Lightweight and Ultralightweight Backpacking

The View from Here

Panoramic view from a mountain top in Glacier National Park, Montana

The 10 Essentials

10 Essentials: Essential Shelter

The shelter you need may be quite simple: a windbreak or a sunshade.

Where are you going? If only a short walk from the car, is there any chance you may become lost? This is a realistic question.

In the mountains, the clouds roll in. Because you are at the altitude of the clouds, you can get enveloped in "fog". In low lying areas, fog may roll in. Enveloped in a dense fog, most experienced outdoorsmen would be at risk. How much risk, depends on how much preparation and what appropriate clothing and appropriate outdoor gear you have with you.

If there is no natural shelter available if there is a sudden downpour of rain or hail, for example, what then?

It is important to not crouch under an overhang of rock or dirt enbankment. If lightning, lightning travels along the surface. The only reasonably safe place to crouch is on your pack. Mountainclimbers are told to crouch on the coiled rope. Do not lay down. The best thing is to get in where everything is the same height. The forest is basically the same height. One tree is not.

There is survival, by sleeping near the base of thick brush, curled up, knees to chest, hands tucked in. But we can do better. I don't want a miserable night, and neither do you. Reduce risk, by having more shelter than some thicket of underbrush.

I am not a survivalist nevertheless these two videos have helpful basic information:

The information presented is essential, and fundamental.

Any outdoorsman, or woman, would benefit from providing better than for survival for having to remain out overnight. This lessens the panic. You are prepared: there is no running in panic. If you know you will be alright overnight, there isn't much reason for panic.

The most elementary shelter, in my opinion, is a 3.5 oz Adventure Medical Kits Sol Emergency Bivvy. Out of wind, with layers of clothing, it is possible to avoid excessive heat loss.

For a 10 Essentials ordinary daypack or a large volume waist pack to include shelter, it could include the 6.9 oz. Adventure Medical Kits SOL Thermal Bivvy or the 8.5 oz. SOL Escape Bivvy and your choice warm first layer top and bottom, perhaps lightweight merino wool, plus a warm hat, and for reasonable insulation from the ground that would fit in a day pack or lumbar pack the 13 oz. Cascade Designs NeoAir.

Here is an instructive video for having a successful bivouac experience.

This is for survival.

Make your gear selections and acquire the skills with that gear to quickly be able to get snug and secure in your own selected shelter system.

10 Essentials: shelter tarps and tents

copyright © 2017 Connie Dodson. All Rights Reserved.