Tag Archives: emergency

ArkStorm (Atmospheric River Storm)

RainManWhen this scenario occurs, if you’re living in central California, you will be put in a survival situation. If you were not living in California, the result will be seen developing into a national economic depression.

See also the 4dtraveler posts:
•  Survival manual/1. Disaster/Hyperinflation
•  Survival manual/3. Food and Water/Developing a Survival Food List.

1.  California Superstorm Would Be Costliest US Disaster
Mar. 8, 2011, ScienceDaily
<http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110307142236.htm>
  “A hurricane-like superstorm expected to hit California once every 200 years would cause devastation to the state’s businesses unheard of even in the Great Recession, a USC economist warns.
Researchers estimate the total property damage and business interruption costs of the massive rainstorm would be nearly $1 trillion USC research professor Adam Rose calculated that the lost production of goods and services alone would be $627 billion of the total over five years. Rose, a professor with the USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development, also is the coordinator for economics at the Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE) at USC.

That number would make the severe storm scenario “the costliest disaster in the history of the United States”, Rose said, “more than six times greater than the 2001 World Trade Center attacks and Hurricane Katrina, which each caused $100 billion in business interruption.” [Photograph above right: K Street, Sacramento, CA in early 1862 following an ARkStorm.}

The storm simulation U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists termed “ARkStorm — or “atmospheric river storm” — is patterned after the U.S. West Coast storms that devastated California in 1861-62. The storms lasted for 45 days, forming lakes in the Mojave Desert and the Los Angeles Basin. California was left bankrupt after the storms wiped out nearly a third of the state’s taxable land, according to the USGS. But those storms were no freak event, said USGS scientists, who called the ARkStorm model “plausible, perhaps inevitable.”

The ARkStorm areas include Orange County, Los Angeles County, San Diego and the San Francisco Bay area. The megastorm likely would require the evacuation of 1.5 million people.

According to the USGS, the ARkStorm would:
•  create hurricane-force winds of up to 125 miles per hour in some areas and flood thousands of square miles of urban and agricultural land to depths of 10 to 20 feet.
•  set off hundreds of landslides that would damage roads, highways and homes.
•  disrupt lifelines such as power, water and sewers that would take weeks or months to repair.

Rose estimated the ARkStorm would cause the state’s unemployment rate to jump six percentage points in the first year, a further blow to the California economy that currently has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation at 12.4 percent.
Rose called the severe storm scenario “much more imaginable” after Los Angeles was hit with 9.42 inches of rain in December [2010]. It was the wettest December in downtown Los Angeles in more than a century.
Climate scientists said global warming is a major factor behind the increasingly destructive power of hurricanes and other storms. The sea level is rising as oceans warm and glaciers melt, which can create higher storm surges and more disastrous flooding in coastal areas. “Climate change affects how the whole ecosystem works,” said Mark Bernstein, managing director of The USC Energy Institute.
“Storms form based on how warm the oceans are and how the jet stream changes,” Bernstein said. “The consequence is [the rain] will come in shorter and more intense bursts.”
Businesses and local governments can minimize the long-term impacts of such a disaster, Rose said, by creating emergency plans, increasing inventories of critical materials, backing up information systems, and diversifying supply chains and routes.”

_A.  The Los Angeles River Flood Study
Pasted from <http://www.saadconsultants.com/losangeles.htm>
“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District prepared a comprehensive flood control study in the Los Angeles River basin. The draft Flood Study of Los Angeles County and Incorporated Areas, California was analyzed and evaluated by SAAD Consultants senior staff to map the flood risk along the Los Angeles River and Rio Honda for Los Angeles County and fifteen communities. The inundation reflected the existing conditions of “no flood control project” in the Los Angeles River basin.

The levees along these two flooding sources do not provide 100-year flood protection, according to FEMA’s guidelines and specifications. Levee failure scenarios were evaluated to arrive at an approach that would be most reasonable for floodplain management purposes within these communities. SAAD evaluated and resolved appeals submitted by eleven of the affected communities, requiring close coordination with Los Angeles District and FEMA.

This flood control study resulted in a significant increase in Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) along the Los Angeles River and Rio Hondo for these sixteen communities. The increase in the SFHA was primarily attributable to decertification of levee systems along these watercourses from protecting against the 100-year flood. As a result, approximately eighty square miles of new SFHA were added, affecting approximately 400,000 local residents and 125,000 structures. The proposed control project, given the spillway releases of the upstream dams were maintained, would contain the 100-year flood (@130,000 cfs) within the river channel by constructing parapets on top of both levees (2-4 ft) and raising several bridges along the Los Angeles River.

_B. Whittier Narrows Flood Zone (below)
Pasted from <http://www.flickr.com/photos/tardigrade-page/5049616649/>
Created by the Army Corps of Engineers in August 1986, these maps have been scanned and stitched together in Photoshop to show the entire area in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. The Whittier Narrows Dam was built to be big enough to hold the water from four dams upstream in a disastrous situation. The Dams in the mountains were built in the 1930s the WN Dam in 1957. The WN Dam was not built to hold water like a lake.

.2.  Another ARkStorm is Inevitable
<http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/massive-west-coast-atmospheric-river-storm-inevitable-emergency-response-would-be-lacking_01182011>
Such storms have happened in the California historic record (1861-1862), but 1861-1862 is not a freak event, not the last time the state will experience such a severe storm, and not the worst case. Associated with the Arkstorm will be:
•  Massive, State-wide Evacuations – Because the flood depths in some areas could realistically be on the order of 10-20 feet, without effective evacuation there could be substantial loss of life.
•  Economic Catastrophe – A severe California winter storm could realistically flood thousands of square miles of urban and agricultural land, result in thousands of landslides, disrupt lifelines throughout the state for days or weeks, and cost on the order of $725 billion. This figure is roughly 3 times that estimated for the ShakeOut earthquake, another planning scenario reflecting an earthquake with roughly the same annual occurrence probability as an ArkStorm-like event. The $725 billion figure comprises about $400 billion in property damage and $325 billion in business-interruption losses.
  Wide-spread Flooding – Perhaps 25 percent of buildings in the state could experience some degree of flooding in a single severe storm.

The population of the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys exceeds one million people, and because of how and where those valleys are situated, an ARkstorm similar to the one from 1861/62 would be absolutely devastating, likely displacing the majority of that population. This does not include other low lying areas of the state which would be affected. Such an event would affect not only California, but have disastrous effects across the entire nation, economically.

The USGS report also identifies various challenges faced by emergency response personnel:
There is a lack of policy and experience among state and local emergency responders and government managers in dealing with the complexity of mass evacuations, short- and long-term housing needs, and the restoration of communities statewide once the flood waters recede.
Translation: When it hits the fan, you’re on your own. Like any major natural (or man-made) disaster scenario from floods and earthquakes to hurricanes and tornadoes, expect that no one will be there to help, especially for the first 3 – 7 days. Federal, state and local response to Hurricane Katrina should be used as a guide.

See also, USGS Overview of the ARk Storm Scenario [pdf] at < http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2010/1312/&gt;

(Survival manual/1. Disaster/Arkstorm)

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Filed under Survival Manual, __1. Disaster

A guide to cushioning system collapse

(News & Editorial/A guide to cushioning system collapse)

 A. Crisis Reality: “Within An Hour the Stores Were Emptied”

guide shelves
22 January 2014, The Daily Sheeple, by Mac Slavo at SHTFPlan.com
Pasted from: http://www.thedailysheeple.com/crisis-reality-within-an-hour-the-stores-were-emptied_012014
When toxic chemicals spilled into the Elk River in Charleston, West Virginia a couple of weeks ago we got another glimpse into what the world might look like in the aftermath of a major, widespread disaster.

There were several lessons we can take from this regional emergency and all of them are pretty much exactly what you might expect would happen when the water supplies for 300,000 people become suddenly unavailable.

Lesson #1: There will be immediate panic

Studies have suggested that the average person has about three days worth of food in their pantry, after which they would be left with no choice but to scrounge for scraps once their food stores run out. We saw this scenario play out after Hurricane Sandy, when thousands of unprepared people lined up at National Guard operated FEMA tents and temporary camps. That’s what happens when there’s no food.

With water, however, it’s a whole different matter.

Food we can do without for weeks, but lack of water will kill us in a very short time. The events following the Charleston chemical spill highlight just how critical fresh water is to maintaining stability.

A reader at The Prepper Journal web site shared his firsthand account of the events as they played out. In a situation where water supplies are poisoned, whether by accident or on purpose, the anatomy of a breakdown accelerates significantly from three days to mere minutes:

Just yesterday that ban was lifted, but what if this had happened in your town? Would you be able to live comfortably with no water from the tap for 5 days? The news reports that I read stated that there was plenty of water and the stores never ran out. That is in direct contradiction to what Steve tells me:

Immediately after the announcement, the stores in the area were rushed for any bottled water products. Within an hour the stores were emptied.  Do not let anyone tell you that everything was nice, peaceful and everyone conducted themselves gracefully.  There were fist fights and scuffles for the last of the water.

After the order was issued no one could give any answers as to when drinkable water would be available.  Those with water were either hording it or selling it at enormous prices.

48 hours after the ban,  water began to be distributed to the everyday person.  Hospitals and nursing homes received the first shipments.  By the way the hospitals (except one) were not taking any new patients).  If you got hurt or injured you were on your own or had to travel an hour away for treatment.

What if the spill was more serious or the supply of water non-existent? Would you have enough water on hand and the means to disinfect new sources to take care of your family? It is news like this that illustrates for anyone paying attention the importance of storing water.

If you live an area affected by a water supply contamination and have no water reserves, this report suggests that you have less than an hour to stock up. And during that hour there will be panic with the potential for violence being highly probable.

Lesson #2: Security forces will be deployed to maintain order This is a no-brainer, but nonetheless worthy of mention.

We saw it after Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina – thousands of troops and militarized police deployed to prevent looting and rioting. The fact is that when the water and food run out people will be left with no choice but to rob and pillage. It becomes a matter of survival. Crowds will unwaveringly stampede to get to the resources they need. They’ll stomp over you if you happen to fall on the ground in a rush, because when the herd starts running nothing will stop it.

Imagine how these people will act when they are desperate for food food and water:

There is a reason the government has been preparing military contingency plans and simulations for events that include economic collapse or a massive natural disaster. They know what will happen if millions of people are left without critical supplies.

In Charleston, after water supplies started being delivered to grocery store chains, local government and the companies themselves brought on hired guards to keep the peace.

The Elk River event was limited in scope, affecting about 300,000 people in an isolated area, thus it was not that difficult of a situation to contain as FEMA and government could throw all of their resources and assets at the problem.

But imagine a scenario that involves multiple large metropolitan areas simultaneously in different regions of the country.

There are simply not enough personnel (or supplies) to respond to such a situation and maintain order.

Lesson #3: Despite hundreds of billions spent, the government is ill-prepared It took emergency responders five days to get water to the Super Dome in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.
Following Sandy, FEMA had enough food and water to provide the absolute basic necessities to about 50,000 people.
In Charleston it took at least two days to get water supplies moving.
If this were a massive catastrophe it could be weeks before help arrives.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has itself warned that it is not equipped to handle large-scale emergencies. It’s for this reason that they strongly recommend a minimum two week supply of food and water.

guide fema
Considering that the majority of Americans have maybe three days worth of supplies, how many millions of mouths would need to be fed three square meals a day if we experienced a multi-city event?

It was recently reported that FEMA has in its possession about 140 million “meals ready to eat.”
In 2011 a FEMA/DHS organized National Level exercise simulated an earthquake on the New Madrid Fault in the Mid West. The simulation revealed that 100,000 people would be killed almost immediately, and another 7 million would be displaced from their homes.
They would only have one place to go – government managed FEMA camps. Those seven million people eating just two MRE’s per day would  consume FEMA’s entire emergency food reserve within 10 days.
Then what?
You probably already know the answer.
Prepare now, because the last place you want to be in is in the midst of crisis-driven panic.

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B.  Report: Supplier Survey & Trend Analysis of Preparedness and Resiliency Provisions
30 Sep 2012, learntoprepare.com, by Denis Korn
Pasted from: http://learntoprepare.com/2012/09/report-supplier-survey-trend-analysis-of-preparedness-and-resiliency-provisions/

Here is my perspective on current trends relating to food products for shelf stable food reserves and resiliency provisions in general.
In the 37 years I have been in the natural foods, outdoor recreation and emergency preparedness industries as a retailer and manufacturer, I have experienced a number of fluctuations and factors that have influenced the availability and pricing of foods and supplies for preparedness. A number of current factors and converging events are affecting the preparedness marketplace today and potentially in the near future.

In addition to my own present-day observations and experience as a retailer of food reserves and preparedness products, I have very recently surveyed a number of suppliers, processors and manufacturers for their assessment of current conditions in the marketplace.

