope, is way strong. Man-made, therefore won't rot like Manila. A rope diameter of 1.5 inch will give you 36,000 lb tensile strength.

    Mil.Spec. paracord (yes, uses nylon):
    https://www.amazon.com/Paracord-Guaranteed-Specification-550-MIL-C-5040H/dp/B00ERZ562Q

    Just because a rope company calls their rope "paracord", this sure does NOT mean that it meets military specifications. If you find some really cheap paracord, then it isn't high quality. If it is quality, then somebody stole it from the military.
     
  21. watcherchris

    watcherchris Master Survivalist
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    I've not used much Manila rope..and did not know about oiling it to preserve it. Thanks for that information.

    The problem with marine type polyester rope at work...they use it a lot with towing ships and submarines to and fro the dry docks...is sunlight...it deteriorates under UV rays...and it has to be kept an eye on for this. And yes...it does snap.
    I've been on top the hull of a submarine when it is being towed to the dry-dock. When the boat is pulled away from the piers you can see the riggers on deck clearly backing away from where is, tied up on the deck cleats, the very thick diameter polyester rope as it stretches and shrinks in diameter under the strain of the tugboat. I quickly backed away too.

    I have a roll of OD Green Para cord in the back of my car. I am thinking about replacing the white nylon chord from Lowes used to hang up my long wire antenna. Got it from a surplus store and it was pretty expensive for that large roll. But you got me to thinking about it now.


    Thanks
    Watcherchris
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
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  22. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    There is lots of good military grade paracord available. There is a lot of cfap that looks like it but isn't. Real 550 Paracord has 7 strings inside each made up of two smaller strings twisted together. It is massivly strong. and really will support a big man. There are several similarly made cords. 95, 350, 550 and 850 and they are made the same with fewer strings inside.

    I do a lot with paracord because it is wildly useful to a survival purpose. You can pull the strings out and have fishing line or take the strings and untwist them for thread. I took it s step farther and pull one or two strings out and pull in a monofilament and kevlar replacement strings. That gives me monofilament fishing line even stronger kevlar string and still 5 nylon strings. You can then braid the paracord into all sorts of things of crochet it into pouches or pot holders. I'm thinking about pulling in a stainless snare wire into a shorter rope and see if that would work.

    I can get 20 feet braided into a bracelet. Pull the 7 strings and that is a lot of fishing line and thread and the outer shell is still a strong cord.

    Among other things I carry a plastic drop cloth in all my go bags. You can use this to cover and waterproof a debris pile or a lean to to make it waterproof. I also can use it in almost any situation to make a solar still for fresh clean water. It makes a poncho and if you spread it out it will collect rainwater.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018
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  23. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist
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    Good info!

    You don't have to oil Manila rope, they do this at the factory. To oil this rope if it looks dried-out, I'd have to get on the internet to learn what to do. Off the top of my head, I'd not know what to use as the protective oil. I've got some older rope and to this day, I get oil on my hands/gloves when using it.
     
  24. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist
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    Glad you entered this info. I've read about such, however never pulled out strings for other purposes. True mil. spec. cord has these features and people need to know about it.

    Paracord can be purchased with Kevlar strings already in there.
     
  25. watcherchris

    watcherchris Master Survivalist
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    One of the facets of using rope in certain applications is running it around sharp edges in pulling a load....putting a strain on the rope.

    This makes it subject to being cut under such heavy tension/strain.


    Some kind of padding is needed under these sharp edges. I have seen rope break by cutting strain on such sharp edges.

    Good rope is expensive and a bit of thought in this can save you a load and expense in cutting/shearing your rope unnecessarily.

    And not only that ..if your load being moved or lifted is an expensive/sensitive load...it can become very very dangerous in a runaway load.

    I've seen this happen with expensive and dangerous loads...in this shipyard...because someone did not think through that the rope could become cut on a sharp edge under strain or used the wrong kind of padding....not sufficiently heavy duty.
    People were scrambling to get out of the way!! People have been maimed and or killed in this manner.


    I seem to recall an incident many years ago in a college or high school wherein a bunch of student were playing tug of war on a rope....and they split into two teams and began to tug....a lot of people/students.

    The rope was not rated for this much strain and under heavy tension snapped while people were tugging on it.
    Some of the students lost fingers in this accident...as the rope snapped and recoiled under the strain.


    Just some food for thought.


    Watcherchris
     
  26. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist
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    Using strong tarpaulins and appropriate rope (water resistant), one can extend-out a covered area from their off-road vehicle.
    upload_2018-2-4_11-32-59.png

    The tarp in the above photo is rather small and lightweight. Wish I could have found a better photo.

    I like this photo insofar as it is showing a place to eat that is covered. Can't build a fire near your truck, but you sure can gather some people up out'a the rain and play music out the radio / CD. Folk can change out their wet clothes and get their body temperatures back to safe. Blanket-up and all.

    My kin had gatherings up on the top of mountains; one in particular was over 6000 ft.. Big clearing up there, yet several trees about that one could tie to. We'd be putting on a huge feed in the middle of the clouds. They were tough as whit leather; me as a boy, up in those cold winds, I thought body parts were going to fall off me. It concerned them that I was skinny, "You need to put some meat on your bones, boy. Butter up some more cornbread!" Once was taken to a country doctor for fear the consumption had gotten a'holt'a me. I was just skinny. The doctor laughed as he puffed away on his cigarette.

    I was thinking thick tarp with strong eyes that would accommodate carabiners and serious rope. I'd want a set-up that could withstand some horrible winds. I'd also want side panels held down by stakes. Up in the mountains, nobody knows what is going to hit them. Forest ranger told me that a winter storm gust tore the wind-speed gauge off one of their buildings -- can't fight something like that, however ... .

    Don't let your set-up become a lightning rod. Think about lightning running in off a tree when everything is soaking wet. Give thought to grounding that sort of power. Listen, up atop mountains, the sides of trees get burnt off. On the steep side of the mountain where we'd gather, the trees only had limbs on one side and their bark was often ripped and scorched. "Wind and fire!" Be careful.
     
  27. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist
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    Lightning risk when camping What not to do What to do

    https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/lightning/safety/camping.html

    http://www.wildbackpacker.com/wilderness-survival/articles/surviving-a-lightning-storm/

    This article gave me some ideas:
    https://newatlas.com/lightning-proof-bolt-tent/41513/

    Vehicles
    http://www.motorhome.com/tech/diy/dont-get-zapped/

    upload_2018-2-4_12-22-50.png

    Whatever can have lightning run in on it, ground it with braided cable. Wet ropes are a conduit for electricity! Send lightning into the ground. Thick braided cable is your friend.
     
  28. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist
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  29. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist
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    My front yard has frozen.
     
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