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#72344 - 09/04/06 06:20 PM Re: Where, What materials & Mosquitos
Boacrow Offline
journeyman

Registered: 08/18/06
Posts: 85
Well, I'm glad that at least one person is familiar with this tpe of shelter. Mine is more a roof suspended from trees or poles, but the principle is the same. The one thing I don't understand is, if people don't think lean-to's work, why make them? Why even have them in the books if they can't keep you dry or warm? That doesn't make any sense to me. I would think that they wouldn't want someone wasting time building a shelter that won't work and could possibly cause a death resulting in a lawsuit. For that reason alone, common sense should tell you that they do work. I loved the story AROTC. I bet your father felt good that someone could benefit from his work. Thanks for the post AROTC.

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#72345 - 09/05/06 02:07 AM Re: Where, What materials & Mosquitos
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
They keep you dry, so long as the wind is favorable. If you have wind that doesn't shift, you're fine, but basically you have at least one side open- you can't do much if the weather changes without building a second shelter. A good shelter works no matter the wind direction.

As for keeping you warm, those open sides and living space are the kicker. Leantos reflect heat from a fire fairly well, but keeping it in if there is no fire is something they don't do so well.

The sole advantage of a lean to is it is easy to remember how to make, and require relatively few materials to make a basic windbreak and reflector. And most manuals will the proceed to the debris shelter, and point out that it works much more efficently.

A wickup (debris shelter) works a lot better, becuase while it doesn't have the space to move in, your body heat can heat it, and the heat of the fire can heat it efficently and effectively. That also means you can have a smaller fire that requires less fuel to keep you warm.
_________________________
-IronRaven

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

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#72346 - 09/05/06 03:01 AM Re: Where, What materials & Mosquitos
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
Thank you for clarifiing the type of shelter you are using- you've made what we call a "pole barn" around here, a roof and four open sides. This is a horse of a completely different color.

What you had described initially sounded more like a classic "half an A-frame" leanto a 30 to 60 degree slope, which as I said in another post has it's merits but many more limitations. I've been using that image while trying to wrap my brain around the use of one that is 20' on a side. It would make a great windbreak and heat/light reflector for a group, particularly opposite the living shelter on the other side of the fire, and maybe a reflector to get the attention of anyone using radar (mylar blankets do have a few uses), but I couldn't see what a 20'x20' leanto could be used for other than than that.

If you had mentioned that you were using other materials, I didn't see it. If I had to hazard a guess, the pine with it's pitch is serving as part of the structure of your roofs material, actually glueing other stuff to it?

And there is an easy way to get a timestamp- take the picture with your watch in the way. <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> Depending on what format you use, it may be possible to mine the time the datafile was created by examining the file itself as a text file, but that varies by format.

As for the "few minutes", I've reexamined this thread. I may have imported something from another thread, and for that I admit and apologize for my error. An hour may be marginal, but not utterly inconvievable, particularly if you have a large brush pile on hand for roofing matieral. *sketching a short bow* Without meaning offense, I think we both need either more or less caffine.

(BTW, you had mentioned quiting smoking- my method was to switch to a pipe. It takes time to fuss with it, and if you smoke it outside in winter, after a while, you find yourself needing to be warm more. You don't really have much winter, but I suppose sticking the pipe, tobbacco and lighter in the freezer might simulate enough of the effect, particularly if your teeth are cold sensative.)

So we've returned to my origional point of contention- how are you waterproofing this roof? Particularly with this shallower angle. How thick is the total material on your roof, and how often do you have to repair it?
_________________________
-IronRaven

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

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#72347 - 09/05/06 06:57 AM Re: Where, What materials & Mosquitos
Boacrow Offline
journeyman

