Emergency Tent Living, Part 1 of 4

(Survival Manual/ 4. Shelter Issues/ Emergency Tent Living, Part 1 of 4)

You never know when you might be forced out of your home by a disaster or need to leave in order to preserve the safety of your family in an emergency situation. When that time comes – the main thing you need to have in your gear is a good, sturdy tent. Be sure to choose a tent that is appropriate for your family size and the geographical region where you live . Don’t wait until it’s too late – protect yourself now by purchasing a quality shelter you can use in a worst case scenario.

Post Disaster Emergency Shelters
Exerpts pasted from: http://shtffood.com/shelter.htm
Emergency temporary shelters are places for people to live temporarily when they can’t live in their current residence due to a SHTF situation. An emergency shelter typically specializes in people fleeing a specific type of situation, such as natural or man-made disasters, civil unrest, or somewhere to stay at a tent logotemporary destination. A post-disaster emergency shelter is often provided by governmental emergency management departments such as FEMA or the Red Cross. Tents are the most common temporary structures for a single family. After Hurricane Katrina FEMA provided dislocated families with small white trailers. These settlements may be inhabited for the entire duration of the reconstruction process and can be thought of more as settlements than shelter. Unfortunately, planning for water / sanitation is often inadequate.

Ideally, if you are in a bug-out situation, you will bring your own shelter.  While a tent is sufficient in warmer climates, it may not work well in winter. In that case, a motorhome or trailer you can pull with your own vehicle may be a better option. Like a permanent bug out location, a movable shelter needs to be stocked with the necessities you’ll need to get by for as long as the emergency lasts. This can be difficult with a tent, but when no other options exist, at least it provides a dry, warmable place to wait. Cooking will have to be outdoors as will the latrine – not for everyone.

Family Tent
Excerpts pasted from: http://procurement.ifrc.org/catalogue/detail.aspx?volume=1&groupcode=111&familycode=111001&categorycode=TENT&productcode=HSHETENT01
The standard tent for a family of five conforms to the recommended minimum-standard living area for hot and temperate climates (37 sq ft per person). Improved insulation for family tent is recommended for cold climates. The tent is not a long-term habitat solution. It is meant for emergencies. It has a minimum 1-year lifespan, irrespective of climate. It has a minimum shelf-life of 5 years under normal warehousing conditions (in a dry, clean and ventilated warehouse – not in containers or tented warehouses – and stored on pallet racks or pallets elevated off the ground, not piled). The tent is vulnerable to rain and moisture when packed. The tent design was developed by shelter specialists to ensure a product fit for human use, ensuring the minimum required outdoor lifespan in all climates, at minimum cost.

tent BH III close up

A.  Extended Tent Camping
26 Jul 2010, Yahoo! Voices, by Carrie Hetu, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Pasted from: http://voices.yahoo.com/extended-tent-camping-6433286.html?cat=7

Considering Life on the Road in a Tent
While it may not be highly popular and certainly not highly publicized, there are those who choose a lifestyle involving extending tent camping. Basically a choice to live in some type of tent while either traveling or staying put in the tent on somebody’s land for an extended period of time. For some, it may be more of a forced option after foreclosure, eviction or job loss. Yet for others it is very much a conscious choice for whatever personal reasons they may have such as a desire for sustainable living or simply the pleasure of traveling and life on the road. Whatever the case is, there are several things to consider, especially if it will involve full time traveling.

Choice of tents will be something to devote a lot of thought on as most nylon tents are really not made to be living in and lack durability. Reinforcing the seams may help aide in a longer lasting tent. The attraction to nylon tents is that they are quite reasonable in price. They are also fairly easy and quick to set up. Rain tarps will also help tremendously in keeping the tent, you and your belongings dry in rainy weather. Of course size is always a consideration as well for it must be able to comfortably sleep the number of people who will be staying in it.

Canvas Wall tents while pricey may be the best choice if you can readily afford them. They are roomy, can have a wood stove fitting on them, extra ventilation windows and were made more durable for miners and hunting campers that typically stayed for lengthy periods of times in them. Of course you will also then have the added expense of purchasing a wood stove, as when traveling you are never sure if you may get caught on a few wintery or just plain cold nights.

