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#125719 - 02/29/08 03:09 AM Re: Shelter options for backcountry day hikes [Re: Blitz]
Paragon Offline

Registered: 10/21/07
Posts: 231
Loc: Greensboro, NC
Originally Posted By: Blitz
For Shelter, in my day/survival/utility Vest. Which some day soon I'll post.

1 AMK Thermolite 2.0 Bivy bag

1 AMK heat sheet 2 person extra blanket, signaling

1 Ripstop Poncho tarp

1 Combat Casualty blanket x-tra ground cloth, signaling, tarp


This is for shelter only doesn't include everything else in the vest.


I too carry the following "Shelter & Personal Protection" related items in either a North Face Sport Hiker™ utility waist pack (550 cu in / 9L) or a Columbia Omni-Dry® Ridge Trek™ Venture Vest (depending upon the situation) and still have plenty of room left over for all my other essential "category" items (Medical & First Aid, Fire & Light, Water & Food, Signaling & Communication, Wilderness Navigation, Knives & Tools, Multi-purpose Components, and Miscellaneous Components):
  • AMK Thermo-Lite® 2.0 Bivvy Sack, 84" x 36"/27"
  • Cocoon® Coolmax® Mummy Liner, 86" x 32"/24"
  • AMK Heatsheets® 2 Person Survival Blanket, 96" x 60"
  • Coghlan's® Survival Bag, 3 Mil Poyethylene, Orange, 84" x 36"
  • Ruffies® 45 Gallon Trash Bag Liner, Clear, 45" x 38"
  • Coleman® Emergency Poncho, 50" x 80", #9173
  • Coleman® Disposable Hand Warmers (4)
  • The North Face® M Vortex Stretch-Fit Fleece Glove Liners, XL
  • Buff® Original Multifuntional Headwear, 12-in-1 Styles, Indore Blue
  • Hav-A-Hank® Bandana, 22" x 22", Blue
  • Solar&#8729;Rolz™ Post-Mydriatic Sunglasses
  • Vaseline® Lip Therapy, Cherry, 0.35 oz
  • Coppertone™ Sport UVA/UVB Sunblock, SPF 30, 1 oz

I also have a larger North Face Day Hiker™ waist pack (1,000 cu in / 16.5L) or Camelbak® Alpine Explorer™ Day Pack (1,900 cu in / 31.1L) that I use for longer treks, and they each carry everything listed above, as well as the following:
  • Byer Amazonas® Miskito Traveller™ Hammock, Nylon w/ Integral No-See-Um™ Misquito Canapy, 84" x 54", Spruce Green
  • Byer Amazonas® Microrope™ Ultra-Light Hammock Rope Set, 1/4" Polyester Braid, 330 lbs Maximum, 10' Adj. Range
  • Equinox® 10' x 12' Siliconized Ultralight Backpacking Tarpaulin, 3 Mil, Green, Model 20070 (Rain Fly)
  • Shockcord, 1/8" Diameter, 25', Red (Rain Fly Ridge Line)
  • Braided Nylon Paracord, 1/8" Dia x 10', 300 lb Test, Green (Rain Fly Guide Lines)
  • Vargo® Titanium Nail Pegs, 6" Long w/ 50mm Steel Lanyard Rings (Rain Fly Anchors) (6)
  • The North Face® M Venture Side Vent Rain Pants, HyVent D™, Black
  • The North Face® Crosswinds Anora Hooded Rain Jacket, w/Stuff Sack, Ultramar Blue

While I realize this amount of gear may seem overkill for most people on this board, I'm a gearwhore who strongly subscribes to the old adage of "It’s better to carry something you don't need than to need something you don't carry".

In reality, I firmly believe my wilderness skills and training would actually allow me to survive for several days with nothing more than the EDC items in my pockets, although this system insures that I'll be comfortable waiting for the SAR guys to arrive, and the limited redundancy allows me to provide for an additional hiking companion that may not be as well prepared.

The last time I checked, the Day Hiker kit or Venture Vest system weighed in at just under six pounds (plus an additional 2.2 lbs with water) so it's actually quite manageable.

If anyone would like me to post pictures of my setup, I'll try to when I get a chance.