Here are my appraisals, reports, and insights regarding the state of the industry:

  • The numerous and diverse potential scenarios associated with emergency and disaster preparedness is so pervasive in contemporary culture, that a broad spectrum of citizens have begun to take some form of action. Others are acutely aware of the probable dangers and are waiting for a significant triggering event to act.
  • BOB1 foodIf a serious event were to occur, fence sitters and those who have done nothing to prepare would overwhelm preparedness suppliers, manufacturers and normal outlets. Products will be sold out or long lead times will prevail. The nature of the triggering events will determine the availability of preparedness supplies for both the short and long terms.
  • Preparedness niche companies and their suppliers have a limited supply of goods on hand during normal business activity. At all levels of the supply chain there is a restricted amount of products available. Y2K, hurricanes, international disasters have all been testaments to disruptions in certain product availability. A wide spread and prolonged emergency will have a devastating effect on the availability of goods and services. This is especially true of specialty food processors.
  • The main stream media will not accurately depict the real state of affairs regarding the current conditions in our society. This relates to politics, the economy, financial issues, government action and inaction, weather effects and anything that would be valuable for citizens to know so that they can prepare in advance for shortages. Information is significantly manipulated, controlled and fabricated. This includes what you hear and what you don’t hear.
  • The current drought has had some effect on food prices and availability but not a catastrophic one. The increases in costs have already been factored in as it relates to commodity futures. Corn, soy beans and wheat were the crops most affected by the drought, as was potatoes and to a smaller extent other vegetables and fruits.Internet- food, FD #11 cans
  • A record corn crop was initially anticipated, so the effect of the drought could have been worse. NOTE: 40% of the corn crop goes for ethanol.
  • Currently the price of most beans has dropped some due to good yields in North Dakota where 2/3 of the nation’s beans are grown. Availability of beans and other grains is good.
  • Rice prices and availability is stable.
  • Freeze dried food processors are very busy and are experiencing an increasing demand for fruit and vegetables from non preparedness manufacturers. This is causing shortages in some products. The drought has not substantially affected fruit and vegetables.
  • There has been a shortage in some “ready” or “no cooking required” ingredients that are necessary for entrée and blended recipes. Many of these ingredients use non freeze drying technology to enable a no cooking requirement.
  • Quality domestic food ingredients are becoming more difficult to source. It is essential that consumers do diligent research to establish trust with reputable manufacturers. Many current preparedness food packers have succumbed to using lower quality imported and processed foods.
  • Currently, other vital preparedness provisions – electronics, medical, tools, water filters and such, are in adequate supply. Last year at this time there were shortages.
  • Prices have risen in many sectors due to a multitude of factors such as transportation, packaging (paper prices have seen a steep increase), cost of benefits to employees, fuel, raw materials, regulations unfavorable to small business and lack of credit. Prices are expected to continue to rise, and with any new detrimental financial event they will rise dramatically.
  • As shortages continue lead times for fulfillment will increase. I see this currently occurring.
  • The current debilitating state of our nation and the attitudes of despair of our citizens are unprecedented in my lifetime.
  • I and others see a substantial spike in demand for preparedness food and supplies from possibly right before to definitely after the November election. Negative reaction to the outcome of the election will be momentous – no matter who wins. We will soon know how serious the reaction will be, what form it will take and what governmental actions will be executed.

Conclusion:
Currently food products – with increasing lead times – and other supplies are available. However, there are a multitude of very volatile factors that could trigger a substantial increase in demand of preparedness supplies. A very difficult question to answer, although it discussed frequently is: How will a crisis effect fulfillment of essential goods and services?

During Y2K there were specific dates as to a potential problem, and specific remedies that could be addressed and possibly implemented. When citizens realized that problems had been addressed, demand for preparedness goods subsided. It was the unknown consequences of a potential computer calamity and the perceived resolution of those problems, which triggered the fluctuations in demand and supply.

The unknown consequences of the myriad of potentially devastating scenarios being discussed currently are not so easily resolved nor are the timing markers so easily recognized. There is so much uncertainty associated with current events that folks are either in denial or on edge waiting for a significant triggering event before they act. And when they do, preparedness suppliers, warehouse retailers and numerous provision dealers will be inundated.

I and numerous other observers of current events don’t ask if a catastrophe or serious events will happen – but when? Then we ask:

  • 1. How long will it last?
  • 2. How devastating will it be?
  • 3. How will the population cope with a dramatic lifestyle change if scenarios are dramatic?
  • 4. How many will be prepared?
  • 5. What will those who are not prepared do, and who will they rely upon?
  • 6. What repressive and draconian measures will the government implement?
  • The unknown consequences of the myriad of potentially devastating scenarios being discussed currently are not so easily resolved nor are the timing markers so easily recognized. There is so much uncertainty associated with current events that folks are either in denial or on edge waiting for a significant triggering event before they act. And when they do, preparedness suppliers, warehouse retailers and numerous provision dealers will be inundated.

.
C.  The #1 Preparedness Question – What’s Your Scenario? (Why?)
13 Oct 2012, learntoprepare.com, by Denis Korn
Pasted from:  http://learntoprepare.com/2012/10/the-1-preparedness-question-whats-your-scenario-why/

This is such an important question to answer when engaging in preparedness planning that I felt it necessary to examine it more carefully. It is the first question in my 12 Crucial Questions of Preparedness Planning, listed under 12 Foundational Articles for Preparedness Planning (as you can see I like the number 12).

Before I proceed with this topic I want to share some insights on the current state of fears and concerns I hear people discussing.

guide disaster formsIt is no secret that the societal, financial and moral issues of our time are wreaking havoc on the lives of most Americans. While at each election, the parties proclaim their election to be the most important of the era, what we currently are experiencing is that this statement is finally true. Not that the outcome will necessarily change the fundamental problems underlying our society and its governance, but that the results will indicate how really difficult true transformation will be. I am very passionate about my concerns for our country and the future for my children and grandchildren. I have never seen such blatant in-your-face displays of revolt, rage and lying by those who are ignorant, self-serving and delusional (a strong word yet in my opinion accurate).

Our leadership, corporate ethics, cultural morality and attitude towards truth, human compassion and right action has been so corrupted and dishonored that it will take a Divine act to significantly transform us and set us on the right path. Earnest prayer is essential! Over the course of the next few months we will see how difficult it will be during the times that lie ahead, and as it relates to this blog site – how can we be prepared?

Steve Wynn, a very successful developer and casino operator, was asked for his assessment of the current business climate. His answer included this statement, “…And I have to tell you, Jon, that every business guy I know in the country is frightened of Barack Obama and the way he thinks.” This response mirrors my experience in talking with many small business owners, and is an exact duplication of the circumstances surrounding the 1980 election between Jimmy Carter, incumbent and Ronald Reagan, challenger. The business climate was terrible (I was in the outdoor recreation and preparedness industry as a business owner at that time), and whatever one’s political viewpoint, the perception of a pro-business and competent President was critical in turning the decline around. This is not a political blog, so I will not dwell on the politics. However, I cannot turn my back on the obvious – too much is at stake.

The perception of the capability and aptitude of our leadership to instigate real change will have a dramatic effect on the course of events in the short term. For the long term, the fundamentals must be transformed.

Let me be frank, I am a small business owner who has owned various businesses for 41 years, and if we don’t elect leadership who will instill confidence and trust and initiate real reform for We The People during these darkest of days – we’re screwed!

Here is the entire question #1 of the 12 Crucial Questions:
What are the circumstances or scenarios you have determined may exist that will require you to rely upon your preparedness supplies?
This is not only the most important and first question to answer, it is often the question most overlooked, or not considered critically enough. While many people find it difficult to honestly assess potential uncomfortable and “fearful” possibilities, wasting time and resources on inadequate and ineffectual provisions can be detrimental to your health or possibly your life. Don’t be caught up in slick advertisements, fraudulent claims or irrelevant personality endorsements. I have seen them all – do your due diligence!

  • What will be the severity and impact of those circumstances on your life?
    Now starts the process of being specific and increasingly focused. Honesty is essential – this is no time for wishful thinking and denial.
  • Given your potential scenarios, how thoroughly have you researched the available options for food, water, medical, shelter, hygiene, and other categories of critical supplies?
    An actual physical list is vital in answering this question. Here you will begin to determine specific provisions you will need. You will have a broader perspective of available items required for your scenarios.
  • Are you prepared for emergencies during all seasons of the year?
    Depending on where you live, temperatures, rain, snow and other weather conditions can vary significantly. Cold weather preparedness is especially important. The anticipated duration of your scenario might require preparing for multiple seasons and conditions.
  • Is your family more susceptible to certain emergencies?
    Depending on where you live or where you might need to relocate will determine unique potential issues. Possible hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, storms, tornadoes, fire, riots, loss of electricity, lack of water, lack of essential medications are just some events that might affect your preparedness planning
  • How would your scenarios impact you or your family’s daily routine? Work or livelihood?
    If you scenarios are relatively minor and isolated, then of course there will be a minimum of inconvenience. If however, your scenarios are more impactful, severe, regional or nationwide and of longer duration, then you are looking at a significant disruption in routine and possibly a substantial lifestyle change.
  • How will you protect yourself and family against those who might do you harm?
    Many folks don’t welcome the notion that a significant emergency or disaster will create a dangerous environment with animals, gangs or groups of ill-intentioned people who can inflict injury. Where you live will determine the degree of concern. Those who are responsible for their own welfare and the protection of their family will need to reflect on this question with seriousness. Protection devices are numerous and diverse, consider the appropriate response for your anticipated scenarios.

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 D.  9 Survival Items You Should Always Have In Your Car
10 June 2013, OffTheGridNews.com, written by: Travis P- Extreme Survival
Pasted from: http://www.offthegridnews.com/2013/06/10/9-survival-items-you-should-always-have-in-your-car/

In my home I have over a dozen firearms, thousands of rounds of ammunition, shelves and shelves of food, enough water to drink for weeks, and a two rucksacks packed to last seventy-two hours should this all be compromised.

Now how useful is all this if I’m not home when things fall apart? It’s no good to me at all if I’m thirty miles away and traffic is halted… or if a hurricane hits and I’m stranded. In addition, if a bridge washes out or I crash in the middle of nowhere, I might need a survival kit. As I discussed in last week’s article, I almost always have either a shotgun or my concealed handgun on me or in my car or truck, but what about other supplies? A lot of things can happen, and my survival gear may not be at hand.

So is the easiest answer to simply throw one of those seventy-two-hour bug-out bags in my car or truck? Well that’s a good idea, but not very practical for riding around with every day. These rucks are pretty big, and they won’t work well with strollers, car seats, work stuff, and trying to fit myself and others in my vehicles, and I can’t toss it in the bed of my truck without worrying someone will swipe it.

So that’s where the “get home bag” comes into play. Some people may see it as a smaller bug out bag, but I much prefer calling it the “get home bag”. The main difference between the get home bag and my bug out bag is size. My two bug out bags will last my family 3 days comfortably and can be stretched to five days if we have a good water source. My get home bag is more customizable in terms of food and water, and how long they need to last.

I’ll address those two first.
Food and water are critical, and the situation will vary on how much you need. So first I put a 24 count case of 20 ounce bottled water in my trunk. It fits perfectly on the floor, under my son’s car seat. That room is wasted anyway since he is rear facing. It doesn’t leave room for the mentioned stroller or tools, but there is enough for the case of water.
I also have a Camelbak hydration system, and a Nalgene bottle. I can fill both up and carry as many additional water bottles as I believe I’ll need for the trip home. I have loved these hydration packs ever since the first time I was issued one in the military. It’s an excellent way to carry water, easy to carry, and leaves your pockets and pack free for other things.

For the food portion, I keep six civilian versions of the military MREs. I have plenty of access to military MREs, but the civilian MREs are much better tasting, last longer [5years as listed at Amazon-Mr Larry], and I know the date of production. They also pack more stomach-friendly foods than the military versions. I field strip the MREs and tape them tightly together with duct tape for compact packages. I also have quite a few bags of sealed beef jerky and high fat protein bars. This all fits in easily with the spare tire in the trunk of the car.

So now that my food and water are in place, I can take or leave whatever I need. Remember this isn’t to last you forever, just enough to get you home. I feel I’ve over-packed, but it fits well so there is no point in taking anything out.

Now, as I write this, I’m building the actual get home bag portion of this. I didn’t buy anything special to build this; I used what I had laying around. I will honestly probably buy a few things for this kit in the future (and drive my wife a little crazier). Most of the items are extras I hang on to, but quality items none the least.

First off, my personal number one rule of survival is to always have a knife, and a good knife at that. I packed a Spyderco Enuff Sheepfoot. The Enuff Sheepfoot is a small fixed blade with a sturdy Kydex holster. I like Spyderco knives, and this little one wasn’t much use in my tool box, so into the bag it went. Next I tossed an extra small, folding knife in the bag (it’s a small, cheap Smith and Wesson folding knife).

Next was twenty feet of paracord, braided to make it more compact. Also known as 550 cord  (for its resistance), 550 could also be the number of uses it has. A good strong cord can do anything from make snares to fashioning a lean-to.

Next up was a good strong, metal framed, LED flashlight, and a Gerber headlamp. Neither of these are expensive Surefires, but they’re dependable and water resistant. Along with these are, of course, extra batteries to keep them lasting a few days. I may add a cheap crank flashlight to this mix as well.