If you have a car, then most likely you will need to purchase a pull behind trailer to store all your belongings, especially if you have several people in your group or family who will be coming. These typically can run from $300 to $700 for a good used one and again durability is a big consideration in purchasing one. An all metal one would most likely be your best option here as wooden ones can fall apart and will not last near as long. The length you would need would depend on how much you really need to take with you, depending on the number of people that will be with you. Make sure your vehicle will easily be able to haul it without due stress on the engine when going up and down really steep inclines. If you have a suitable Truck, a trailer may not be necessary then.

Of course money always must be a top consideration as money makes the world go round and you will need some. You will have to figure out how much you will need a month to cover camping fees, although there are places you can camp for free, you will most likely want some paid camping sites that offer showers, water and other amenities. You will need to consider how much you will need for gas, food, car insurance and perhaps other things like cell phone and mail service. On a low side it may run a family around $600 a month yet on a high side perhaps around $1500 depending on the quality of life you are looking for and the things you typically like to spend money on.

Once you get an idea of how much you need a month, then you need to figure out how you plan on acquiring this money to supply your needs. Will it come from money you have saved or will have once you sell everything off if you plan on giving up your residency for life on the road? Will you work along the way or have work you can do on a computer from anywhere? Do you plan on having an emergency fund to cover auto repairs or to get another place to live if you find you do not like life on the road? This may be a wise thing to have in place before you plan on embarking on your journey!

If you plan on giving up your residency then downsizing will have to be considered as it will be a MAJOR downsizing undertaking. You will need to sell everything you do not absolutely have to have, sticking to the items you will have to take with you in order to cover your basic needs. This can cause a sense of stress for those who are attached to material possessions yet can be a liberating experience to cross over to sheer simplicity.

4 seasons must be considered when purchasing the things you will need on the road. While you can tend to follow weather when traveling, you can not always guarantee you will be in pleasant, dry weather. Weather is unpredictable and yet your lack of knowledge of certain areas may catch you in less than desirable weather as well. It is best to be prepared for any weather conditions and purchase items and pack accordingly. It would not be much fun to be in a tent in negative zero weather, with no heat and only short sleeve shirts, not to mention that would be a tad dangerous!

Dreams and ideas must be considered as well as they rarely live up to what our mind holds in conjunction with reality. Expect the unexpected and really try to look at the reality aspects of things that could happen. Lengthy rain periods may have you dealing with mold, lack of jobs may leave you financially strapped, broken down vehicles are never a pleasant experience. Wildlife may rampage your food supplies if you are careless or even try to enter and tear up your tent. It will not always be that romanticized image of a perfect life you may see in your mind. Be prepared for the worst but expect the best may be totally appropriate for this endeavor.

Besides a tent, consider what other equipment needs you may have such as an actual spare tire on a rim and full of air rather than just a doughnut. Other things you may need, want or should consider yet not a complete list would be:

  • First aid kit
  • Sleeping gear
  • Coleman stove
  • Cast iron cookware for cooking on open fire
  • Flint and steel for starting fires in wet weather when matches or lighters would not work
  • 5 gallon bucket with a loo cover for a toilet
  • Solar shower
  • Water jugs to fill with water before going to some free camping areas where water is not available
  • Fishing gear
  • Axe and shovel
  • Flash lights
  • Solar weather radio with cell phone charger
  • GPS system or atlases
  • Emergency glow sticks and flares
  • Extra tarp covers
  • Clothing for all weather types
  • Hiking boots
  • Basic tools such as a hammer, saw, wrenches and screw drivers
  • Lap top computer if you can work from computer for pay
  • Batter cables for car
  • Jack for car
  • Cooler for cold food storage
  • Emergency food bar packs
  • Emergency thermal blankets
  • Pocket knives
  • Tent fans
  • Tent heater or wood stove depending on type of tent you purchase
  • Silicone seam sealer
  • (Add a 12 volt deep cycle battery, 60-150 watt solar panel, solar charge controller and 275-400 watt inverter. Mr. Larry)

While extended tent camping may not be for everyone, for those who are considering it, hopefully this will aide you in making some wise choices to get you off to a good start! Have fun and be prepared!

.

B.  How to Live in a Tent
Edited by Minuteman, Celeste, Puddy, Jack Herrick and 11 others
Pasted from: http://www.wikihow.com/Live-in-a-Tent
tent copper canyon

So maybe you want to prove some kind of point, maybe you’re camping for an extended period of time, maybe you’re stranded on a deserted island (unlikely but possible), maybe you are very poor and have lost your house, but the bottom line is, maybe you have to live in a tent for a while. This is a step by step guide to comfortable living in a tent!

