Emergency Shelter

Emergency Shelter

Maintaining a core temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit is a top priority in an emergency situation.

If you are backpacking, you will likely be carrying a tent, tarp or bivy bag to serve as an emergency shelter.

If you are day-hiking, carry some sort of extra shelter from rain and wind, such as a plastic tube tent or a jumbo plastic trash bag. A poncho can be made into a very effective shelter. Even a reflective emergency or Space blanket is better than nothing.

There are countless variations on how to pitch a tarp or poncho. Be sure to carry some light nylon cordage to use for pitching and tying your shelter to trees, etc. Nylon cord of 1/16, 3/32 or 1/8 inch (2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm) diameter in any length can be used. Recommendations are at least 30 feet (10m) of cord.

The Bothy Bag has become extremely popular in Europe, but has not caught on in the US yet. It is an excellent emergency shelter, especially for group hiking. Both hikers and leaders should at least be familiar with it as an excellent option. Click on Bothy Bag to learn more.

Jim Yuen , Sept 2008, 2020