One of the most important series of items is the medical supplies. This is a basic individual first aid kit. I packed a compression bandage, two triangle bandages, a cinch tight, some band aids, Betadine solution, gauze, and a burn dressing. I also included a flask of liquor (high proof), for cleaning wounds and if necessary, for starting fires.

Speaking of fires, I packed a good outdoor lighter, water resistant matches, and a cheap fire starter. Three different ways to start a fire is a good place to start. Fire can cook and purify water, as well as act as a signaling device.  It’s just as important as water because it will purify water too. On this note I’m also packing a military metal canteen cup in which to boil water. I’m also packing a packet of a dozen Micropur tablets, each capable of purifying a liter of water.

I have a few miscellaneous items to toss in there as well. First are two rolls of tape, one electrical and one duct tape. Tape is another item that has a million uses. I also threw in a D ring, just because you never know. I also tossed in three glow sticks—blue, yellow, and red—that will each last 8 hours. These can be used for signaling as well as lights. {I’d add a few items the author of this article hasn’t mentioned, ie.: cheap thermal blanket, poncho, insect repellant, gloves and stocking cap or brimmed hat, depending on time of year and location. Also more apt to carry a 1/2 lb or larger canister of Bear grade pepper spray, than a gun, for this two hour to over night emergency. Mr. Larry).

Now the last piece of gear I’m bringing is probably the most important—the gun. I had a hard time choosing a weapon; I decided that the weapon needed to be concealable, adaptable, and powerful. I ended up choosing the Taurus Judge. I chose the Judge for a few reasons. First off, it is powerful enough to deal with any man or critter I will encounter. I can also load a variety of different shots for close range snake dispatching and small game hunting. I packed a box of Federal .410 handgun No. 4, a box of number 7, and 15 Winchester .45 colt Winchester PDX, and ten double-aught buck. I have a total of 75 rounds for this weapon. This weapon will compliment my everyday concealed handgun, a .45 acp 1911 Commander, with two eight-round magazines.

Of course I packed my favorite holster, a Blackhawk Serpa, with a paddle attachment. I love the Serpa for the Judge. It holds the weapon high, is easy to conceal, and it also holds the heavy weapon really well.

The actual pack I use is a military surplus “butt” pack. The butt pack was used on 782 gear as a patrol pack to carry food, tarp, or whatever a soldier needed on patrol that day. I rigged mine up with an old two-point sling to act as a messenger bag (aka “man purse”). The butt pack is tough and lightweight, just big enough to fit everything, and still stays small and convenient.

The small get home bag is a pretty handy little bag to keep in any vehicle. The bag is perfect for a short survival situation and cost me nearly nothing to build. It takes up only a small amount of room in my trunk, or behind the seat in my truck. Like my bug out bags, I’ll be changing and upgrading it constantly, and it will become a permanent addition in my vehicle.

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Cooking with aluminum foil – on grill & campfire

(Survival Manual/3. Food & Water/Cooking with aluminum foil – on grill & campfire)

A.   Cooking Around the Campfire: 9 Easy and Delicious Foil Packet Recipes
July 20, 2010, The Art of Maniliness, by Brett & Kate McKay
http://artofmanliness.com/2010/07/20/cooking-around-the-campfire-9-easy-and-delicious-foil-packet-recipes/

Foil Packet Cooking Tips
•  Use heavy duty foil. You don’t want the foil to rip and have ashes get in and your dinner leak out. If you use regular foil, double up on the sheets. If your food is heavy, and/or if you plan to eat directly from the pack, it’s a good idea to double up even on the heavy duty sheets.
•  Spray the side of the foil on which you’re going to place the food with cooking spray before you add your ingredients and seal it up.
•  When placing your ingredients on the sheet of foil, always put the meat on the bottom as it takes the longest to cook.
•  Cook your foil packet on the fire’s coals, not in the fire itself. Ideally, you want to place the packet on a bed of coals about 2 inches thick.
•  Hard, raw vegetables like carrots and potatoes take a long time to cook. If you don’t want to wait, use the canned variety.
•  When cooking meat, throw in some high-moisture veggies like tomatoes and onions. This will keep the meat from drying out.
•  Cooking times will depend on how hot the fire is and the kind of food in the packet. I generally err on the side of cooking it too long-this is the kind of food that you don’t need to be overly delicate with. Flip the packets over a few times during cooking, and open and check on how the food is progressing from time to time.
•  When it’s finished cooking, open your foil packet carefully, as it’s full of hot steam!

Making Your Foil Packs
Making a good foil pack is essential to foil dinner cooking success. There are a couple of different kinds of foil packs you can make depending on what you’re cooking.

The Flat Pack
The flat pack is best for foods like meat where you’re looking for more browning than steaming.
1. Place the food in the middle of the sheet of foil. If you needed to mix the ingredients up, do so in a separate bowl before transferring it to the foil.
2. Tear off a sheet of heavy-duty foil that is about twice as long as the food you’ll be wrapping. It’s better to overestimate the length than place your food on it, start wrapping it up, and realize you don’t have enough foil to keep everything in and make your folds.
3. Bring the long sides together in the center and crease them together, making tight folds until the foil is flat next to the food.
4. Tightly roll up the shorter sides until they meet the food.
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 The Tent Pack
The tent pack provides a pocket of air that allows for greater steaming. Thus, it’s best for foods you want steamed more than browned like fruits, vegetables, and meat/vegetable combos.
1.  Tear off a sheet of foil just as you would for the flat pack.
2.  Place the food in the middle of the foil.
3.  Bring the long sides together in the center and tightly fold them together towards the food. This time, stop folding a few inches before you get to the food, leaving a pocket of space and creating a “tent.”
4.  Tightly roll up the shorter sides, again leaving an inch or so of space between the end of the fold and the food.

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B.  Nine easy and delicious foil packet recipes
You don’t have to limit foil packet cooking to camping. All of these recipes are also good when cooked on the grill. It’s an easy way to grill veggies. Below, I took some squash and zucchini and mixed it with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. Very nice.

I’ve tried to give somewhat exact measurements here, but honestly I just eyeball it, and I recommend doing likewise. Foil packet cooking is not an exact science. And these recipes represent just the basics-you can add all sorts of variations to them. The foil is your camping canvas and you can do whatever you’d like with it. All servings are for a single person unless otherwise indicated. Just double or triple the measurements according to your needs.

[Above: Two meat and vegebable meals.]

The Classic: Hamburger and Vegg-All
This is my go-to foil dinner recipe.
•  ½ lb ground hamburger meat
•  ½ can of Veg-all or other mixed vegetables
•  ½ can can of cream of mushroom soup
•  spices and seasonings
Mix together the above ingredients with spices and condiments to your heart’s content. Place the mixture on the center of a sheet of foil, wrap in a tent pack, and place on hot coals for 25 minutes.

Sausage and Eggs
•  1 frozen hash brown patty
•  2 eggs, scrambled, uncooked
•  2 frozen sausage patties
•  spices and seasonings
•  Cheese (optional)
Crimp the sides of your sheet of foil so that the eggs won’t go anywhere when you add them. First place your hash brown patty on the foil. Then place the eggs on top of the hash brown patty. Then place the sausage patties on top. Season with spices and condiments and wrap up in a tent pack.
Place on hot coals and cook for 15 minutes. Add the cheese when it’s ready (it turns out better than cooking it in the pack).

Muffins in an Orange Shell
Making muffins this way isn’t actually easier than baking them up at home, but it is infinitely cooler.
•  6 oranges
•  1 package of just add water muffin mix
Mix up the muffin mix as instructed. Cut off the quarter top of the oranges. Carefully scoop out the pulp; do not break the skin. Pour the muffin mix into the oranges. Wrap the oranges in foil, crimping the foil around the hole at top of the shell, but leaving it open.
Place the oranges upright in a stable position on hot coals and cook for about 10-15 minutes.
Makes six servings. Well, if you’re someone who can stop at one muffin.
Note: You can also cook eggs this way, but you’ll want to cover the whole orange shell with foil.

Chicken Casserole
•  1 chicken breast
•  1 cup of broccoli
•  1/2 cup of prepared rice
•  1 can of cream of chicken soup
•  ranch dressing
•  cheddar cheese
•  spices
Pound the chicken thinly as chicken can take awhile to cook.
Mix together the broccoli, soup, and cheese. Add spices and condiments. Place the chicken breast on the center of the foil. Top with the soup mix and then rice. Seal in a tent pack.
Cook on hot coals for about 25 minutes (The thicker your chicken breast, the longer it will take).

Catch of the Day
Fish that you caught with your own manly hands and filleted
•  ¼ cup of onions
•  1 tablespoon of butter, melted
•  lemon juice
•  salt and pepper
•  parsley
•  dillweed
•  paprika
Mix the melted butter with a dash of lemon juice and the above spices to taste (with the exception of the paprika). Place the onions on the foil sheet. Place the fish on top and sprinkle with paprika. Wrap the foil in a flat pack.
Place on hot coals and scoop some hot coals on top of the packet. Cook for 15-20 minutes.
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[Above: Aluminum foil wrapped packages of vegetables.]

Apricot-Glazed Pork Chops
•  1 boneless pork chop
•  1/3 cup apricot preserves
•  1 tablespoon soy sauce
•  ½ package frozen stir-fry vegetates
•  garlic powder, salt, pepper
Mix together the apricot preserves, the soy sauce, and any seasoning you’d like to add. Place the pork chop in the center of the sheet of foil. Spread half of the apricot sauce on top. Put the veggies on top/around the pork chop. Pour the rest of the sauce over the whole thing. Wrap in a tent pack. Place on hot coals and cook for 20 minutes.

Thanksgiving Dinner
•  1 turkey cutlet
•  1 cup of prepared stuffing
•  ½ cup of turkey gravy
•  ½ cup of green beans
•  ¼ dried cranberries
•  salt, pepper, thyme, marjoram
Place turkey cutlet on sheet of foil. Put the stuffing on top and the green beans around the cutlet. Pour gravy over everything and sprinkle with the dried cranberries and seasonings. Wrap in a tent pack and place on hot coals for 20 minutes.

Corn on the Cob
•  4 ears of shucked corn
•  ¼ cup butter or olive oil
•  Parmesan cheese
•  ½ teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
•  salt and pepper
•  4 ice cubes
Place the ears of corn on a large sheet of foil. Spread the butter on top. Sprinkle with the seasonings and Parmesan cheese. Put the ice cubes on top. Wrap up into a tent pack. Place on hot coals and cook for 20 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

Pineapple Upside Donut Cake
Every delicious foil dinner deserves a delicious foil dessert. This is an awesome one.
•  1 ring of pineapple
•  1 tablespoon butter, softened
•  1 tablespoon brown sugar
•  1 cake donut
Place donut on sheet of foil. Mix the softened butter and brown sugar together and spread it over the donut. Place the pineapple ring on top. Wrap the donut in a tight flat pack. Place on hot coals and cook for 5-7 minutes.

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C.  More grilling with tin foil  recipes:
From  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes-and-cooking/50-things-to-grill-in-foil/index.html

[Above: Left, 3 pouches, each with a different vegetable medley. Right, foil broiled potatoes with diced onion.]

Vegetables:
Baby Beets Toss 1 pound halved baby beets with olive oil and salt on a sheet of foil. Form a packet. Grill over medium heat, 30 minutes. Toss with vinegar, mint and feta.

Roasted Broccoli Toss 1 head broccoli florets, 2 sliced garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and salt on a sheet of foil. Arrange in a single layer and form a packet. Grill over medium-high heat, 10 minutes.

Baby Carrots Toss 1 bunch baby carrots, 1 chopped shallot, 1 teaspoon chopped tarragon, a pat of butter, and salt and pepper on a sheet of foil. Form a packet. Grill over medium-high heat, 15 minutes.

Mexican Corn Brush 4 ears corn with melted butter and sprinkle with cotija cheese, cayenne and lime juice; seal in individual foil packets. Grill over medium-high heat, turning a few times, 15 minutes.

Italian Corn Make Mexican Corn (No. 31), replacing the cotija cheese with parmesan and the lime juice with lemon juice.

Jalapeno Poppers Remove the stems from 8 jalapenos; scrape out the seeds and stuff with muenster cheese. Toss with olive oil, salt and 1/4 teaspoon each ground cumin and coriander on a sheet of foil. Form a packet. Grill over medium-high heat, turning often, 10 minutes.

Portobello Mushrooms Toss 4 portobello caps, 4 smashed garlic cloves, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, salt and chopped parsley to taste. Divide among 4 foil packets. Grill over medium heat, turning once, 10 minutes.

Potatoes with Bacon Toss 1 pound halved baby potatoes, 1 chopped bacon slice and salt on a sheet of foil. Add 2 tablespoons water; form a packet. Grill over medium-high heat, 20 minutes

Baked potato Poke each potato several times all over with a fork. Smear each potato with 1 tablespoon of butter, then double wrap in aluminum foil. Bury the potatoes in the hot coals. Allow to cook for 30 to 60 minutes until soft.

