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#43554 - 07/11/05 06:29 PM Shelter Suggestions for PSP
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 2114
Loc: NE Wisconsin
Right now I'm working on "gearing up" my Ritter PSP for myself and my son (who is soon to go into Boy Scouts).

I've got several knives to choose from (BK10, BK11, Rittergrip, mini-Rittergrip, and lesser knives for my loss-prone son). I've added mini-Bic lighters. I bought two Ritter-Micro-Lights. I've added orange bandannas. We carry quart-sized Nalgene water bottles with the bottom-fitting metal cups. I've have Micropur tablets. The thing that I'm working on now is the shelter component.

While there is a lot of talk about sharps, fire-making, and water, there doesn't seem to be too much discussion on this forum about 72 hour survival shelter choices.

After reading equipped.com, the PSP bonus material, and the few posts on this forum, it looks like my choices include:

<>lightweight tent (though likely too large/heavy for PSP)
<>lightweight sil-tarp (expensive! what about the floor?)
<>HD space blanket (small footprint; packs big; useless in wind?)
<>mylar space blanket (small; even more useless in wind?)
<>assorted bivy sacs (some are expensive; can't afford to trial & error my way through these)
<>large trash bag(s) (my current pick due to simplicity and they pack fairly small)

What are you using for a short-term survival shelter? Any suggestions???

My current plan is to use 55 gal. trash bags from http://www.spectrumtrashbags.com . They only come in blue, green, red, or yellow - no orange. I've seen the red in person, and it is a very dark blood red that isn't bright enough for my taste (from a S&R prespective). The yellow is bright, but it seems that even bright yellow may not stand out enough in a northern midwestern forest. That leaves the blue bag. Would blue make an effective color for those who want to be found?

I suppose I should mention that we'll both be carrying some items redundant to the PSP kit. For example I carry the Expid-poncho with me while in the woods - this is my standard rain poncho. While this would make a good shelter in itself, I want to also carry a secondary PSP shelter that packs small and always stays with the PSP ... if this makes sense.

#43555 - 07/11/05 07:12 PM Re: Shelter Suggestions for PSP
Susan Offline

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
What about a tube tent & a rope?

Except for Fall, I would go with the yellow. Blue and green can blend in together at a distance (air search).


#43556 - 07/11/05 09:30 PM Re: Shelter Suggestions for PSP
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
Shelter is just like real estate- location,location,location. A space blanket deployed in a rock outcrop or under a fallen log etc is emminently superior to a tent pitched in the open field facing a blizzard. So you pitch your tent under the rock outcrop only to find pole A won't fit into sleeve B because floorplan C doesn't fit into your retreat to begin with. Tarps and their smaller cousins space blankets can be deployed in countless variations, supplement natural material shelters and are emminently packable. Do you have a fragile bottle of medicine? Wrap it in the tarp. Is the dutch oven in your daypack rubbing your shoulders? Pack the tarp close to your spine. You can't afford a siltarp? Niether could Julia Butterfly's ground crew. We used those cheap blue hardware store monstrosities and scrap plywood over a central floor beam. 735 days, including the worst storm in memory is a bit over the 72 hour rescue/survival scenario, is it not? Colour? Buy some reflective tape.

#43557 - 07/12/05 03:57 AM Re: Shelter Suggestions for PSK
Craig_phx Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 04/05/05
Posts: 715
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Another $.02 worth:

I have put a lot of thought into the shelter aspect of a PSK. Think about the rule of 3s. In three hours you can die from hypothermia. It would seem to be the most important thing next to a cool head and a first-aid kit.

Rule of 3s: in 3 seconds you can do something foolish, in 3 minutes you can die from lack of oxygen to the brain, in 3 hours you can die from lack of thermo-regulation, in 3 days you can die from lack of hydration, in 3 weeks you can die from lack of nutrition.

The question is: how big can it be? What is your container? What are you carrying it in? For a small pocket size PSK all you can carry is cord to tie some wood together to make a shelter out of whatever you can find. If you have a fanny pack, a CamelBack, or a daypack then you can carry something more comfortable. There is still the question of how much are you really willing to carry, all the time, when you know that you could not possible need it “this time.” In the book “98.6” Cody suggests a heavy-duty Space blanket, a regular Space Blanket, and trash bags. If the goal is to stay warm then a neckerchief, gloves, and a nightcap could help greatly in keeping you warm. A trash bag can be filled with leaves and grass and used as a blanket.

That said, I carry a CamelBack with PSK items. My shelter is a heavy duty Space Blanket for the top. I take one cord and 6 small steel stakes. Tie the cord to anything about chest high. Walk about 4 steps into the wind and hammer in the stake and tie the cord to it. You now have a single cord going from something to the ground. I then hook a grommet of the space blanket around the stake. I then pull the farthest corner up the cord and secure it in place by pulling the cord though the grommet and using a stick or another stake to hold it in place by friction. You now have a wedge or taco shape. I then stake down the corners and sides of the HD Space Blanket. I then take the small space blanket or a large trash bag and put that on the ground under the HD Space Blanket. I tuck the ends up so that water will run under the plastic. I then tie some orange plastic marker tape on the cord so that water will drip down the tape instead of coming into the shelter. It is big enough to sit up in and long enough to lie down in. A reflector fire will get the inside warm. The above mentioned trash bag can be used as a blanket. A big trash bag can be substituted for the small Space Blanket and will probably be more useful. But it is bigger! Just throwing the heavy duty Space Blanket on the ground and lying on it and pulling it over you like a blanket works OK too. Several Boy Scouts in our troop sleep like that with a cheap blue tarp.

Thermo-regulate, hydrate and communicate.

#43558 - 07/12/05 06:13 AM Re: Shelter Suggestions for PSP
lazermonkey Offline

Registered: 12/27/04
Posts: 318
Loc: Monterey CA
While talking to my grandfather, who works Search and Rescue, said that the blue stands out only second best to blaze orange. He also said the $10 Wal-Mart tarps are the best shade of blue.
Has anyone heard different?
Hmmm... I think it is time for a bigger hammer.

#43559 - 07/12/05 07:26 AM Re: Shelter Suggestions for PSP
benjammin Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
Ever think of taking party balloons along and securing them to something prominent? They move around just enough in a slight breeze that they are easy to spot, and their small size when deflated lend themselves to portability. Multicolored objects stand out really well in all types of backgrounds.

I keep a mylar E-bag, two black garbage bags, and a pair of HD space blankets in my hunting pack. That is a killer combo.
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

#43560 - 07/12/05 04:45 PM Re: Shelter Suggestions for PSP
adam Offline

Registered: 04/07/03
Posts: 256
Loc: Long Island, NY
- space blanket
- plastic poncho
- 2-55 gallon barrel liners packed in gal freezer bag
- HD space blanket
- Synthetic hat
- 50'-100' - 550 parachord

This is what's in my day pack right now. Read Cody Lundin's book he covers this topic very well.



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