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#283430 - 01/19/17 01:50 AM Super Shelter
MLavallee Offline
Stranger

Registered: 05/31/16
Posts: 1
Loc: Saskatchewan
I have a question about super shelters in some pictures I see the parachute appears to be over the plastic and in other pictures the plastic is over the parachute. When the plastic is on top is that for when there might be a chance of rain? When the parachute is on top is that more for winter time when there's not much of a chance of rain? Thanks

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#283433 - 01/19/17 03:25 AM Re: Super Shelter [Re: MLavallee]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2749
Loc: Alberta, Canada
I hadn't come across these shelters before, at least nothing so elaborate. Some of them could be a base camp for quite some time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbcbGh2YsUk

It seems to me that the parachute cloth (untreated) stops drafts and reduces air movement but allows permeability for moisture management. In cold conditions, that's crucial.

I agree with your assessment:

In dry snow conditions, it would make sense for the parachute nylon to go over top of the reflective mylar (and plastic if you have it), hopefully creating extra dead air space for insulation and breathability.

If rain is likely, though, breathability would take second place to keeping the interior dry, so the plastic would go over top of everything.

The versions with open fires out front would require a lot of careful attention, given the relative flammability of the shelter materials.

I'm going to be knocking down some small trees and brush on my property. Maybe I need to build one of these for laughs.

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#283445 - 01/19/17 08:32 PM Re: Super Shelter [Re: dougwalkabout]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6897
Loc: southern Cal
Watching the video, I thought - "He's just reinvented the Navajo forked stick hogan (or sweat lodge in his smallest version)". Hogans, the traditional Navajo one family dwelling, are snug and warm, if not actually hot, in winter snow conditions.

If one is on the move, a good light weight tent is actually more practical. An alternative would be a couple of tarps,lean-to style. For my money, best of all is a rock shelter - will give you the best night ever.
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#283448 - 01/19/17 09:39 PM Re: Super Shelter [Re: MLavallee]
LCranston Offline
2
Member

Registered: 08/31/09
Posts: 173
Loc: Nebraska
The mylar is farthest to the inside, to reflect the heat from the fire back towards you.
A tarp or another layer should be next..
The plastic is on the outside as a windproof outside layer. the plastic is also the "window" that will allow the long wave radiation in, but keep in the heat from getting back out.

In the best of all possible worlds, you would have an air gap or some other form of insulation, but most of them tha tI have seen online do not.

Honestly a regular super shelter is nowhere near as good as a hogan if my reading is right- the hogan is made from sticks, but looks like they are sealed with mud between the branches, so the hogan has some built in insulation- whereas unless you have a good insulation layer a super shelter turns into an icebox without some heat source. The cool trick that the super shelter has is the front window that works like a greenhouse..

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#283450 - 01/20/17 05:29 AM Re: Super Shelter [Re: MLavallee]
Phaedrus Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2300
Loc: Big Sky Country
The best "trick" of the Super Shelter is that given a decent fire you can almost get it warm enough to bake bread, but all of the components will pack up and go back into a pants pocket. Let's see a Hogan do that! wink
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#283453 - 01/20/17 04:37 PM Re: Super Shelter [Re: Phaedrus]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6897
Loc: southern Cal
I am sure you could almost bake bread in a hogan. They are the original organic structure. No use of petrochemicals or their derivatives, nothing to eventually put in landfills - just local logs and packed soil. They are almost as good as a rock shelter!

I am sure the mylar increases the reflectivity and efficiency of a super shelter, but I have spent comfortable nights between a fire and a reflecting surface composed of just plain canvas and/or brush, etc. so plastic sheeting isn't absolutely critical.
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#283457 - 01/21/17 01:49 PM Re: Super Shelter [Re: MLavallee]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3601
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I like the simplicity of materials needed for this type of shelter. As Phaedrus points out, they will fit in a cargo pocket. Even if you can't get a fire going, the mylar and plastic blankets will get you out of the elements. I expect you could use a tea light or two to warm things up if no campfire.

I've recently been reading about the "Palmer Furnance", and it seems like a much quicker & simpler option for one person:

Quote:

Named for caver and hypothermia specialist Dr. Jonathon Palmer, the Palmer Furnace is a life saving technique for warming up to prevent or reverse hypothermia using a pair of lightweight and easily carried items- a trash bag (or poncho) and a candle.

With a large trash bag cut or tear an opening for your head and pull it on like a sleeveless sweater. Sit down and light the candle between your legs. The heat from the candle will be trapped in the bag, and you will shortly be warmed by the micro-climate to a very comfortable state.

Two warnings- keep your head outside of the bag to prevent breathing carbon monoxide, and never go to sleep with a live flame between your legs !

Clear bags are also useful for solar heating. If the sun is out, the temperature inside can be 80F while the outside temperature is freezing! So then you don't need any extra heat to stay comfortable. A trash bag and a few tea light candles with a lighter or matches is a very light bit of gear for the life saving potential this technique offers.
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#283458 - 01/21/17 01:56 PM Re: Super Shelter [Re: bacpacjac]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6897
Loc: southern Cal
A traditional caver variant of the Palmer furnace is to simply sit down and pull your clothing (parka or whatever) over your knees, creating a space in which you placed your lighted carbide lamp.

Even in very cold weather, a tent pitched in full sunlight can get nice and toasty warm. I have seem temps 70F when the outside was below zero.

Nothing beats a simple trash bag for versatility....
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#283470 - 01/22/17 04:50 AM Re: Super Shelter [Re: hikermor]
Phaedrus Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2300
Loc: Big Sky Country
Originally Posted By: hikermor
I am sure you could almost bake bread in a hogan. They are the original organic structure. No use of petrochemicals or their derivatives, nothing to eventually put in landfills - just local logs and packed soil. They are almost as good as a rock shelter!

I am sure the mylar increases the reflectivity and efficiency of a super shelter, but I have spent comfortable nights between a fire and a reflecting surface composed of just plain canvas and/or brush, etc. so plastic sheeting isn't absolutely critical.


My point is that you can't pack the hogan up and stick it in the pocket of your cargo pants. grin
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#283476 - 01/22/17 02:00 PM Re: Super Shelter [Re: Phaedrus]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6897
Loc: southern Cal
Actually,I am using a poor example because a hogan is a relatively permanent dwelling, which will be there year after year. They are definitely not pocket size
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