Registered: 08/18/06
Posts: 85
Sorry about the confusion in my description. Actually a pole barn describes it perfectly but I wasn't sure if that was a universal term. I actually have never used a proper lean-to although I have built them to show other people what they were. You are correct in your assertion that we usually have large brush piles all over the place. One of the by produts of the timber company. The place I have the most experience with was once clear cut but eventually was replanted and is once again a forest, so much of the materials I used I poached from several of these piles. Some of them are no longer there due to my use. The time stamp thing I will work on before hand to see if I can figure out a good way to do it so that it is readable. I have a new camera that I am not at all familiar with so it may take a little time to figure out exactly how to use all of the features on it. Thanks for the tip on smoking too. I actually have a pipe that I carved not too long ago but I don't think I seasoned it properly or something. It was my first attempt so I'm not sure if I did it right or not. It is rather harsh and somewhat hard to keep lit. The waterproofing thing I try to do with the angle of the roof. I try to get one side as high as I can so I can still walk under the low side without cracking my head on a sharp limb. Sometimes that's not possible so it does rather resemble a lean-to although neither side touches the ground.The main thing I am concerned with is the part directly over the hammock since that is where I sit while waiting out the rain. I usually have to patch it every couple of days if it rains continuously, especially over the fire since it wilts leaves and warps the needles much faster.Patching is just a simple matter of throwing stuff up there from the low side. hrowing limbs ct side first, they act like an arrow almost and with practice I can hit exactly where I want. They usually end up quite thick, ending up somewhere around two feet thick maybe more depending on how long I've been there. Of course it doesn't rain all the time so I don't patch it all the time, so I don't spend a lot of time working on them after they are up. I have been thinking about going out in the woods near my home and secretely building one but I'm kind of nervous about someone walking up on me wondering what I am doing (it's private land and I don't have permission to do something like this). Other than that I have to travel about an hour to get somewhere and even then I have to deal with people walking up on me. At least I would have permission there. Anyway, I will figure out all the details of the where and when and get some pics.

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#72348 - 09/06/06 01:24 AM Re: Where, What materials & Mosquitos
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
Pole barn might just be a New England term. Like "wicked" (and that's only in Maine and along Rte 2).

If you have your materials precut, that's half cheating. :P Thats one of the problems with primative skills, and a significant part of why I discount them as much as I do- once you are outside of your normal area, things can change radically. It's not as bad for this, but if you budget X amount of time, and suddenly realise you need 2X just to get your roofing material, that turns into a long drippy night. Have you ever tried this with something more single person sized, say 10x10, using nothing but fresh materials and seen what your time was?

My biggest concern if you are using brush piles is your fire. Dry brush == tinder + small wood. I've read about entire villages that disappeared in the night due to thatched roofs catching fire from cinders. I have a rule when I'm in trouble- don't make it worse. I've found just about everything short of catamounts, coyotes/coy-wolves and bears in my camp at night, but for some reason the roof becoming a signal fire makes everything but the catamount seem pretty mellow.

For the frozen pipe, try a plastic stem. It should freeze better than wood. A clay or metal stem would be perfect, particularly if it freezes to your tounge. Remember, this is a negative feedback program, it is supposed to suck.
_________________________
-IronRaven

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

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#72349 - 09/06/06 01:28 AM Re: Where, What materials & Mosquitos
AROTC Offline
Addict

Registered: 05/06/04
Posts: 604
Loc: Manhattan
Ah, well the suitibility of a shelter depends on the environment. For Boacrow you'll note he is in a warm wet temperate area (Alabama). He may need to stay dry with out needing the extra warmth of a debris hut. I imagine a debris hut in Alabama would be just as stifling in a summer thunderstorm as the tent which served him so poorly. Speaking from my own experiance in Texas, I doubt I'd have been able to sleep in either a tent or a debris hut. A shelter which keeps you mostly dry with out suffocating you is the order of the day. Now, up here in Wyoming, depending on the time of year, I'd probably go with a debris hut. That is if I was spending multiple nights and wasn't already wet and cold. Wet and cold, spending what I hope to be a single unplanned night, I'd build the lean-to and fire screen most rickety-tik, build a big fire and open my coat to it and keep it burning through the night. Soak up the warmth and dry myself out. Hopefully, I've left a flight plan so someone knows where I'm going, and either they or Smoky the Bear will notice my fire and come running.