[hijack thread]On that note, is Photobucket a decent site to look into for photo hosting, or are there better options out there?[/hijack thread]


My EDC and FAK

#125776 - 02/29/08 02:16 PM Re: Shelter options for backcountry day hikes [Re: teacher]
raydarkhorse Offline

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 510
Loc: on the road 10-11 months out o...
Originally Posted By: teacher
can I assume sunglasses/ hat?

I put those on as I leave the house.
Depend on yourself, help those who are not able, and teach those that are.

#125785 - 02/29/08 04:13 PM Re: Shelter options for backcountry day hikes [Re: GoatMan]
ohiohiker Offline
found in the wilderness

Registered: 12/22/06
Posts: 76
Loc: Ohio
Since I'm almost always in an area with plenty of natural shelter (overhangs, etc), or at least shelter-building materials, I often carry only a contractor size trash bag as an emergency shelter on day hikes. I carry a smaller trash bag for sitting/kneeling when taking photos.

In colder or constantly rainy weather, I might add one or more of these:
  • lightweight vinyl poncho
  • breathable nylon rain pants
  • PVC rain jacket (for constant cold, wet weather) (I may replace this with a breathable rain jacket.)

I'm always dressed in synthetics, usually have at least a fleece jacket, hat, and polypropylene glove liners. I often just leave any raingear packed and enjoy the wet hike, even down into the 30's. crazy
Bushcraft Science: It's not about surviving in the wilderness, it's about thriving in the wilderness.

#125796 - 02/29/08 05:31 PM Re: Shelter options for backcountry day hikes [Re: GoatMan]
GoatMan Offline

Registered: 08/17/07
Posts: 104
Paragon - Yea, that is a bit overkill for my taste. Everyone has their own way of doing things though. I keep redunancy in other areas like fire. Two layers, like bivvy & poncho, in addition to my clothing is adequate for me. If I'll be in conditions which require more, I plan accordingly. I do think you should keep the filter straw though. I keep one in my larger kit as well. Yea, they aren't as good as a real filter, but it is better to have it in case you run out of purification tablets or your water containers fail you. My filter straw is my last resort, before drinking untreated. Again, it is good to know the limitations of your equipment.

OhioHiker - I'll take the dry road. I last a lot longer that way. It's also much better if things go south and you have to spend the night. If you're already wet and it dips into the 30's at night, you've set yourself up for hypothermia.

#125867 - 03/01/08 01:28 PM Re: Shelter options for backcountry day hikes [Re: GoatMan]
jaywalke Offline

Registered: 12/22/07
Posts: 172
Loc: Appalachian mountains
The Tacoma shelter is basically a tube tent. I haven't used mine yet, but the plastic is very thin. The only advantage over the Heatsheet might be that you could fit two people inside it. If I ever had to use mine, I would pull it down over my body like a sock rather than try to set it up as a tarp or tent. I just can't see that material surviving being tied out at all.

In winter I carry the Thermo-Lite bivy for dayhiking, and a Heetsheet (single) for rigging over the top to keep rain off.

In summer I carry a double Heatsheet for me (may buy the HS bivy at some point, and rely on my raingear (Campmor nylon poncho) as a tarp or burrito wrap over the top.


#125896 - 03/01/08 07:56 PM Re: Shelter options for backcountry day hikes [Re: jaywalke]
Art_in_FL Offline

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
I had good luck with just a few basic pieces.

A simple coated nylon tarp. Roughly six by eight foot with numerous grommets and/or ties is about right. Rigged flat it is a sun shelter or protection from a light summer shower. Rigged at an angle back to the wind it will hold up to a squall. Rigged three corners down a storm. Strung with all sides tight to the ground with only enough head room to lay under you could ride out a hurricane as long as you set up behind a wind break.

In insect season, about eleven and a half months a year around here, I bring a mosquito net I can rig under the tarp a head net and repellent.

I keep a number of plastic stakes and light lines in a stuff sack. I sometimes have used my walking stick as a pole and have sometimes brought a thin shock-corded pole to help make erecting a shelter easier.

A ground cloth. Two-and-a-half by four foot works well for a lunch break or afternoon nap in good condition. In this size treated cotton canvas is great and will take many years abuse. If you plan on sleeping overnight or the conditions warrant a larger ground cloth is better but to keep weight down you will want to go with a thinner cloth.

