My Tarp, an Igloo, Several Super Shelters, and Mors Kochanski

Okay - having thought about it, I guess I won't be asking for the Grand Shelters Igloo tool for Christmas. Dan, Clare and Badgerman have all convinced me that it is best not to use a specialized tool for this. Alrighty-then: I will make an igloo from scratch in my backyard, snow willing, weather permitting. Yes, I actually just wished for a huge downfall of snow, and very cold temperatures here in Toronto. If I can make a good one in the backyard, I'll spend a night in it. That's a promise. I will post photos too.

Speaking of shelters, Decado and I drove down to New Hampshire last November - we were a convoy of two vehicles driving madly through the Adirondacks for 15½ hours. Decado is a lucky man. He recently bought 70 acres of wooded land and will be doing quite a few outdoor recreational activities.

He recently put together a Super Shelter. This design originates with Mors Kochanski. He's a clever fellow. Go check out Ben's Backwoods to see one of Mors' pamphlets entitled 'Tools of Survival and Survival Training'. With experience living in the boreal, the sub-arctic and arctic lands of Canada, he introduced architectural concepts from igloos into a shelter designed for mid to long term living in the boreal forests. Without getting too much into detail, it incorporates simple woodcraft construction, requires very little cordage, and features a cold-sink to trap the cold air at the base of the shelter. With the addition of a sheet of plastic, a tarp (or simply woven boughs), heat can be trapped within the shelter making it habitable and quite comfortable.

I slept under tarp in the cool November air. Decado slept in a Super-Shelter.

You can see images here of Super Shelters that students at Tim Smith's Jack Mountain Bushcraft and Guide School had built earlier last fall. Mors Kochanski is teaching us about the concepts that underly the construction.

Have a look at Decado's three separate posts about his shelter construction. Very nice.

As long as a person had a bit of fire outside of the shelter, he or she would be set in the coldest weather that Canada's boreal forests could throw their way. I'm the guy above coaxing a flame from a tinder bundle, ignited from an ember developed from a spark created from a steel blade and flint.

My addition to the Super-Shelter concept is a wool blanket or two. Maybe it could be used in lieu of the sheeting. Just a thought.



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