As they tell us in ROTC, METT-TC: Mission, equipment, troops, time terrain and civilians. Each situation is different. I can't say which shelter I'd choose to build until I get there. It's easy to pick the one you like and say "this is the be all and end all of survival shelters", but it doesn't hold up under real world conditions. And we don't get to set the initial conditions. That's the one of the few erks I have with this site, the few times people have tried to do "What if..." games everyone tries to rearrange the initial conditions because "they would never get caught that way" instead of going with the problem and excercising their problem solving skills. Don't try to make the problem fit your solution, make a solution that fits the problem.
_________________________
A gentleman should always be able to break his fast in the manner of a gentleman where so ever he may find himself.--Good Omens

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#72350 - 09/06/06 02:29 AM Re: Where, What materials & Mosquitos
Boacrow Offline
journeyman

Registered: 08/18/06
Posts: 85
I agree that location can make a huge difference. I have camped in Texas and it wasn't too bad, of course it was cooler then too. Also I notice there isn't as much out there to use in shelter construction. In a different climate, I would have to improvise although I must admit, I'm not sure what the conditions would be exactly. I used to travel alot so I had to be ready for anyhting but now I pretty much stick close to home. Since our largest predators are pretty much small compared to most parts of the country, I don't worry about them too much. I have made smaller shelters but I'm not sure how big they were. The smallest I have made was out of two bed sheets that I pretty much angled to the ground on one side and about six feet high on the other. Total usable floor space was probably about ten foot by whatever the length of a sheet is. I pretty much just slept under it to keep the dew off. I didn't time it although I just used one pole, laid both sheets on the ground and rolled the pole up in the ends to do away with the gap, and tied the four loose corners to stakes. Not sure how long it took but I know it didn't take long at all. The pipe advice is a good one. I used wood for a stem due to availability and cost so it doesn't get very cold. This is my first attempt at a pipe as I said in an earlier post and I fear that I have made quite a few mistakes on it. The bowl turned out looking really good though, I was proud of it anyway. Maybe I can make the next one better.

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#72351 - 09/06/06 03:17 AM Re: Where, What materials & Mosquitos
Lance_952 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/06
Posts: 106
when I quit smoking a while back I rolled my own. At first it was a pain in the back side to have to hand roll a smoke every time I wanted one. the down side of it other then no filter was I got good at it LOL
In fact I got so good I could do it driving, and they looked like a pre made non filter smoke. I went cold turkey and did real good for six months but then it was either smoke or go to prison for killing the dumb SOB I had to work with. so I went back to smoking, but only do a pack every day and a half now compared to the two packs I was doing

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#72352 - 09/07/06 04:45 AM Re: Where, What materials & Mosquitos
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
It's actually not the predators I'm worried about around here, other than feral dogs. A catamount would have my complete and utterly undivided attention, though, mainly becuase officially they don't live around here anymore. I'm more worried about moose than I am a catamount actually. A brain damaged cow on stilts.

But feral dogs are a major annoyance. The coyotes/coy-wolves and the hunters have pretty much taken care of them, along with rabies, but they don't scare and generally take a lot of killing before they realise they're dead.

Terrain change, and speed, is why I carry two largish (30 gallon) garbage bags in my gear. Each is about the size and weight of a sandwich when folded. Between that, something to dig with and cordage, if you can't make a shelter appropriate for the climate, you aren't trying very hard. <img src="/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Another idea is to cut your tobacco with lawn clippings, so long as you don't do anything to your lawn. Supposedly, a pipe of 50/50 green hay and tobacco was my dad's punishment when he was caught smoking as a kid. At least so the legend goes- do this outside. Easier clean up.
_________________________
-IronRaven

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

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#72353 - 11/12/06 04:05 AM Re: My latest outing
wildman800 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 2813
Loc: La-USA
When I was younger, I read many books about the early mountan men. These men went into wilderness with what they could carry. They were gone for a year. This intrigued me & started me weaving windbreaks around my campsites. That lead to making Apache Wickiups. My main goal was to be in the woods, with a good knife and not only survive, but THRIVE! The knife was my only tool but my imagination was my greatest asset!
_________________________
QMC, USCG (Ret)
The best luck is what you make yourself!

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