Potato Gratin Toss 2 thinly sliced peeled potatoes, 1/4 cup grated parmesan, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Arrange in 4 to 5 layers on a sheet of nonstick foil. Drizzle with 1/4 cup cream and form a packet. Grill over medium heat, 25 minutes.

Succotash Toss 1 pound thawed frozen lima beans, 2 cups corn, 1 diced red bell pepper, 2 sprigs thyme, 2 tablespoons butter, and salt and pepper on a sheet of foil. Form a packet. Grill over medium-high heat, 10 minutes. Open and stir in 1/4 cup cream. Reseal; grill 10 more minutes. Top with chopped parsley.

Pattypan Squash Toss 1 pound pattypan squash, 1 bunch chopped scallions, olive oil, and salt and pepper on a sheet of foil. Arrange in a single layer and form a packet. Grill over medium-high heat, 15 minutes. Top with chopped basil.

Spicy Scallions Toss 2 bunches scallions, olive oil and a pinch of cayenne on a sheet of foil. Form a packet. Grill over medium-high heat, turning a few times, 15 minutes. Serve with lime wedges.

Tomatillo-Pineapple Salsa Toss 3/4 pound diced husked tomatillos, 1/2 cup diced pineapple, 1 each minced jalapeno and shallot, and 1 tablespoon olive oil on a sheet of foil. Form a packet. Grill over high heat, 12 minutes. Stir in some chopped cilantro.

Ravioli with Zucchini Make Zucchini and Tomatoes (No. 20), dividing the ingredients between 2 sheets of foil. Top each with 4 ounces frozen cheese ravioli and form a packet. Grill over medium-high heat, 12 minutes.

Zucchini and Tomatoes Toss 2 sliced zucchini, 2 diced tomatoes, 4 smashed garlic cloves, olive oil, basil, and salt and pepper on a sheet of foil. Form a packet. Grill over high heat, 10 minutes. Top with grated parmesan.

Fruit:
Glazed Peaches Toss 4 quartered peaches, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 tablespoons butter, and cinnamon to taste on a sheet of foil. Form a packet. Grill over medium-high heat, 12 minutes.

Apple Dumplings Mix 1/2 stick softened butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1 teaspoon apple pie spice; stuff into 4 cored apples. Wrap each in 1/2 disk refrigerated pie dough; seal in individual nonstick foil packets. Grill over medium heat, turning a few times, 30 minutes.

Meat
Jerk Chicken Wings Toss 6 split chicken wings, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and 3 tablespoons jerk seasoning on a sheet of foil. Form a packet. Grill over high heat, turning once, 25 minutes. Top with cilantro and serve with lime wedges.

Lemon-Herb Chicken Toss 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, 1/4 cup chopped mixed herbs and 3 tablespoons each olive oil and lemon juice in a bowl. Divide among 4 foil packets. Grill over medium-high heat, 12 minutes.

Paella Combine 1 cup uncooked Spanish rice mix, 1 1/4 cups chicken broth, 6 peeled large shrimp, 2 skinless chicken thighs, 2 ounces sliced dried chorizo, 1/4 cup each pimiento-stuffed olives and roasted pepper strips, and 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika in a disposable pie pan. Drizzle with olive oil; sprinkle with pepper. Seal the pan in foil. Grill over medium-high heat, 30 minutes.

Meatballs Mix 1 pound ground beef with 1 egg, 1/4 cup each breadcrumbs and grated parmesan, 1 minced garlic clove and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a bowl. Roll into 1 1/2-inch balls. Arrange in a single layer on a sheet of foil; top with 1/2 cup tomato sauce and form a packet. Grill over high heat, 20 minutes.

Asian-Style Ribs Mix 1/3 cup each hoisin sauce and ketchup, 4 teaspoons Sriracha and 1 1/4 teaspoons each salt, sesame oil and rice vinegar. Coat 2 pounds baby back ribs with the hoisin mixture; place in a single layer on a double sheet of foil and form apacket. Grill over indirect heat, covered, turning occasionally, 1 hour.

Glazed Pork Mix 1/4 cup peach preserves, 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard and 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce. Season 1 pork tenderloin with salt and pepper and coat with the peach mixture; seal in a foil packet. Grill over high heat, turning, 18 minutes.

Garlic Shrimp Mix 1/2 stick softened butter, 1 cup chopped parsley, 2 chopped garlic cloves, and salt and pepper. Toss with the juice of 1 lemon, 1 pound unpeeled large shrimp and a big pinch of red pepper flakes. Divide between 2 foil packets. Grill over high heat, 8 minutes.

Lobster Scampi Make the butter mixture for Garlic Shrimp (No. 8). Split 4 thawed frozen lobster tails lengthwise; spread the cut sides with the butter. Divide between 2 foil packets. Grill over high heat, turning once, 10 minutes.

Mussels Toss 2 pounds mussels, 1 shaved fennel bulb, 8 halved cherry tomatoes, 1/2 cup white wine, 1/4 cup olive oil, a pinch of red pepper flakes and salt. Divide between 2 foil packets, leaving extra room for the mussels to open. Grill over medium-high heat, 10 minutes.

Portuguese Clambake Toss 2 pounds small clams, 1/2 pound each sliced small potatoes and linguiça or andouille sausage, 8 small rounds corn on the cob, 2 sliced garlic cloves, 1/2 cup beer and a drizzle of olive oil. Divide among 4 foil packets, leaving extra room for the clams to open. Grill over medium-high heat, 25 minutes.

Fish Provençal For each serving, pile 1 halibut fillet, 1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes, some shaved fennel, 2 olives, 1 teaspoon each capers and chopped garlic, and the juice of 1/4 orange on a sheet of foil. Form a packet. Grill over medium-high heat, 10 minutes. Top with olive oil and chopped basil.

Mexican Fish For each serving, pile 1 tilapia fillet, 1/2 cup fresh salsa, 4 olives, and olive oil and lime juice on a sheet of foil. Form a packet. Grill over high heat, 10 minutes.

Mustard-Dill Salmon For each serving, layer a few lemon slices, 1 salmon fillet and some dill sprigs on a sheet of foil. Sprinkle with brown sugar, salt and ground coriander; spread whole-grain mustard on top. Form a packet. Grill over medium heat, 12 minutes.

 [Above: Left, checking the progress of a bag of mixed vegetables. Right, making pop-corn in a foil covered, ‘any kind of pot or pan’.]

Other:
Popcorn
Combine 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and 1/4 cup popcorn kernels in a disposable pie pan. Seal the pan in foil, making a dome shape on top. (Use 2 sheets of foil, if needed, to cover.) Grill over high heat, shaking, until the popping stops, about 8 minutes. Season with salt.

S’mores Popcorn Make Popcorn. Toss in a bowl with 2 tablespoons cocoa powder and 1/4 cup each confectioners’ sugar, crushed graham crackers and mini marshmallows

Quesadillas Sprinkle shredded pepper jack cheese on one half of a flour tortilla; top with chopped rotisserie chicken and cilantro and fold in half to close. Repeat to make more; seal in individual foil packets. Grill over medium heat, turning once, 5 minutes.

Cheesy Garlic Bread Mix 1/2 cup shredded Italian cheese blend, 2 tablespoons softened butter, 1 grated garlic clove and salt. Halve 1 loaf French bread lengthwise and place cut-side up on a sheet of foil. Spread with the cheese mixture and form a packet. Grill over medium-high heat, 10 minutes.

Bread Pudding Whisk 2 eggs, 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon in a bowl. Add 4 cups bread cubes and 1 cup berries; soak 30 minutes. Butter a sheet of nonstick foil and add the bread mixture; form a packet. Grill over indirect heat, turning a few times, 35 minutes.

Upside-Down Cakes For each cake, mound 1 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar and 1 tablespoon butter on a sheet of nonstick foil. Top with a pineapple ring, a maraschino cherry and an upside-down small shortcake shell. Form a packet. Grill sugar-side down over medium-high heat, 12 minutes. [Photo at right.]

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Filed under Survival Manual, __3. Food & Water

Emergency Tent Living, Part 4 of 4

(Survival Manual/ 4. Shelter Issues/ Emergency Tent Living, Part 4 of 4)
How to live in a tent
tent interiors1

A.  How to Live in a Tent
Part One: It’s Not the Same as Camping
8 Mar 2013, Yahoo! Voices, by Tina Gallagher,  Yahoo! Contributor Network
Pasted from: http://voices.yahoo.com/how-live-tent-12031705.html?cat=7

Why and Where
There are many reasons that a person will decide to live in a tent. In many parts of the world today, people do just that. Some examples include:

  • People in Mongolia and in many parts of the world live in yurts, which is a circular type of tent with a solid front door.
  • Military troops on deployment to different areas will live in tents.
  • Refugees fleeing economic, political, natural disasters or other circumstances live in tents.
  • Those attending week-long outdoor festivals such as “Burning Man,” will live in tents.
  • People on retreats and sabbaticals will live in tents.
  • Those building houses in wilderness areas may live in tents during the construction process.
  • Homeless people may live in a tent if they are available.

I have lived successfully for weeks in a 7-by-7 foot, four-foot tall tent. I had permission to live on the land where I pitched it. Always make sure the landowner is okay with you being there. Trespassing is against the law; you could go to jail.

My choice of tent was basically made by my finances. You can choose the tent you need.
You will be surprised, as I was to find out how much “stuff” you really do not need.

To begin my sabbatical, I obtained permission to camp on a stretch of land. I will not give the exact location. I do not have the landowner’s permission to do so.

I chose the date that I would begin and took everything I owned to the place. It was nearby several businesses; the employees could not see my camp. I was not far from a public library. This would become very important during the sabbatical. Approximately a quarter mile from the library was a grocery store. I could buy what I needed.

The beginning of my sabbatical was in January 2013. Choosing the middle of the winter wasn’t all that dumb. The weather here can vary from mild to harsh. I was prepared for almost everything.

I pitched my tent and clipped my cat’s leash to one of the tent poles. She could run around in her harness in a 10-foot diameter. She loved it.

Since space was limited inside the tent, I had to choose what to put in it carefully. Here is a list of the various items:

  • A single-wide air mattress. I blew this up with my mouth. No, it wasn’t easy, but it can be done with patience.
  • A sleeping bag, blankets, comforter and pillow.
  • My cat’s carrier, water and food dishes along with a small broom and dustpan and her litter scooper.
  • My backpack which was filled with different things.
  • A bag containing toiletries and necessities.
  • My clock

A second tent was given to me, but I decided it was too tall (six-feet). I also discovered the door’s zipper was broken. I pitched it, staked down the corners and placed the rest of my belongings inside. I weighed down the rain cover with rocks. It worked fine.

Now I was set to begin my sabbatical. I learned several things about myself and the world around me.

The second article will discuss water, cooking, shopping and living without refrigeration.

Source: The author of this article has over 40 years of experience in diverse subjects and skills such as DIY, home improvement and repair, crafting, designing, and building furniture, outdoor projects, RV’ing and more.

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B.  How to Maintain a Campground
4 Apr 2013, Yahoo! Voices, by Tina Gallagher, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Pasted from: http://voices.yahoo.com/how-maintain-campground-12048160.html?cat=7

When I decided to live in a tent, I also decided to share what I knew and what I learned along the way. Those who live in a tent should always obtain permission from the landowner before attempting it. If you own the land, you can camp on it if your local ordinance or state law permits it.

This is the third article in the series, “Living In A Tent.” This article will discuss:

  • Maintaining the camp
  • Personal hygiene
  • Pet hygiene
  • Wild Animals

Maintaining The Camp
There are a number of ways to maintain your camp. The best is to follow eco-friendly practices. The following tips will help your camp stay pristine so that you do not cause any damage to your surrounding environment.

  • Remove all of your trash daily and place it in a proper receptacle.
  • Never leave a fire to burn itself out. This ludicrous practice has been responsible for numerous campfires over the years. If a fire starts, your tent and belongings will go with it.
  • Choose a place to dump out wash water; always use bio-degradable soap for baths, hair-washing and dishwashing.
  • Remember the old adage: “You pack it in, pack it out.” It should be self-explanatory.

Personal Hygiene
Staying clean can seem like a major issue when you live in a tent. If you have a gym membership, a friend’s house you can visit regularly, have a shower at work or school, you pretty much have it made. If not, it’s really not that hard.

Heat water in one of your pans. My Sterno stove does just fine heating a quart of water in a blue enamel saucepot. Pour that into a clean bucket and add a little liquid soap and your washcloth. Add just enough cold water to make it the temperature you like. Swish around a little, and wash inside the tent, wringing out the cloth before washing. Frequently dip the cloth into the soapy water and squeeze it out. You can have a separate bucket with warm water and a clean cloth for rinsing, but I’ve found this unnecessary.

For washing hair, heat water and pour into another bucket. Lean over and use a cup to get your hair wet. Your goal is to clean your scalp. Use just enough shampoo to get your hair clean, dipping the cup into the water and pouring it slowly over your head while you wash. It takes a little practice. You won’t have a head full of lather unless you want to pour water over your head for quite a while to rinse. You can use a 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner or use a leave-in conditioner.

