Winter Camping Shelter Idea

Discussion in 'Winter Camping' started by Back Off, Jun 13, 2017.

  1. Back Off

    Back Off Supporter Supporter

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    I have always wanted to camp in the winter. I have several early spring and late fall trips and yes, I have camped in the snow but not during the winter with cold temps. I am planning on making a hot stove out of a metal 5 gallon bucket and using my Double Bull Blind Horse as a tent. I know that will work, thick material and a heater. I have already spent many a day in that down to single digit temps just using a propane heater but not a stove. The other idea I had I got when I was camping this spring in my little tent. It got down to 39 degrees that night and honestly until the small fire I had burnt out I was more than warm in my mid weight sleeping bag. I thought along with a long fire I could fold over the bug screen, in this tent. Add reflective tarp/survival blanket to the back wall as well as clog the vents if I needed to. A wool blanket on the ground with some reflectics on top and then my cold weather bag. I could then drop a sheet of plastic over the opening in front and raise the tarp and put at more of an angle if I plan on getting snow. I would probably run a pole over it and set up a small lean to frame and put my tarp over it and tuck the tent under if it is supposed to snow a lot or just go without. Here is my tent, do you think it would work? I think it would almost be too hot for most temps as it is a very small space to heat but I think it would work well for winter. Here is my little tent that I think would work. I paid $35 for this from Sportsmens Guide several years ago. I should have bought another for my son as this thing is pretty sweet for the money. Swap out the heavy poles for old carbon arrows and its a packable low budget tent.

    Cell 1911.jpg
     
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  2. Moondog55

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    So that is a little bug tent with a tarp over the top?
    So you are thinking about a pack-along Supershelter?
    No personal experience but I see no problems using it inside a pole frame lean-to; especially if you also layer up the browse however I get a shiver down my spine when people talk about below freezing sleeping without a proper mattress system in place, you really do need a thick CCF pad at a minimum in addition the the RFL and blanket
     
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  3. Walking Crow

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    I agree with Moondog's concern about insulation underneath. On cold ground (or snow) a wool blanket and a layer of Reflectix is probably going to leave you with a very cold back, even if the air temp is balmy. Getting several inches of natural insulation (that is several inches when compressed) under the tent might be an option depending on location. In a true super shelter, the sleeping platform is about sitting height so warm air can get underneath the platform. That would be difficult to accomplish in your tent.

    I doubt you will get an airtight seal with the plastic around the front opening, so there will be some air exchange. I am assuming that the walls of your tent are waterproof and not breathable. You want some fresh air getting into the shelter.

    Remember too, that in a traditional super shelter, the fire is closer to the shelter (one long step) than in your picture. The placement of your fly as a leanto will have to take that into consideration, if you use the fly at all. If you have access to larger wood, the two or three log long fire will greatly reduce your cold awakenings through the night.

    In rereading the op, is see that the term super shelter is not used, so you may not be familiar with that term. A bit if searching, either bushcraftusa or youtube for Mors Kochanski Super Shelter should yield a thorough description of the concept and its execution. Using the tent as you propose would be workable, with allowance for the above concerns.
     
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  4. Back Off

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    Thanks walking crow, forgot about the raised bed. That would be a must and that would leave this idea trashed as that cant happen in this tent as its too small. I have seen the supershelters being built on youtube. I was just thinking this would be a packable alternative but you are 100% right. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2017
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  5. Walking Crow

    Walking Crow Scout

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    Back Off, I wouldn't give up on your idea that easily.... If you put a couple of closed cell foam pads, Ridge Rest for high end price, generic blue foam or even surplus GI pads, They will help immensely. The plastic/reflector combination will warm the air around and above you to the point that both layers of your sleeping bag will probably be under you.

    If the vents at the ends up top are just mesh, you will want to put some nylon (uncoated would be fine) over them.

    Larry Roberts, of Alone fame, did a video on SuperShelters although his was basically a plastic wrap. It does show how effective a small fire can be. Trouble is, small fires need to be refueled frequently and you don't get the rest you need. That's where the longer lasting fire comes in. But if you are too "sealed up" you may be miserably hot... Here's a link to his video if you haven't seen it.

    Remember too, that the Super Shelter was intended for the person who lacked an adequate sleeping bag for winter. Mors' concept is to either rely on fire or an adequate sleep system (bag(s) and insulation underneath. You don't need both. While I have used fire a few times, I much prefer my Wiggy's bags or, if dry conditions are assured, my old Eddie Bauer Karakoram bag, along with a couple of pads. Those, tucked under the branches of a pine or spruce or a tarp if wind or snow was an issues have done well into negative F degrees. I don't like the dampness of tents.
     
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  6. Moondog55

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    If you are making a frame to cover with browse there is no reason you can't put in a raised bed big enough to hold the shelter, it all depends on how much time you want/need to devote to the build.
    If space inside that little tent leaves little height for a thick pad you can simply put the CCF pad under the floor, we do that here on snow all the time, we use our old beaten up pads under the floors to protect the tent floor rather than using footprints. It is a very effective strategy.
    It may not be the best winter shelter but it can be made to work if you are willing to also carry the tarp to use as a fly and have poles you can collect to make a frame and you can pitch in the shelter of trees.
     
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  7. Back Off

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    I am glad I posted it up. Great suggestions, I am going to give it a try.
     
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  8. Terasec

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    i have started to do that for all my tents,
    i had left over flooring underlayment that i used on 1 tent,
    now i gathered enough foam padding that i will be cutting to size for each of my tents, no need to carry ground cloth and pad,
     
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