1.  Buy or find a 2 or 3 rooms tent. I would recommend if more than one person a five room, a big one. This provides space for a bedroom, living room, and bathroom. You will also need storage place for kitchen stuff, food, clothes and some other possessions. Feel free to adapt any of the rooms into a space that better fits your needs, you may consider replacing any of them with one of the following: Kitchen, spare bedroom, storage room, or hallway if it’s too small for use.
2.  Use a thick blanket or rug remnants for carpeting. This will help keep out the chill on a cold night and also provides extra cushioning when you need to sit or lay down.
3. Buy a fan and/or a heater to use. Do Not put these near walls as they may tear or set fire to your tent. Make your choice of fan or heater depending on the location and season.
4.  Use pillows for a couch, and you can also use pillows for the bed, making things more comfortable in your temporary living space.

5.  Attach a light in each room. Make sure it will not catch the tent on fire by stringing them in the middle of the room and keeping them off as often as possible.
6.  Consider hooking a lock onto the zippers. This will keep out any unwanted guests and help ensure safety from the “bad people” of the world. (Look at the small, light weight, luggage locks sold through Walmart or Amazon.com. Mr. Larry)
7.  Buy a solar powered kettle. That way you can enjoy a hot drink!
8.  Make sure you have a mini gas stove or cooker. That way you can have a warm meal.
9.  Make sure you have a warm, comfortable sleeping bag each. That way you will be comfortable during the nights.
10.  Consider buying an air bed each. The bare ground can be very uncomfortable and cold, even in the height of winter. Or instead of an air bed, find a thick fold up air mattress, there are tri fold ones that are about 3″ thick, that way you don’t have to deal with the air mattress deflating.
11.  Consider buying small shelves for any items likely to be used sparingly or books.
12. Enjoy nature!
13.  If you are using nature as a toilet, make sure you bury and waste. Or you can Buy a potty or bucket and bury after.

Tips
•  Buy a durable, maybe even 4 room tent to ensure a comfortable, enjoyable experience.

Warnings
•  Make sure there are no ant beds nearby. [If Fire Ant nests are found locally, carry appropriate ant poison. Mr. Larry]
•  Make sure you are not on rock ground or a slope.
•  Check if you can have a campfire in that area before you do because if you don’t, you could end up with a large fine to pay.

 .DSCF7931

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C.  Thread: full-time tent living…anyone doing it?
Aug 2012, CampingForum.com, by excerpts from the Forum member discussion
Pasted from: http://www.campingforums.com/forum/showthread.php?4430-full-time-tent-living…anyone-doing-it

_1.  Re: full-time tent living…anyone doing it?
I’ve lived in a tent for up to six months at a time and done it several times. Each time, I was traveling cross country and staying anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks in each spot.
The hardest part is controlling expenses. Everything is more expensive. Laundromats are more expensive than owning a washing machine. Cooking with propane bottles is more expensive than cooking in a house. Groceries, and keeping food cold is expensive without a home refrigerator. At $20 a night, campgrounds are not cheap rent! There are a million examples like that. Cost control is going to be a constant issue for you, especially if you are maintaining a real home somewhere that you’ll eventually go back to.
If you can keep the expenses under control, then the payoff is in the places you get to stay. Long term camping can be a wonderful experience.

Here’s a few tips I’ve learned…
•  Tint your windows dark enough that a thief can’t see any gear in the back. Don’t keep any gear in the front where a thief can see it.
•  Make sure you have theft insurance on the contents of your vehicle, not just the vehicle. Camp security and vehicle security are going to be issues for you no matter where you go. I recommend you carry a firearm, but that’s up to you of course. A firearm is the ultimate equalizer when it comes to a confrontation with a robber.
•  It helps if you have a rock solid, well maintained vehicle. I always carried AAA Plus for towing.
•  Solar power is your friend. Get a solar panel for your roof and a 12V sealed battery, like an Optima Yellow top to power all your electronics.
•  Have a support person. This could be a relative who is far away. Someone who will answer your phone calls at any time of day and do everything from give you a weather report to taking your mail.
•  Use a mail drop service. RV’ers have a lot of experience in this area. Search around for RV and mail and you’ll see all the options out there. Most run around $250 a year and will forward your mail to you at campgrounds. South Dakota is a favorite location because their residency rules are very lax and you can renew your car tags by mail and there is no state income tax there.
•  Arrive at campgrounds on a Tuesday or Wednesday and stay through the weekend. Most campgrounds are empty on those days. Show up on Friday and good luck getting a prime spot or any spot for that matter.
•  Try ‘dispersed camping’ as much as possible – you’ll save thousands of dollars.
•  Living in a tent is very isolating. Don’t become a recluse. Meet new friends. Spend time with people. Get out of the campsite as much as possible. Spoil yourself with a hotel stay once in a while.
•  Don’t break the rules. Your gear will get confiscated (and they’ll destroy most of it when they confiscate it), they’ll tow your car and charge you for towing and storage, and you’ll be facing a judge in a strange town where the prosecutor’s first words to the judge will be: “Your Honor, this transient has no fixed address”. It’s all downhill from there. Follow the rules, even if they sometimes seem ridiculous. I’ve never had it happen to me, but we all hear horror stories.
•  Start with the absolute minimal gear you need. As time goes on, you’ll figure out what’s critical and what isn’t and you can slowly add gear that you need, not just gear you want or think you need. You’ll burn through a lot of camping gear too. Most camping gear isn’t built for use day after day after day. Getting your gear right is going to be an ongoing challenge.