For ladies, we have to deal with feminine napkins every month. Do not bury these or toilet paper anywhere on the camp ground. Place these items in a trash bag and take it out of the camp daily.

If you do not have a toilet, a porta-potty is a great answer. Do not dig a latrine in the campground. There is a porta-potty that uses bags called “doody bags.” You do your business in the bag, close the bag and dispose of it in the trash. It contains gel to take care of liquid and solid waste.

If you have leftover food after cooking, put it in a plastic bag and into the trash. Do not dump it on the ground; you will have to deal with bugs and wild animals if any are around.

Pet Hygiene
If you have a dog in your camp, prepare to “scoop the poop.” Do not allow your pet to mess anywhere just because you are camping. You will have to deal with flies, stink and bugs. The landowner or campground will ask you to leave. Clean up after your pet.
If you have a cat, the same advice goes. Use a box with cat litter and scoop the waste into the trash bag.

Wild Animals
If the land you are camping or living on has no wild animals, don’t worry about this. Of course, anywhere near a residential or urban area you could be dealing with stray domestic animals. There are a few rules to follow for the safety of your camp, yourself and your pet(s):

  • · Do not leave human or animal food out overnight.
  • · Keep all food in a container that cannot be opened by an animal- a Sterlite storage container with the lid locked in place will do.
  • · Although this has been mentioned before, do not pour food bits out around the camp. This attracts pests and animals as well. Raccoons are not “friendly Disney creatures,” they are incredibly dangerous.
  • · Ensure your pets have their vaccinations up to date.
  • · Do not attempt to track, pet or feed wild animals.
  • · Do not allow your pets to run free or to chase anything.

It is not hard to maintain a clean camp, keep yourself and your pet safe and clean. It does take effort; after a few days it will become a habit.

tent eureka copper canyon collage

 

C.  Frugality, Making a Living and Living Without Electricity in a Tent
18 Mar 2013, Yahoo! Voices,  by Tina Gallagher, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Pasted from: http://voices.yahoo.com/frugality-making-living-living-without-electricity-12049380.html?cat=7

I decided to live in a tent during 2013. I learned a lot about living without different luxuries and things we often take for granted. It is a truly different way of life. I will share what I learned with you. Before you begin, make sure you have the permission of the campground or landowner.

Frugal Living
It is not expensive to live in a tent. If you have a pet or other belongings with you, you will soon discover what you can and cannot live without. You do not need refrigeration for some foods such as peanut butter, honey, most condiments and fresh vegetables. If you have limited space, you can shop for what you need for the day or the week. If you do not have an ice chest which requires frequent additions of ice, you can still have healthy meals.

Condiments, peanut butter and honey as well as other foods do not need refrigeration. Only use clean utensils to scoop out such items as relish or mustard.

Purchase meat in cans; it will keep for several months. It must be used within a couple of hours of being opened. Fresh meat should be cooked and eaten within a couple of hours. Only cook what you will eat; leftovers will not keep and waste will cost you too much money over time.

Earning A Living
Some people who live in a tent go to regular jobs during the day and return to their campground in the evening. Others make handcrafts that need storage space until they are sold.

I make a living as a freelance writer. I had no electricity in the camp, so I put my laptop in my backpack and carried it to the local public library every day and worked. The library allows customers to use their wi fi without any time limits. Before I had the laptop, I worked on the library’s computers; they have a two-hour time limit every day. I saved the money and ordered it; friends allowed me to use their address and they accepted it for me.

Living Without Electricity
Noting some of the panic in my neighborhood after hurricane Hermine, my neighbors and I tried to educate children about living without electricity. It is not as hard as it sounds; millions of people around the world do it every day.

The first feeling is one of a mild panic; at sunset the sky and everything turns dark. The first few nights I used a battery-powered lantern. After a few nights, my eyes learned to focus with the available moonlight to move around at night. Of course, with some of my wild neighbors such as raccoons and skunks, I did not go far from my immediate area. The ground was also very uneven; staying on familiar footing was also safer.

I used the laptop at the camp every night until the battery went low. I noticed quickly that in colder temperatures the battery would drain faster. I simply used the time I had to work or watch an entertaining program.

It should be noted that entertainment is a necessary part of a human being’s life. While I did not go out to movies or restaurants during this time, I still watched favorite television shows on HULU.com and other sites.

tent solar panels


D.  Make Your Next Camping Trip a Solar Experience
Let the Sun Power Your Camping Gear
22 Feb 2013, Yahoo! Voices,  by Tina Gallagher, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Pasted from: http://voices.yahoo.com/make-next-camping-trip-solar-experience-12016869.html

I love camping. I hate to carry charcoal, firewood and batteries. Many campgrounds are not allowing people to bring in firewood anymore because the practice spreads diseased wood and bugs that are detrimental to the forests. When a burn ban is enacted, barbeque pits with charcoal are sometimes not allowed either.

So, what am I supposed to do? Sit in my camp eating cold beans and franks?

I won’t. With today’s technology, I am collecting new items for my camping gear. The sun will power my camp, cook my food, heat my water and provide a hot shower. I don’t have to run a generator or carry fuel.

All of these items can be found online and in various big box stores. Shop around to find the brand you like the best and obtain the best price.

They will also make a great addition to your disaster preparedness supplies or bug-out kit.

Hot Water
To have hot water for showers, you can buy solar showers in five or 10-gallon bags, either with or without spray nozzles. You can make your own pressurized solar shower as well. [See: http://voices.yahoo.com/diy-own-pressurized-solar-shower-11151012.html?cat=16%5D

To have hot water for drinking, washing dishes or cooking, you can heat water over a stove, in a solar oven or by setting a glass jar painted black in the sun.
If you take your car, there are 12 volt water heaters that plug into your cigarette lighter outlet. [Search, “12 volt water heaters” at Amazon.com]

Security Lighting
In a campground, you might not think about having a small sized solar powered security light. It may bother other campers. Then again, it could discourage a bad person from entering your camp and taking something. Lights suddenly coming on could scare off animals that could cause harm to you or your gear. A wide variety of designs are available; they could mount on a PVC pole that can be included in regular camping gear. [Search, “solar security light” at Amazon.com]
While they are not standard equipment on an RV or car, having them attached could also help you see if you have to step outside at night.

Solar Battery Charger
Some things just have to have batteries or to be charged. IPods, cell phones, laptops (for entertainment, of course) need power to operate. For standard batteries, there are several models for using the sun to charge regular batteries. Some models also charge cell phones. [Search “Solar battery charger” at Amazon.com]

For a laptop, more power is needed to charge the batteries. I carry a spare battery for my laptop in case I can’t get to a place I can plug the charger in. While the first battery is charging, I can use the 2nd. This solar panel will charge the laptop battery while I’m fishing, hiking or just having fun. Search, “ SUNPACK 16W Portable / Foldable Solar Charger for Laptops” at Amazon.com.

Solar Cooker
Solar cookers abound on the market. You can also make your own; many different designs are listed online. It depends on what you will be cooking, the size of cooker you want to carry and the size/type of pans you will use. Your home made model can be any size you wish. Currently, I use a Sterno stove and a single qt.-sized enamel pan for cooking in my camp. My solar oven won’t be very big at all. [See Global Sun Oven at: http://www.sunoven.com/   This is my personal favorite. Mr. Larry]

Solar Lantern
If the moon isn’t out, I need to see where I’m going at night. A solar lantern will light my way. Each model on the market has different charging/lighting times and may provide light for a specific amount of time. I’ll carry two. If one dies down, the other will work fine. I think I’ll find a model that uses both solar and batteries. With rechargeable batteries, I won’t run out of lighting.

Solar Radio
Several companies offer radios that have solar charging panels, use battery power, AC power or can be charged by turning a hand crank. This will not only provide entertainment, but could come in useful in an emergency.

There are models that can charge a cell phone, have flashlights or emergency flashing lights, sirens and more. There is a model for everyone.

Solar Flashlight
If I want to go outside without waking everybody up, I can use a solar powered flashlight. I can carry one in the car, have one in the house and anywhere I need one. It can sit in a place where the sun can charge it. In an emergency, or when I need a flashlight, I’m not looking for batteries or wishing the store was open.  [Search “solar powered flashlight” and “solar powered lantern” at Amazon.com]

My new camping gear won’t take up a lot of space. With the sun powering everything, I won’t need to carry batteries, fuel or haul a generator everywhere. My travel trailer will be a little lighter, which means I save on fuel. My backpack will be lighter as well- yippee!

tent battery bank

[Above Left: Steve Harris Emergency Home Battery Bank. See,  www.Battery1234.com This demonstration photograph shows the type of small appliances- personal electronics that can be powered by a deep cycle battery with an inverter.
Above right Mr. Larry’s “mobile power unit” shows a 125Ahr (70 lb battery) and outlets mounted on 2 wheel luggage dolly. Power is taken from the battery in bottom box, fed up to the inverter and 12 volt receptacles in the top box. An orange extension cord runs electric power to an appliance at a “remote” location. This is a very simple “plug and play” electrical system, no special electrical knowledge is necessary. The deep cycle battery is set in a Minn Kota Power Center  (bottom box); the top battery box houses a 4-way 12volt receptacle and a 400 watt inverter with USB,  also providing area for extension cord storage. A very simple system.]

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E.  The Gear You Need for a Completely Solar Powered Camping Trip
27 June 2011, Yahoo! Voices, by Mrs. Renee, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Excerpts pasted from: http://voices.yahoo.com/the-gear-completely-solar-powered-camping-8688841.html?cat=11

When it comes to camping there are many different ways that you can go about planning out your trip. If you are looking to really benefit from all that nature has to offer then you may want to consider camping with solar power. Solar power also comes in handy when you are at a campsite that does not offer electricity. One of the best ways to add solar power to your next camping trip is to get the right kids of gear. The first step to planning your solar powered camping trip is to stock up on solar powered camping supplies. Once you have all of the solar powered supplies you can then put them to good use. Below are some of the tp solar powered items to add to your camping shopping list.

Solar powered flashlights
Having solar powered flashlights, can really help when it comes to saving money on batteries for flashlights. A solar powered flashlight that comes with a back up batter will make sure that you stay charged through out the day. What is great about these lights is that they do not require direct sunlight to charge. So you can let them charge during the day, and then get them when you need them at night.

5 Gallon Solar Shower
Even though it may say solar shower, this is perfect for cleaning dishes as well as using as a shower. Or you can just rinse off the kids hands when you need to. Just leave the bag in the sun and it will warm itself up. When you are ready to shower you will get at least five nice short showers out of the bag. You can just get a tent that is made especially for showers, and use this bag with it. You can find these items at most Wal-Mart’s. [Search, “Camp showers” at Amazon.com]

Soul Cell Solar Powered Lantern
Having a solar powered light to brighten up the nights is really what you need on a camping trip. You don’t have to worry about bringing along tons of batteries for an extended camping trip. With less to carry this item is really a must have. Search Google for, “Barefoot Power Firefly 12mobile Super Bright LED Lamp”, or comparable models]

Cordless Bug Zapper
The cordless bug zapper just needs to sit in the sun to be recharged. There are mosquito bug zappers, or the all in one bug zapper. Do a simple search on Google and you are sure to turn up plenty of options. Just allow the bug zapper to charge during the day, and let it rest at night. Search Amazon.com for: (mosquito control) “INADAYS InaTrap Electronic Insect Killer and Elegant Night Light” or (fly control) “Fly Web Glue Board 10 Pack”.
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F.  How to Maintain Your Safety in a Campground
Part Five in the Series, “Living in a Tent”
5 Apr 2013 , Yahoo! Voices,  by Tina Gallagher, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Pasted from: http://voices.yahoo.com/how-maintain-safety-campground-12070185.html?cat=4

I camped on a friend’s property in 2013 as a sabbatical. I had permission to be on the property, but my location was near a busy highway and two very busy roads. I was concerned for my personal safety not only during the day, but at night when I slept. When I left the camp every day to go to the library to work, I was concerned for my campground, my cat and my belongings.
Maintaining your safety is not a difficult task if you follow some tips.

Step One: Noise
If you make a lot of noise with a CD player, TV, DVD player or musical instruments, you will likely be heard by people passing by. Since a tent has no lock on the door, a nefarious person may begin to watch the area to find out when you leave. On large pieces of land, the owner may not have the ability to keep an eye on you or your tent all the time.

Choose your campground wisely; walk beside the property to see if you can spot your campground from the road. If you can, move it to a more secure area. The taller and more brightly colored your tent is, the more chance you have of being spotted. Shorter and smaller is better.

To eliminate noise, do not bring musical instruments with you. Use headphones for electronic devices. You might not sleep well the first few nights because of unfamiliar noises. You will get used to hearing the sounds of the area around you and will sleep through the night eventually.

Step Two: Light
I seldom turned on my battery operated lantern at night. I became accustomed to using the available moonlight to move around my camp. After the roads died down and the businesses in the area closed for the evening, I might turn on my laptop and watch a show for a little while. I had the screen turned away from the road and used earphones.

