Jumping the gun...

Discussion in 'Shelter' started by Snake Doc 415, Aug 18, 2019.

  1. Snake Doc 415

    Snake Doc 415 Gradatim Ferociter Supporter

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    Hey all!

    As I sit here, looking out over the sweltering landscape, praising the Lord for air conditioning, my mind is focused on one thing...

    Emergency Winter Sleep Systems

    You see, even in the heat of summer, my mind is churning over what I will pack in the winter. Why? It’s a lot easier to stay at 98.6 when it is literally 98 outside.

    Here in Southern Illinois, we have the perfect gamut of weather. Blistering, humid, miserable summers, and winters dipping below zero.

    Anyways, I’ve been thinking about a new emergency winter shelter/sleep system Besides The Palmer Furnace. I want something more doable than sitting against a tree all night with a fire between my aching legs. I know it’s effective, but I strive for perfection.

    Enough blabbing, here’s my idea:

    An emergency bivvy, when used alone, is crap. They’re not what they’re chalked up to be.

    My plan is to use two bivvies, an artificial heat source, and ground cover to change this.

    I’m thinking this:

    -One person reflective bivvy with about 5 hand warmers

    -A layer of leaves, pine needles, grass, etc. to create dead air space

    -A two-person bivvy over that. This gives you another reflective layer

    -this means you have two reflective layers, dead airspace, and artificial heat sources aiding your survival

    That is what I’m thinking for the sleep system. Some sort of ground insulator is necessary: duff bed, or I might just carry my z-lite pad (can double as sit pad for breaks)

    I know condensation will be an issue. With proper clothing, and proper head gear so that I’m not breathing in the bivvy, I hope to minimize that.

    Also some sort of overhead/enclosed shelter. Maybe my MEST or a sol blanket, idk.

    My target is to be alive down to 15 degrees. Alive. Not comfortable. Fetal position, shivering, praying, but alive.

    Thoughts on the bivvy system? Anybody tried something like that before? Is there something I’m overlooking? Is it a sound idea? I plan to test it when the thermometer isn’t set on lava, but any initial impressions?

    Thanks for reading, and input.

    -Snake Doc 415
     
  2. BlueDogScout

    BlueDogScout Where is all the shelf stable bacon??? Supporter

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    I live in southern Illinois as well and you are correct on the weather. You might need that winter sleep system tomorrow! I’ve never done a bivy but the one from the military sleep system seemed nice. I have an insulated sleeping pad from alps that is good to below 0 as I have tested. Then I use a top quilt and an extra blanket if needed. I practice the dry clothing and hot water bottle method when I crawl in at night. You system ideas seem well thought out but very consuming both in time bulk and weight in my mind. I haven’t tried your ideas so I can’t comment if all that is worth it. I also sleep hot so its not a big deal to me to go a little less. I like things to breath as moisture is the enemy in my mind. I sleep with a tarp shelter set low to keep frost out and I sleep warm and well all night my scouts are baffled. Anyway your ideas seem solid but to me shelters and sleep systems are very person specific so although I know your weather region and what works for me in it I can’t comment on the efficacy of your plan. Try it and tweak it and make it perfect for you, on paper all your logic is good.
     
  3. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead LB#42 Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I would definitely test your system in the back yard.
    That way you will learn what works/doesn’t work and can adjust accordingly.
    If it’s a bust simply get up and go into your house.
     
  4. Snake Doc 415

    Snake Doc 415 Gradatim Ferociter Supporter

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    You make some good points. Stuffing a second bivvy with natural materials would be quite time consuming and exhausting. Although lighter than a sleeping bag, this system would have its downfalls for sure.

    Good to hear of a fellow bush-wacker in SI! Watch out for tornadoes, sleet, and extreme heat today !;)

    -Snake Doc 415
     
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  5. ReallyBigMonkey1

    ReallyBigMonkey1 Supporter Supporter

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    I think it will work. That needs to be tested.
     
  6. Kenneth

    Kenneth Guide

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    I like the hand warmer (HW) idea, I have thought of it for something like the palmer furnace, however my concern is that the HW works by "burning oxygen" to create heat, so if the HW is inside the bivy bag then you would have to keep your head out of the bag to breathe fresh air and not suffocate.

    Also what if you have a HW inside a bivy bag and it uses up all the air inside the bag then will the HW stop working? Then how would you refresh the HW, maybe by holding it outside the bag and shaking it? Or if you open the bag to get fresh air into the bag then you lose all your heat.

    Maybe I am over thinking this and I hope to try it out this year if it gets cold enough night but I am sure it will get colder sooner up north so someone else will get a chance before me.

    GOD Bless you and your families

    Kenneth
     
  7. popedandy

    popedandy Scout

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    Seems like an awful lot of work when you could just carry a down bag, but if you just want to see if it will work, it sounds like an interesting experiment.
     
  8. Snake Doc 415

    Snake Doc 415 Gradatim Ferociter Supporter

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    Yeah I thought of the “burning oxygen” too. You would definitely have to keep your head out of the bag for condensation already. With regards to refreshing them, taking them out once and awhile might suffice.

    Humidity is nuts here so down is off the table. Good thought though.

    -Snake Doc 415
     
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  9. Winterhorse

    Winterhorse Supporter Supporter

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    Give it a shot and let us know how your experiment works. You could even do it on a real outing as long as you bring a proven “Plan B” system along.
    One of the things that kind of worries me is that laying down you will need a lot of insulation to prevent your body heat from being lost to the cold ground. If you are in an emergency situation you may not be very able to gather insulation material very well.
    That’s where the Palmer furnace comes in. It does limit your contact with the ground but as you say, it’s not a very comfortable position.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019
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