That’s all I can think of for now. I’m sure a thousand more ideas will come back to me but at the moment I can’t think of any.
Good luck and get ready for an awesome time! You don’t need an RV to go full time!!!

_2. Re: full-time tent living…anyone doing it?
Another area I thought of that might be helpful is with water storage. I realize you said that you will stay in campgrounds, but even there you can get some pretty bad tasting well water or you might be 100 feet from the spigot. You might want to think out a good water system.

Here’s what I do to give you an idea. I carry two 5-gallon Reliance water jugs. These weight about 35 pounds each when full. I also carry a several MSR Dromedary bags in the 10 liter size (10 liters is about 2.5 gallons). These store flat when not in use. I also carry an MSR Miniworks EX water filter. With this system I can stay quite a few days in dry areas or indefinitely in wet areas.

I also own a Berkey water filter which makes the best tasting water in my opinion. Even if you camp in campgrounds, you might want to look into getting a Berkey system to clean up all that sulfur and iron taste that a lot of campgrounds have. It will flat out turn ditch water into pure good tasting water better than any other filter I’ve used.
I also carry a 50 ft drinking water hose. Make sure you get one that is for drinking water – not a green garden hose.

_3. Re: full-time tent living…anyone doing it?
If I had it to do over again, I’d get two 25′ hoses. A lot of places, 25′ is enough and there would be less hose to clean and coil up on the last day but you’d still have that other 25 footer in case you need a longer run.

I haven’t looked into putting a filter on the hose. Most of the hose use for me is for washing gear, showering, washing hands, etc. and doesn’t need to be filtered. Only the cooking and drinking water needs to be filtered which is only a couple gallons a day. A good filter, like a Berkey, is not cheap so I only use it to purify the water for cooking and drinking and try to preserve the filter as long as possible.

_4. Re: full-time tent living…anyone doing it?
Our setup so far:
•  9×12 kodiak canvas tent,
•  separate shade canopy,
•  several tarps for both ground cloth and rain fly/shade
•  coleman 2 burner propane stove—several small propane cylinders/ 1–20# cylinder
•  Reliance 4 gal. beverage buddy,
•  6–1gal. water bottles/jugs, all refillable
•  for sleeping: a cot and sleeping bag, extra blankets, etc for housemate
•  I am using for the time being an air mattress, with a 3 inch foam mattress-(due to joint problems) on top of that,
•  emergency blanket between the layers, sleeping bag with fleece insert and a few extra lightweight blankets if needed…haven’t found a cot that’s comfortable for me yet…I’m picky…
•  we’re also bringing a box fan,
•  oil filled radiator type heater for chilly nights, when needed…
•  cast iron cookware, general cooking utensils/enamelware dishes, etc.
•  2 mid-sized coolers (lighter weight for us to carry),
•  round cooler for drinks(can double for water storage, if needed)
•  solar powered lantern,
•  NOAA radio (multi-function),
•  a couple of solar-powered yard lights,
•  couple of flashlights
•  personal gear (clothes/summer/winter) shoes/boots etc…
•  Still need to get some water hoses/filters, and a shower setup… have a luggable loo already.

If all goes according to plan, we should be starting this adventure sometime in October, camping in So. Texas, then maybe into New Mexico or Arizona during the winter, then work our way to Tennessee come spring…can’t wait to get started…

 DSCF7165

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