Needless to say, I did not go exploring in the area at night. In rural Texas, that’s not a good idea. Critters come out at night; not all of them are friendly and a few have no sense of humor about being stepped on by clumsy humans who can’t see in the dark.

I never started a campfire; the smoke and flames would attract attention in the area because a burn ban was in effect. My little Sterno stove flame could not be seen from the road; I had hot coffee, food and bath water every day.

Step Three: Protection
If you believe in the power of prayer as I do, pray for your campground’s safety every day.

I also had a 15-inch long Maglight in my tent as well as a piece of rebar for self-defense. The heavy metal flashlight can readjust someone’s attitude. Of course, the best protection is non-detection. I did see trespassers on my friend’s property one night; they came near my campground in the night. I was terrified. They came to a point on the trail that dropped off sharply and would have caused them to crash if they had continued; subsequently they turned around and went away. I informed my friend about them; she watched the area as well. Her hired help caught up with them and I did not see them again.
A cell phone can be a lifesaver; practice ahead of time to let the police know where you are and how to find you quickly.

Step Four: Travel Carefully
If you walk or drive to your campground, do not take the same path every day. Most people do not notice a car or truck turning off the road. If you walk, do not call attention to yourself. I was leaving from an area that did not have a house or road close by; most people on the road took no notice of me.

When I returned to my camp every day, it was a little after dusk, just as the light was leaving the sky and the night was turning dark. I was never followed. People on the busy street were more concerned about getting to their homes than paying attention to someone walking beside the road.

Step Five: Be Careful Who You Talk To
Do not walk around telling everyone you know what you are doing. A well-meaning friend or someone who overhears you could call the police, the health department or other authorities. Although I had permission to be on my friend’s property, someone could have made trouble for her and me because I was living in a tent.

Living in a tent can be a rewarding, relaxing experience. Taking care of your security is a daily task that takes a little effort in the beginning; you will develop the habit quickly.

[Note:  Consider “Household Alert” motion detecting alarms or other light/alarms installed inside/outside the tents greatly enhances security. Plug the  four way control unit into your inverter. The “Household Alert” remotes  each run and transmit off two AA rechargeable batteries. My home motion detection alarm batteries need  recharging about every two months. Mr. Larry]

tent interiors2

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G.  Extended Tent Camping
Considering Life on the Road in a Tent
26 Jul 2010, Yahoo! Voices, by Carrie Hetu, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Pasted from: http://voices.yahoo.com/extended-tent-camping-6433286.html?cat=7

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 cannot 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

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!
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H.  Would You Live in a Campground?
5 Nov 2007, Yahoo! Voices, by Carmella Mae Dunkin, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Pasted from: http://voices.yahoo.com/would-live-campground-638794.html?cat=16

If you wouldn’t live in a campground, why wouldn’t you? I know up until a year or so ago, I could not picture myself living in a campground, but now I see it, and I’m doing it, along with my husband and kids.

When you think about living in a campground, you probably think of a tent, no bathrooms, no showers, at this time of year it is cold at night, so you think of staying warm. The reality of it though is this, people who live in campgrounds, (yes people really do live full time in campgrounds), live either in an RV, a trailer, or a cabin. There are probably almost as many Americans living in campgrounds as there are living in “houses”!  [In some parts of the country, during the winter in : FL, TX, NM, AZ, CA. and during the summer, across the northern tier of states. Mr. Larry]

Despite popular belief that camping means pitching a tent and “roughing it”, many campers now days, (AKA RV’ers), live year round in campgrounds across the Country in their RV’s, 5th wheels, and travel trailers. In fact, full time RV’ing has become quite a trend, and many families are now selling their homes, storing their belongings, and taking to the road and living full time in their RV’s. A lot of these families are even working on the road. Many work in campgrounds in exchange for space rental and a little cash. Most campground jobs require 20 hours per week, and the work is easy enough that someone with a mild disability could do the work with little to no trouble.

Many who live in campgrounds year round do so just because it is a fairly cheap and easy way of life. Monthly rates in many parks here in Colorado are under $400.00 per month, plus your electric and propane, and phone if you do not have a cell phone. There is no lawn to mow. Your home is small, so repairs will be easy for the most part, and not huge. You can replace an RV roof for about $1000.00, and a day or two work. Try replacing the roof of a house for that price! RV parks, (campgrounds), have full bathrooms with showers. They also have laundry rooms with washers and dryers. There are a few that do not have laundry rooms, but we only found two between Indiana and Colorado that did not have a laundry room. Some RV parks have swimming pools, hot tubs, rec. rooms, playgrounds, and a lot more. RV park/campgrounds are like small communities of people who enjoy living in the RV or 5th wheel.

Living in an RV is actually a lot of fun. Many RV’s and 5th wheels are made for full timing now, and are quite spacious. They have slides that can double your space depending on how many the RV has. They are fully furnished, and many of the newer models have fireplaces in the living rooms!

Living in an RV park can be just as much fun as living in the RV itself. Depending on the state you choose to live in, and what park you choose, you can have a wildlife wonderland just out your back door. We live in the high mountains in Colorado, and it is a wildlife park right out our door! We have a fox that comes to visit us often, and he is so adorable. There is a momma bear and her baby cub that come and wreak havoc on the trash dumpster up front almost every night, and the deer are in great abundance right out our bedroom window.

Our family loves living in an RV park/campground, and not one of us want to live anywhere else right now. We love our RV, it has just enough room for us, and is very cozy and our home. We all look forward to when we can own a Fleetwood Regal 5th wheel, that is our dream RV, and it is a beauty too. Don’t believe me on that one though, you can see for yourself how awesome this rig is, just click here. As you can see, it is a real beautiful home, and is our dream rig!

So the next time someone asks you if you would live full time in a campground, you’ll have a whole new picture of what they are talking about, and may even consider it. It’s great!!!

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Filed under Survival Manual, __4. Shelter Issues

Emergency Tent Living, Part 3 of 4

(Survival Manual/ 4. Shelter Issues/ Emergency Tent Living, Part 3 of 4)

Living off-grid in a tent

A.  Why we’re living in a tent – in winter
10 February 2012, The Guardian, by Patrick Barkham
Pasted from: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/feb/11/family-living-in-tent

tent2 cookingWhy on earth would Matt and Lily Gibson give up their house and take their baby daughter to live in a tent in the countryside? Patrick Barkham finds out…

The stove has to be topped up with logs every two hours to keep the tent warm.
A white frost clings to the fields and the mud on the farm is frozen hard. In a secluded paddock behind the stone farmhouse stands a small bell tent, a curl of smoke rising from the metal flue poking out of the canvas. The temperature dropped to -7C the previous evening but inside the tent it is surprisingly warm, which is just as well because since the middle of January this octagonal dwelling, 5m wide and mounted on old pallets above the mud, has been the home of Lily and Matt Gibson and their nine-month-old daughter, Louise.

As unpaid bills mounted, and the couple struggled to pay £625-a-month rent for a dilapidated house, they made a drastic decision: they believed they would be better off, and happier, trying to survive in a tent. When their tenancy agreement expired on 15 January, they pitched a tent they had bought for £370, borrowed from Lily’s mother, on a farm in the west country.

“The mud and rain may be depressing, but the cold is scary,” admits Lily. “But we’re glad we’ve done this, even though it is frightening sometimes thinking about our responsibility for Louise and how we must keep her warm.”

The wood burning stove inside the tent is their life. Everything is focused on keeping the fire burning. Every two hours at night, Matt must get up to feed it more logs. So far, it is working. It may be freezing outside but under a single layer of canvas, the couple have created a snug and idyllic-looking – if minuscule – home. The tent smells of wood smoke and a delicious beef and vegetable broth is bubbling on the stove.

Matt was working in retail, spending wages on an expensive commute to a nearby city, and Lily, a freelance graphic designer, had stopped work when Louise was born. “Matt wasn’t getting home until 7pm and we still couldn’t afford to live properly,” says Lily. “We paid all our rent but we weren’t ever going out. We weren’t buying new clothes. We didn’t even get our hair cut. We’d occasionally get a coffee with friends in the town, but we were living very frugally. There was no way we could save at all and we wanted to do something for Louise’s future. We tried to be positive and we wanted her to have a happy home, but it was really quite depressing.”

Then they chanced on a press cutting about Simon Dale, who built his own eco-home for £3,000. This inspired them to take the first steps in their dream of buying a plot of land and building a low-impact home on it. “For me it was also inspired by the Occupy movements across the world,” adds Lily. “I don’t know what they might achieve but they have shifted consciousness in some way.” Previously, she assumed that “if we could not afford our rent it was because we were not budgeting properly. The Occupy movement made me see it wasn’t my fault – that it was the system that was not working.”

Matt and Lily began by finding a farmer, a friend of a friend, who generously allowed them to pitch the tent on his land. Matt has quit his job but the couple are not claiming unemployment or housing benefit – Matt does farm work between cutting wood for their stove. It may sound romantic but the challenges of living simply under canvas are daunting.

“A lot of people would go mad in a tent at this time of year. People could find a million and one things to burst into tears about,” says Lily. This morning, she hung her one warm jumper on the stove flue to warm up for a minute, got distracted by Louise and singed the jumper. “You definitely need a sense of humour and you can’t be vain – you’re just going to get upset by the mud or lack of running water.”

Inside the tent are nice rugs, plants and homely trinkets the couple have picked up on their travels. “It’s got that nomad feel to it, which I love,” says Matt. It has been a steep learning curve, however. Because the sides slope inwards there is far less space than they anticipated – no furniture can be allowed to touch the canvas or the rain will come in. They have been flooded already, and after they failed to secure the stove flue, it blew down in a gale. It is now firmly screwed in place.

To begin with, they lived off tinned food heated on the stove top. “We were sat there for three hours wondering why things wouldn’t come to the boil,” says Lily. Since then, she has mastered slow cooking – Turkish meatballs with rice, pot-roasted chicken with roast potatoes and even omelet’s in tin foil – while Matt has learned how the type and size of log can radically alter the stove’s heating power. Although he is doing less paid labor now, he says his days seems fuller. “There are not enough hours in the day now.”

Washing is done with a Wonderwash, a hand-cranked machine Lily imported from the US for £80. Clothes are cleaned with six jugs of hot water and two minutes of vigorous cranking, followed by 30 seconds of cranking in cold water to rinse. As the tent is a temporary measure, they borrow the downstairs loo at the farm and pay to have an occasional shower and charge their phone. “There is more drudgery, like hand-sweeping the floor, but it is more liberating and empowering as well,” says Lily. “The simpler things are, the less alienated you feel from your own life – the more in control you are.”

They have had to learn to prioritize certain jobs in the precious daylight hours. After dark, they light the tent with candles. There is no television, although Lily gets the internet on her phone. “We like talking, we sit around the fire and I sing to Louise a lot,” she says. “We haven’t felt bored, not for a moment. We don’t miss having loads of TV channels showing things we don’t want to watch anyway.”

As they explain how they are coping with living in a tent, Lily and Matt are clear that their priority is Louise. They are meticulous about sterilizing her bottles and ensuring that she is never cold. She and Matt may exchange nervous glances when the wind howls outside, but Louise loves it. For her, it seems that the tent is a secure home, where she can be physically and emotionally close to her parents. “So far she seems to be flourishing health-wise,” smiles Lily. “She is very happy, alert and engaged with what’s going on.” Their concerns about Louise are assuaged by the knowledge that, in the worst-case scenario, they can seek a warm refuge in the farmhouse, as they were forced to on the night a storm destroyed their stove flue.

Their parents have been very supportive – “They get concerned when it’s cold and ring to check we are OK,” says Lily. What would they say to people who would see them as reckless for living with a small child in a tent in midwinter? “What we’re doing might seem irresponsible,” says Lily, “but if we stayed where we were with unaffordable rent we would have ended up in so much debt that we wouldn’t have been able to feed Louise properly or get her warm clothes. It was terrifying. We would have been very depressed and therefore not able to produce a positive home environment for her and we would have ended up more dependent on benefits as well. We’re trying to stand on our own two feet.”

Living in a tent places them at the mercy of the elements, but Matt and Lily feel they have taken control of their own lives. By staying temporarily in the tent, they hope to save up to buy a piece of land on which they can build their own eco-home, a roundhouse with straw bale insulation. They are not just surviving: they are learning off-grid living skills they hope to teach to other families who want to live in a simpler, more sustainable way. Ideally they want to build their eco-home this summer but so far have been too busy keeping warm to find land. They admit their hope of buying a secluded half-acre on a south-facing slope, with a stream, for a few thousand pounds is probably unrealistic.

They may have chosen to live like this but, like other hard-pressed families, Matt and Lily have found that economic pressures made their old way of life intolerable. They believe more working families will be forced to live like they do, as rents and bills rise and first-time buyers are permanently priced out of the housing market. The government, however, seems unwilling to help people like Matt and Lily to help themselves. To get planning permission for a low-impact house on rural land requires navigating an impenetrable planning maze.