If your a bit older, plan on sitting a lot or the ground is less accommodating a small closed-cell foam pad, 12' by 16" works for me, is handy. This can be used to keep that can of beans off your spine, for sitting on cold-wet ground or during food prep or detailed craft work as a convenient flat spot.

A Thermo-Rest, self-inflating sleeping pad, is nice but I have sometimes gotten by with just my small piece of closed cell foam under my hip.

This would be in addition to a sleeping bag, a simple blanket in summer, appropriate to the temperatures. If I expect rain I usually bring an extra garbage bag so I have the option of sleeping with the lower half of the sleeping bag, or blanket, in it safe from the storm. A bivy bag would be the next step up.

#126180 - 03/03/08 07:58 PM Re: Shelter options for backcountry day hikes [Re: GoatMan]
Glock-A-Roo Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1076
This is a great topic, since so many do dayhikes. A SAR guy who works in the Smokies told me that a lot of their SAR missions are for dayhikers since most never expect to be out overnight and don't plan ahead like us survival nuts. Improvised shelter becomes a very important issue for the dayhiker, as opposed to the overnighter who is planning to make some form of shelter.

Like someone else said, it sounds like GoatMan knows his stuff & would be fine with whatever was on hand. I too love the old AMK ThermoLite products. I will say that the AMK HeatSheet and bivvy are truly more durable than the old-school mylar space blankets & bivvys based on my personal tests. Doug Ritter has fleshed this out well.

I prefer an oversized orange trash bag over a tube tent. This is a strategy espoused by Peter Kummerfeldt although I think the 4-mil bag he sells is too thick & heavy (over 8oz) for the purpose; a 2 or 3 mil bag is fine. You can use this same technique with the AMK HeatSheet bivvy, making for a very effective package that is light & effective.

I can cut a hole in the corner of the bag and wear it as a piece of body-sized raingear that protects me as well as (if not better than) a tube tent when sitting/laying down. But I can also wear it while hiking if need be; just add a couple of arm holes. I always hike with a lightweight waterproof/breathable shell (Patagonia RainShadow) but I can give the bag away to someone who gets caught without raingear, or I can slice it up to make a sheet/tarp/whatever.

#126184 - 03/03/08 09:04 PM Re: Shelter options for backcountry day hikes [Re: GoatMan]
atoz Offline

Registered: 01/25/06
Posts: 144
Loc: Nevada
" vinyl military poncho " Get a nylon one, it is lighter at least from the vinyl ones I have seen and bought.


#126194 - 03/03/08 10:46 PM Re: Shelter options for backcountry day hikes [Re: GoatMan]
Leigh_Ratcliffe Offline

Registered: 03/31/06
Posts: 1355
Loc: United Kingdom.

Tube tents and plastic biviy bags make excellent body bags. Perfect for wrapping the hypothermia victims mortal remains in.
Cut the tube tent in half length ways. That will give you two decent sized plastic sheets. Use them to waterproof a A-Frame shelter.
Using them in the classical fashion is a tactic of desperation.
I don't do dumb & helpless.

#126199 - 03/03/08 11:13 PM Re: Shelter options for backcountry day hikes [Re: Leigh_Ratcliffe]
Glock-A-Roo Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1076
Originally Posted By: Leigh_Ratcliffe

Tube tents and plastic biviy bags make excellent body bags. Perfect for wrapping the hypothermia victims mortal remains in.
Cut the tube tent in half length ways. That will give you two decent sized plastic sheets. Use them to waterproof a A-Frame shelter. Using them in the classical fashion is a tactic of desperation.

Um, ok... a little UK hyperbole there, perhaps? Why so doctrinaire? I suppose you believe yourself to be more of an expert on this than Peter Kummerfeldt, who spent decades teaching SERE in the military and teaches this very technique today. It works; I've tested it (on purpose during training) firsthand in the field.

Wear some insulating clothing underneath the bag & you are fine. Sweaty, but insulated enough to be warm while the bag keeps out the wind & cold rain. An A-frame blocks the wind & blowing rain much less. If you have no insulating clothes, you're no better off under a breezy A-frame than you are wrapped up in the bag.

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