44. Survival Tip..expedient shelters

Dear Wanderingvets and Friends:

Since the demise of my tent you must be wondering how I have been keeping myself and my gear dry.

I have taken to using black plastic tarp. I have cut myself two sheets that are ten feet long that you find around construction sites. At night I use one (on nights that are not raining that is) and lay in the center of it like in the middle of a diamond. I then pull the ends of the diamond over me to form a cocoon. This cocoon keeps the dew off of my sleeping bag so as to prevent moisture and bugs and such from entering my gear. I put inside the cocoon everything I need protected. This works quite handily.

In wet weather, I string a line and make the old style pup tent. I angle the line downward at one end to make a back wall and use the second tarp for a front door using another line. two tarps make a very large area to protect yourself and all of your gear.

These tarps are bulky and have to be re-rolled tightly or you will look very silly going down the road. I recommend finding a military style waterproof bag and store them inside with your tightly rolled sleeping bag.

Your Correspondent,

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2 Responses to “44. Survival Tip..expedient shelters”

  1. July 17, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    Hi,just wanted to say reading this work was very warming and reassuring..”Your mental health is gold.”thanks,after all is said and done ,you are one of the best sargents I’ve ever listened too.

  2. 2 Mikel Jameson
    November 8, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    Hi WanderingVet, you could try the website: rayjardine.com and see his Ray-Way Tarp, he apparently does a lot of lightweight hiking and I like his ideas. I’m currently using a commercial urethane coated nylon tarp I got for $5 at a thrift store in a similiar manner to Rays. Of course my tarp is 8’x9′ since I didn’t make it his way but it still works the same. I notice that some of the county construction sites up here (Seattle/Tacoma WA) they use clear/opaque plastic in very wide/long sheets, these are often 15’x60′ or more long and while they can be seen through make excellent shelter material since they don’t have to be taped together to make them big enough to use. You can find them covering up spoil/fill dirt in long windrows at construction sites or habitat reclamation sites (usually near streams being daylighted or wetlands.) Of course I like the black plastic since you can use it to screen off and area in the woods so that your fire can’t really be seen thus keeping nosy people away. Of course if you just need a trash bag you can usually go to a park just after the trash crew comes by and take a fresh one out of the trash can, or ask them for one, course you need to be careful since some of these guys/gals are real buttholes though you can usually tell that by the glare they give you when you approach. Of course most of them work alone so you need to be real polite and not just pop up suddenly, don’t really want that stick-with-a-nail they use jammed up nose! Take care, Mike

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