Lily would like to see reforms to encourage more self-built, low-impact housing. “There should be assistance to help people do this, not obstacles,” she says.

The reality of life in a tent in the middle of a British winter is far from bucolic but there are unimagined benefits. Sustained by their dreams of a self-built home, Matt and Lily are determined to accentuate the positives. Lily has noticed how well Louise sleeps at night in the tent. In fact, they all sleep much better than they did. On clear nights, the moonlight shines through the canvas and they hear the hoot of owls and the barking of foxes. Are they woken by the cockerel in the morning? “There are about 15 of them, which Louise loves,” says Matt.

“I love the sound of rain on the canvas, the candle light and the wood smoke. I like everything being simplified,” adds Lily. “It might be a cliché to talk about being in harmony with or close to nature but an element of that is very true.”

[Note: How do you heat the tents during a cold winter?
Answer: We recommend using space heaters, propane heaters, or a centrally ventilated heating system (easily run in through a deck vent). We DO NOT recommend using open flame to heat the tent. Canvas is a fabric material, and even though we do have customers who do use open flame in their tents and we’ve never encountered a problem, you are more prone to fire accidents if you use fire.
(Pasted from: http://www.exclusivetents.com/faq.htm#platform) Mr. Larry]
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B.  Living Off-Grid in a Tent
March 2011, By Bob Wells
Pasted from: http://cheapgreenrvliving.com/Tent_Living.html

[The following example of tent living is provided just to show what one can do, its not the life style I would suggest for long term tent living, being way too Spartan for my comfort. Kudos to “Desert Rat” for setting up a generator-deep cycle battery-inverter- power system. On a higher initial budget this operation would have been better with a larger tent, more amenities and solar power. There is a lesson to learn in the life stories people tell, this story speaks to the possibilities of Internet connectivity while in a remote or possibly, regional “grid down” situation. Mr. Larry]
tent2 eureka cu canyon 12

[Looks like the Eureka Copper Canyon 12 (12′ x 14′) Mr. Larry]

No matter how small a house or apartment you live in, it is hard on the environment. First, the huge amount of material required to build a house has to be produced, at an enormous price to the planet. The raw materials (ores, minerals, wood and oil) have to be extracted from the earth, transported to  be processed, be processed, then transported again to wholesalers, then transported to retailers, then transported to the job site. You read that last sentence really quickly, but it represents a great deal of damage and pollution to the planet. Once the house is built and you move in, you must buy furniture and lots of “stuff ” to fill it.
All of those things do more damage to the earth. The house has to be heated and cooled to make it comfortable. You can’t sit in the dark, so the house needs lots of lights to keep it bright. For cooking you need a stove/oven refrigerator and dishwasher. You can’t possibly stay clean without hot water, so you need a 50 gallon hot water heater. The lawn and landscaping has to be watered, mowed and tended to. All of those utilities require huge amounts of pollution to produce electricity, bring you water, and process your sewage. One more way houses damage the earth: a long commute to and from work. Nearly all of us have to work, and the majority of us work in cities. So five days a week you drive to and from work in your car, often crawling along in miserable  traffic.

Contrast all of that to a friend of mine I will call Desert Rat. I met Desert Rat in the desert of the Southwest where he was busy working from his tent. He was sick of the rat race so he decided to chuck it all and move to the desert. He was fortunate that he could work from home via the Internet. He didn’t know for sure where he was going, he just knew he wasn’t going to be living in a city any longer. He had heard about dispersed camping on BLM desert land and National Forests, so he decided to give that a try. He had a plan, in the winter he would live in the warm desert and in the summer he would move up to the cool National Forests. Since nearly all BLM (Bureau of Land Management) and National Forest land has a 14 day stay limit, he knew that all he had to do was carry 14 days worth of supplies, and then he had to move anyway.

He got a Verizon data card and cell phone so he could work from anywhere. His pattern is that he goes out to a place where he gets a good Verizon signal (which is an amazing number of places) sits up camp and stays there for 14 days without starting his car again until the 14 days are up and he is out of supplies, then he breaks camp, gets supplies and moves on to the next camp spot. He gets the seclusion he needs and does just about the absolute minimum damage to the earth that a human can do in the twenty-first century.
Everything he has is as small, light and fold-able as he could find in order to fit it in his small economy car.
tent2 coleman white gas and gasoline stores
When he was preparing for his new life, he decided that essentially, he was going on an extended camping trip (for many years he hoped), so he went to an outdoor store and outfitted himself. He needed something to live in, so he bought a large, high-quality tent made by Eureka. It is a great tent! In the two months we camped together we had several storms blow through that brought winds well over 50 mph. The tent weathered them like a champ! He needed to
cook so he bought a Coleman 2-burner, dual fuel stove. He got it instead of a propane stove because he was already carrying gas for his Yamaha generator and he didn’t want to have to carry a second fuel.

He needed consistent power in the middle of nowhere, so he bought a Yamaha Generator which (along with the Honda) is famous for its reliability, quiet running and low gas consumption. I found it interesting that he set it up on a 5 gallon bucket to keep dust and dirt from coming in through the air filter when running. I thought that was a very good idea. He carries 10 gallons of gas which easily lasts the 14 days for running the generator and cooking.

He has deep cycle batteries he leaves on the floor-board of his car since they are too heavy to be carrying around.  He runs an extension cord from the generator to a battery charger in the car which charges the batteries. From the batteries he runs cables into the tent. In the picture below, top- right, we see the inverter and cords that run the many electrical items he uses for work.
tent2 interior power & inverter
In the picture above, lower- left, we see his office. Having a comfortable chair is important, so he bought a good folding recliner. A portable table holds his laptop and he uses five gallon buckets for tables.

His bed doesn’t look like much but, he has the highest quality self-inflating sleeping pad that Thermorest makes which is very comfortable. He is a cold sleeper so he has two sleeping bags so he can sleep inside both of them when it is cold, or just one when it is warmer. The desert can be surprisingly cold at night!

His tent is 12×14 feet and over 6 feet tall. That is a huge amount of room for one person, and would be more than enough  for a couple as well. He finds it very comfortable.

He carries a total of ten gallons of water in his two Coleman five gallon jugs. That’s enough for 14 days as long as he is conservative in its use.  Notice the spigot which makes getting water out and washing/rinsing easy. [If you plan to use a small utility trailer to carry your gear, I recommend increasing the water supply by bringing a 30 gallon potable water drum. The extra 250 lbs./30 gallons of water will keep you clean, bathed, keep your porta-pottie flushing, wash your dishes and laundry, as well as keeping your mornings coffee pot filled– without “cutting corners”. Mr. Larry]

All in all, it is a wonderful life! There is something magical about the desert that starts to get in your heart and changes you. Inevitably the strain and constant stress of city-living starts to fall away and a peace and contentment take its place. Desert Rat wasn’t sure if he would like his new life, but it has far exceeded his expectations. Already, he can’t imagine going back to his old life in the city.

It wasn’t his primary purpose, but a side effect of living this way is that it is one of the greenest, most environmentally friendly ways you can possibly life. He is completely off-grid except for the small amount of gas he uses to cook and for the generator. And that is much more than offset by the fact that he no longer commutes to work. In fact he only drives once every 14 days and that is in an economy car.
He is a true minimalist with nothing more than it takes to survive. His entertainment and joy come from nature.

tent2 alt solar additions

[Above, solar panel photos added by Mr. Larry, a recommended addition or alternative to the aforementioned generator.]
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YouTubeC.  See the 5:04 video, “Off Grid: The tent in pictures,” at YouTube, click-or paste the following link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGOS_XRkGVo

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YouTubeD.  See  the 4: 47 video, “Off Grid: The ultimate bug out location,” at YouTube, click or paste the following link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9HisSpOFkM

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Filed under Survival Manual, __4. Shelter Issues

Emergency Tent Living, Part 2 of 4

(Survival Manual/ 4. Shelter Issues/ Emergency Tent Living, Part 2 of 4)

Tent size and type

A.  What Size Wall Tent Should I Get? Size Comparisons & Layout Diagrams
Published at Back Country Chronicles
Pasted from: http://www.backcountrychronicles.com/wall-tent-size-comparison/

The size of a wall tent you need depends on several basic factors.

  1. How many people need to sleep in the tent?
  2. Are you sleeping on the floor or sleeping on cots?
  3. Are most of the people adults or children?
  4. Will the tent be for sleeping only or do you need space to congregate or to cook?
  5. Is the tent going to be for your family, a group of scouts or a group of unrelated adults?

Before we bought our wall tent, we read that we should consider 20 square feet (sq ft) per person for sleeping and 30 sq ft per person if more space was needed for cooking or other activities. The tent we bought (12 X 14) has 168 sq ft, so using those numbers, the tent should sleep 5-8 people. Table 1 shows the number of people that various sized tents can sleep using the 30 and 20 sq ft calculations.

Table 1. Tent Size, Square Footage and Number of People each Tent can sleep.

Tent

Total

Number

Number

Size

Square

Tent Sleeps

Tent Sleeps

(Feet)

(Feet)

@30 sq ft

@20 sq ft

   8×10     80         2         4
  10×12    120         4         6
  12×14    168         5         8
  12×16    192         6         9
  14×16    224         7        11
  16×20    320       10        16

If people were sleeping on the ground, especially if some of them are children, the larger numbers based on 20 sq ft per person is reasonable. You might get away with packing teenagers in like chord wood, but paying customers will not be very impressed. Even very good friends wouldn’t be able to sleep very well and might not stay good friends for long.

If the tent is going to be used for kids at camp or even as an emergency shelter, bunk beds could be built two or three beds high, to accommodate more people. This may not be the most comfortable situation, but everyone would be inside out of the wet and cold.

Cots add Comfort, but Take More Space
Cots may be more comfortable than sleeping on the ground, even on good pads, but cots take up more space. The average sized cot is about 32 x 76 (inches) which is 16.9 sq. ft. and XL sized cots are about 40 X 84 (inches) which is 23.3 sq. ft. So a 12 x 14 foot tent should hold 9 regular sized cots or 7 XL cots. But unless we plan to use wall tents for temporary shelter following a disaster, we are not trying to jam as many people in them as possible.

It might be mathematically possible based on square footage, to fit a certain number of cots into the area of different sized tents, but it may not be realistic. Mathematically, we should be able to fit 9 cots into our tent (12×14), but I cannot visualize but six cots fitting into the tent. Even then, some cots would have to touch each other and there would be very little space between cots. It would be possible to sleep close together, then pile cots on top of each other after everyone rolled out of the sack in the morning, to create more room to move around.

Wood stoves
Most people buy wall tents with the intention of camping during the Winter. Part of the appeal of the wall is the ability to heat it with a wood or pellet stove. Obviously, if there is a hot stove in the tent, there will be less room for cots.
Wood Stove Requires 36-40 square feet

Wood stoves come in several sizes
Small stoves are sufficient to heat small tents and larger stove are needed to keep larger tents warm.  It is recommended that some of the largest (16×20) tents may need two stoves. Our stove is a mid sized stove, 14 inches wide and 24 inches long. Based on where the smoke stack is placed in the front corner of the tent, and buffering the stove by 3 feet into the tent space, I assume the small and mid-sized stove take up 36 square feet. [About the same area as 1 person. Mr. Larry]  I assume that larger stoves take up 38 square feet. You can obviously move around and stand closer to the stove when necessary, but you should never leave cots, tables or anything else that may catch fire within three feet of a hot stove.

Before we bought our tent, I drew floor plans to see how many cots and tables would reasonably fit into different sized tents. We also plan to use a wood stove during cold weather, so the stove and a safety buffer around the stove has to be considered. These floor plans helped us decide the size tent we needed.

Generally, for tents, bigger is better, but size adds weight, costs more and it takes a larger stove and more wood to heat a larger tent. In the end, I think we got the best sized tent for the two of us.
Table 2 below was created from the scale diagrams. The table includes various tent sizes, the space required for the stove and the safety area around a hot stove, the Maximum number of cots I could fit into the area and the area, the number of cots I recommend be used in that space and the actual square footage that the recommended number of cots use.

 Table 2. Tent Size, Space for Stove, Maximum Number of Cots, Recommended Number of Cots and the Space per Recommended Number of Cots.

Tent Size(feet) Space (sq ft)for stove Max no. of cots Rec no. of cots Space (sq ft)per cot
8×10 36 2 2 22.0
10×12 36 2 2 21.0
12×14 36 6 4 33.0
12×16 38 6 5 30.8
14×16 38 7 5 37.2
16×20 38 10 8 35.3
16×20 76 10 7 34.9

 

Wall Tent Floor Plans and Headroom Diagrams
All Diagrams (Figures 1-10) are all scaled the same, with one foot equal 3 squares (4 inches per square). The human silhouettes are all 6 feet tall. All cots and tables are 32 inches wide and 76 inches long. Cots are 20 inches high and tables are 28 inches high. The black areas of the floor plans represent the wood stove. The red areas represent the safety buffer around the wood stoves and the gray areas represent cots or tables. Where there was room, notice all cots and tables are four inches away from all tent walls.

