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21

Doing it correctly can ensure the temperature of the snow cave maintains around 32°F (0°C) or higher. Its not just about digging the extra hole but how the entire cave is constructed that can make the difference between life and death. Here's the general idea. Of course doing this won't guarantee your safety, but it sure helps. To answer your question ...


14

There is another post in which my answer deals with this question among other things. I have not yet met anyone that has tried to sleep with two people in a hammock that still practices it. I have tried it, and while it's ok for a short nap or just relaxing, for overnight and/or multiple nights it's just not comfortable or practical. I have owned two ENO ...


13

My experience comes mostly from backpacking in remote areas without already made tent sites. I have found that a hammock is better for me and my style of camping. If you are mostly a car-camper and are used to pulling your SUV up to a pad site, YMMV. Following are the reasons I believe a Hammock is better than a Tent. Weight - In all but the coldest ...


11

Here are few shelters that I think have good design. Although some of them are missing hole for cold air to drop in, they are still good for shelter from a storm as quick solution.


8

An alternative to building a fire inside your shelter is to heat some rocks in a fire outside, and bring them inside (don't burn yourself!). A fire can sometimes be the best thing, but the heat from a hot rock can be a safer option if you're nervous.


7

Large tents are generally not an issue in campgrounds, although finding a large enough flat piece of ground may be. The more likely problem you'll face is maximum stay restrictions. Be sure that you check the requirements before making your decision, because having to move your camp every couple of weeks will dramatically change the setup you want. I ...


7

That lean-to in the link looks like it would shelter from all but the most wind driven rain. If you pack a cheap vinyl poncho that should take care of most situations. They are light enough that you can pack a second. What is the temperature rating on your sleeping bag? 15F/-10C will probably be more than warm enough. If you are carrying a summer bag, you ...


7

No, there won't be anything electrical. A front country kitchen will usually contain: a wood burning stove 2-4 picnic tables food storage lockers a bear proof trash container (nearby) Depending on the park there may be a woodpile next to the kitchen. Food storage lockers are also dependant on the park and the wild life situation (e.g. bears, racoons), ...


7

I am an avid hammock camper. I went on a 4 day trip where is rained nearly every afternoon. Besides the obvious benefits (not requiring even ground, sleeping comfortably, etc.), I found that hammock camping had the distinct benefit of not having to climb into a tent for rain protection. I was able to simple walk under the tarp and sit in my hammock. That's ...


6

To avoid starting fire inside your shelter, you can do it outside and use a screen (sorry for my drawing): This is view from aside. On the upper picture there is a widely used method for sleeping under a screen (a piece of fabric). Screen is set above your sleeping place at 45 degrees and the heat is reflected from the screen towards you, so you are warm ...


6

The same way that modern houses aren't made out of only one material (in most places), your shelter should be made up of different materials as well. Obviously this all depends on where you are and what is available. Primarily you'll need two types of materials. (I'll assume you're in a fairly standard deciduous forest): Structure: You'll want to use ...


5

IMO you totally don't need a tent. Plenty of people, including me, prefer to sleep out under the stars even if there's no hut. It can be difficult to sleep with a wind blowing across one's face, but that won't be happening inside the hut. It's also off the ground, so you won't be losing heat into the dirt. Yes, the temperature inside will be the same as ...


5

I think the answer is as simple as: If you own a mid-layer wear it to the store when you purchase the shell. If you own a shell wear it to the store when you purchase your mid-layer. If you don't own either purchase them together to ensure best fit. There are several different layering systems find what works for you and try everything on in store. If ...


5

I haven't used a wigwam, but I expect you'd have the same issues as with any shelter. You have to expect there to be some smoke, but you want the amount of smoke to be as low as possible. Perhaps the hole at the peak is not large enough, or perhaps you're not letting enough air in to feed the fire. Make sure you have a large enough crack at ground level to ...


5

Best is of course subjective, but overall, given your question and caveats, I would say a good solid winter tent. To elaborate on the alternatives, if you have an assured amount of snow, then you can attempt some form of snow shelter. Building an actual igloo takes quite a bit of practice. Building a snow cave on the other hand is not that difficult, but ...


5

If you are in extremely cold climes, setting a fire inside your shelter may be essential. Key issues are around getting enough oxygen in to it, and getting the smoke out. Taking these in reverse order: You can keep smoke levels low by using dry wood or smokeless fuels, but if using a survival shelter these may not be an option, so you may be collecting ...


5

Building an igloo requires: the right snow training to know what the right snow is a snow knife some practice building the walls so that they taper in yet are supported as you go In the absence of training and practice, which I would posit is very rare, go with a quinzy instead. You dig snow and throw it into a big pile. You let that sit for a bit to ...


5

This is not personal experience, but I'll share anyway. I was really into hammocking a few years back and found a guy on one of the message boards who was VERY enthusiastic about sharing a hammock with his girlfriend. He had built a hammock he was very satisfied with, but it had a spreader across the top, which I assume kept their top halves from smooshing ...


5

Is this a real risk? Yes. However, I would have thought it's a much higher risk with soft rock, such as sandstone, which could easily crack and break apart due to heat. I'd imagine the risk would be lower with something like granite, but I'm still not sure I'd risk it unless the cave was very large and well ventilated.


3

The only time I lit a fire in a cave we had to evacuate due to smoke and a billion spiders dropping from the ceiling. Much better to light it just outside :-)


3

There is another problem with making a fire in a natural cave: the smoke propagating through the cave can severely affect various cave-dwelling species, particularly bats. That is especially bad during winter, when smoke and warm air from the fire can wake up the bats and drive them out of the cave, causing them to freeze or starve to death.


3

The general rule is that the rock can't get hot. When you heat the rock, the water inside evaporates and can crack the rock. If you're just making fire to warm yourself or cook something (a steak, not the whole beef) it will be OK. When the fire is moderate, the rock shouldn't even get warm. You shouldn't also throw bigger stones into fire. They can ...


2

You could talk to the guys at Panther Primitives. They make high-quality canvas wall tents for the historical reenactment community, and they spend a sizeable amount of time camping in them. However, I really think your answer is a yurt (or ger). They are round, so that helps with high winds. They are big enough to walk around in. They have ...


2

I would at least look into multiple smaller tents instead of a single large tent to handle all. Other than the cat thing (I really don't know how to respond to that), I'd probably have one tent for sleeping, and another for the "office". A third thing that isn't really a full tent but more just a canopy for cooking, eating, and other things that can be ...


2

Not a hammock camper myself, but I can think of a few: More ventilated in the summer. Lighter to carry - you don't need something to pad the place you're sleeping on and you don't need the same level of rigidness that a tent offers. Usually more environmentally friendly - since they are smaller than tents hammocks leave a shorter toll on the environment ...


1

Not a hammock camper (not a camper at all...) I can imagine another advantage that hasn't been named yet: As you are not on the ground you don't have to be afraid of water on the ground. So especially in rainy weather where the soil cannot handle all the water you have to take some measures to secure a tent against getting flooded or washed away. In a ...


1

See my post about my experience with winter camping in deep snow in cold weather environment: http://outdoors.stackexchange.com/a/3674/2065


1

Think of the time you can invest and rather you'd want to invest into making one of these, as it takes quite an effort and time to make one that you'll be wanting to be inside of. If you are in a hurry, consider making a trench in stead of a snow cave. As a trench can be made far more quicker and takes less efforts, and can be relied upon in case of ...



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