12 x14 Wall Tent
With only two of us using a 12×14 foot tent, we have plenty of room, including the table and the stove. There is room for a third cot, but the floor space is drastically reduced (Figure 1). Figure 2 shows the scale drawing from a side view to see the headroom of our 12 foot wide, 8 foot tall tent.

tent 12x14

[Figure 1. Floor plan for 12×14 ft Wall Tent]

8 x 10 Wall Tent
An 8×10 wall tent is small (Figures 3 & 4). If using a wood stove, I don’t see any way of putting more than 2 cots in the tent. In fact, one cot is within the three foot buffer that is recommended around the wood stove. When not using the stove, there will be room for a cot on each side of the thent, but there will not be room for two people to walk past each other (Figure 4).

tent 8x10

Floor plan and headroom for 8×10 ft Wall Tent.

 10 x12 Wall Tent
The 10×12 Wall Tent (Figures 5 & 6) is also small, but is able to hold two cots without invading the safety buffer around the stove. If  necessary, as many as 6 cots could be fit  into the tent if not using the woodstove. At least the 10 foot wide tent is large enough for two people to pass with cot or tables on each side when not using a stove (Figure 6).

tent 10x12

Floor plan and headroom for 10×12 ft Wall Tent.

 12 x 16 Wall Tent
A 12×16 Wall Tent may be able to hold five or six cots when using a wood stove (Figure 7), but the tent would be more comfortable for everyone if the tent were limited to four cots . Without the wood stove, as many as seven cots could be fit into the tent. The headroom of the 12×16 tent is the same as the 12×14 tent shown in Figure 2.

tent 12x16

Floor Plan and headroom for 12×16 foot Wall Tent.

 14×16 Wall Tent
A 14×16 Wall Tent easily holds five cots even with the wood stove (Figure 8). If necessary, seven cots can be fit into the tent with the stove. Without the wood stove, as many as eight cots can be fit into the tent. Figure 9 shows the 14×16 tent is wide enough to fit three rows of cots or tables if necessary. The roof of the wider tents are starting to get lower, but a 6-foot person’s head will not touch the roof unless they are standing at the edge of the tent.

tent 14x16

Floor plan and headroom for 14×16 foot Wall Tent.

 If you are considering buying a wall tent, we hope these diagrams help you make the decision about what size tent you need. When we bought our wall tent, our decision was between a 10 X 12 or 12 X 14 foot tent. We decided on the larger tent and have never regretted it. Our advice on tent size is if in doubt, choose the larger size you are considering.
.

B.  A few tents  that  you could live in rather comfortably

Tent Size (ft) Square Feet (with vestibule) Cost (with vestibule)
Eureka Sunrise 11 11 x 11 121          — $300          —
Cabela’s Alaknak 12×12 12 x 12 144      (216) $747      ($997)
Cabela’s Big Horn III 12 x 14 168      (240) $550      ($800)
Eureka Copper Canyon 12 12 x 14 168  (39%>ES) $450          —
Cabela’s Alaknak 12×20 12 x 20 240      (316) $1,034  ($1,284)

* Cabela’s vestibule (entrance room) for the Alaknac and Big Horn models cost $250.

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_ 1.  Eureka! Sunrise 11  (11′ x 11′)
Cost $300 at Amazon.com

tent sunrise 11

[Eureka Sunrise 11]

  • Spacious square, dome-style tent sleeps up to six (11 by 11 floor; 121 square foot area)
  • Heavy duty bathtub floor made of 4-ounce 210D oxford polyester
  • Multicoated StormShield polyester fly won’t stretch when wet and resists UV breakdown
  • Includes corner organizer, wall organizer with mirror, two water bottle pockets
  • Center height of 84 inches; weighs 23 pounds, 15 ounces

Spacious enough to comfortably sleep up to six campers, the Eureka Sunrise 11 dome-style family tent is easy to set up and very well ventilated with four large hooded windows and no-see-um mesh panels in the ceiling. It has triple-coated fabrics and a heavy-duty bathtub floor made of 4 ounce 210D oxford polyester that repels water.

The fly is made of Stormshield polyester, which won’t stretch when wet and resists UV breakdown. It has a shockcorded fiberglass frame (two poles) that features a pin and ring as well as combination clip and sleeve system for quick assembly. Other features include:

  • Twin track D door with window for easy exit/entry
  • High/Low door vents top and bottom to aid air circulation
  • External guy points help secure the tent in high winds
  • Hanging gear loft/organizer
  • Two water bottle holders
  • Corner organizer and wall organizer with mirror
  • Tent, pole, and stake bags included

Specifications:

  • Area: 121 square feet
  • Floor size: 11 feet by 11 feet
  • Center height: 7 feet
  • Wall fabrics: 1.9 ounce Polyester Taffeta 1200mm coating/1.9 ounce breathable polyester
  • Floor fabrics: 4 ounce 210D Oxford Polyester with 1200mm coating
  • Fly fabrics: 1.9 ounce 75D StormShield polyester with 1200mm coating
  • Pack size: 8 by 33 inches
  • Weight: 23 pounds, 15 ounces
    .

_ 2.  Cabela’s Alaknak Tent  (12′ x 12′)
Cost $747 at Cabela’s.com
tent alaknak 12x12

[Top left: Alaknak 12′ x12′ model, Top right: with the optional vestibule]

  • The next generation in the Outfitter Series tents has enhanced safety features and user-friendly updates that take it to a whole new level.
  • Sidewall condensation vents now have hook-and-loop closures all around the perimeter for better ventilation control.
  • Three large multi-panel windows each have a zippered cover, a clear vinyl window that zips out of the way, and a mesh screen for added ventilation.
  • The stove jack is covered by a storm flap that now rolls down to avoid contact with the piping, so it won’t melt the material.
  • This 12-ft. x 12-ft. tent has 4-ft. walls and an angled roof window which will comfortably sleep six, with plenty of room for a stove.
  • Rugged, waterproof 250-denier polyester oxford X-Treme Tent Cloth has a high tear strength and resists punctures for lasting reliability. 10 perimeter tent poles keep the sidewalls from blowing in and add rigidity in high winds, so you can camp comfortably knowing you’re protected.
  • The heavy-duty No. 10 YKK® zippers and inverted T-style door makes entering and exiting the tent easy. Plus, it’s backed by a screen door, so you can let cool breezes in while keeping bugs out.
  • The attached awning boasts a frame that comes down from the peak of the tent and directs runoff away from the door for superior protection in the wettest weather.
  • The interior sidewalls have unique fold-down shelves that sport cup holders to eliminate spilled beverages and gear pockets to hold gear.
  • The floor has a zip-open panel for safe placement and stove use.
  • Tent sets up quickly and easily. Includes 12″ steel stakes, guy ropes and a large zip-close storage bag.
  • Tent body dimensions: 12 ft. x 12 ft. (144 ft2)
  • Overall weight: 31 lbs.
  • Frame weight: 23 lbs.
  • Stakes weight: 13 lbs.
  • April 2013 cost approximately: $747
  • Optional vestibule (11 ft Lx 9 ft W O.A., with about  72 ft2 real area) which provides a sizeable “under cover” area  for storage/ cooking. About  $250 cost
    .

_ 3.  Cabela’s Big Horn™ III Tent (12′ x 14′)
Cost $550 at Cabela’s.com

tent big horn 12x14

  • Sturdy enough to take on extreme conditions
  • XTC fabric repels rain and snow with ease
  • Heavy-duty steel frame ensures support
  • Hexagonal design maximizes interior space
  • Three large multiple-panel windows
  • Zippered opening in the sewn-in floor for a stove

This is a new and improved version of our already popular Big Horn II tent, and we made it sturdy enough to take on extreme conditions encountered on extreme adventures. It’s a roomy single-wall tent made of XTC fabric that repels rain and snow with ease, and is tough enough to handle harsh foul weather. A heavy-duty steel frame ensures support to withstand wind and precipitation.

The tent measures 12 ft. x 14 ft. with an 8’6″ roof tapering to 5’6″ sidewalls.

The hexagonal design offers room for cots, gear and a stove around the sides while leaving the middle area open. We moved the stove area to keep the wall near the stove cooler.

Three large multiple-panel windows include zippered covers, a clear-vinyl zip-out window and a mesh screen. There are three fold-down shelves that have mesh cup holders.

There’s a sidewall stove jack, a storm flap and a heat-resistant insert, as well as a zippered opening in the sewn-in floor for a stove.

The inverted “V” door is outfitted with a heavy-duty zipper. Includes 12″ steel stakes, guy ropes and zippered storage bag. The stakes weigh 11 lbs.

Tent and frame weight is 72 lbs. Imported.
.

_ 4.  Eureka! Copper Canyon 12  (12′ x 14′)
Cost $450 at Amazon.com
 tent cu canyon 12

[Eureka Copper Canyon 12 tent (12′ x 14′)]

  • 9-pole cabin style tent with 14 x12 floor space and 7′ center height will sleep 12 with 168 sq ft of sleeping area.
  • Removable divider curtain creates two rooms for privacy, or roll back to reveal one large room
  • 2 large D-style opposing doors, with half windows, allow versatile entry
  • Windows on each side offer visibility and ventilation
  • Full mesh roof allows circulation of air and reduces condensation
  • The Eureka Copper Canyon 12 is a 2 room, Cabin style, straight walled family tent that will sleep 12 people.
  • 2 large ‘D’ Style doors simplify exit or entry.
  • 6 large windows and a generous roof vent allow for excellent ventilation. Windows feature ‘Quick Stash’ feature – stows window flap easily without loops or toggles.
  • Complete with a zippered removable Room Divider so you can have 1 or 2 rooms.
  • The hybrid steel/fiberglass frame is sturdy and reliable.
  • Factory sealed floor and fly seams mean you will stay dry and comfortable in summer storms. The

coated polyester fabrics are durable and long lasting.

  • Set up is a breeze with shock-corded poles that attach with a combination of clips and sleeves and

that makes set up faster and easier.2 Rooms – Zippered Room Divider can be removed for 1 or 2

rooms.

  • Poles attach to tent body via pin and ring for fast and easy set up.
  • Combination of clips and sleeves make set up fast and easy.
  • 2 mesh gear pockets for internal storage, clothes line loops and flashlight loop.
  • Poles are sturdy chain corded Powder Coated steel and shock corded fiberglass.
  • Cabin style straight walls maximize interior living space.
  • Twin track zippers for separate operation of the window in the door.
  • External guy points on the fly help secure your tent in high winds.
  • Guy Out Pockets store and secure guy lines when not in use.
  • E! Power Port – zippered flap allows for an extension cord to be run into the tent.
  • 2 Gear lofts included.
  • All carry bags and stakes included.
  • Fire retardant. Import.
    .

_ 5.  Cabela’s Alaknak Tent  12′ x 20′
Cost $1034 at Cabala’s.com
tent alaknak 12x20

[Top left: Alaknak 12′ x 20′ model, Top right: with the optional vestibule]

  • Sidewall condensation vents now have hook-and-loop closures all around the perimeter for better ventilation control. Three large multi-panel windows each have a zippered cover, a clear vinyl window that zips out of the way, and a mesh screen for added ventilation.
  • The stove jack is covered by a storm flap that now rolls down to avoid contact with the piping, so it won’t melt the material.
    This 12-ft. x 20-ft. tent sports all the room of a traditional wall tent with extra-tall 5-ft. walls for more headroom around the edges.
  • Equipped with two large doors for easy entry and exit, and two center support poles for added stability.
    Rugged, waterproof 250-denier polyester oxford X-Treme Tent Cloth has a high tear strength and resists punctures for lasting reliability.
  • 10 perimeter tent poles keep the sidewalls from blowing in and add rigidity in high winds, so you can camp comfortably knowing you’re protected.
  • The heavy-duty No. 10 YKK® zippers and inverted T-style door makes entering and exiting the tent easy. Plus, it’s backed by a screen door, so you can let cool breezes in while keeping bugs out.
  • The attached awning boasts a frame that comes down from the peak of the tent and directs runoff away from the door for superior protection in the wettest weather.
  • The interior sidewalls have unique fold-down shelves that sport cup holders to eliminate spilled beverages and gear pockets to hold gear.
  • The floor has a zip-open panel for safe placement and stove use.
  • Tent sets up quickly and easily. Includes 12″ steel stakes, guy ropes, 10 perimeter tent poles add rigidity in high winds and a large zip-close storage bag.
  • Tent body dimensions: 12 ft. x 20 ft.
  • Tent body weight: 49 lbs.
  • Frame weight: 41 lbs.
  • Stakes weight: 16 lbs.
  • April 2013 cost approximately: $1034
    .

* Optional vestibule (11 ft Lx 9 ft W O.A., with about  72 ft2 real area) which provides a sizeable “under cover” area  for storage/ cooking. About  $250 cost.
tent cabelas vestibule

 

YouTube.
See a family living with apparent comfort and style in an Alaknak tent at YouTube, click the following link. The video demonstrates that with a little forethought a larger tent can be made quite habitable:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhgeF9dbJp8

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Filed under Survival Manual, __4. Shelter Issues

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!

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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.

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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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