View Full Version : Survival/camping shelter

77 wolfpack
02-03-2018, 04:49 AM
For some of us who go camping/hiking or whatever you do in the great outdoors, do you all prefer using a tent or lean-to? Its been a minute since i've been camping, but i have always been a fan of a lean-to because of the advantages. Never liked using a tent where i can't see WTF is around me. I find a simple tarp, some 550 cord and other minor items takes up far less room in my pack. Plus if something is moving around i can get a bead on it if the situation calls for it. Now i understand terrain can play a major role, as can seasonal weather.

Figured since its been a few years since this forum has been active, i thought I would toss something new into it.

Whats are some perspectives from others?

02-03-2018, 12:28 PM
I don't think I've ever tried a lean-to. I've had a few expensive Wenzel tents, all junk. I guess like you said it just depends on what the weather is like. This will be my next tent purchase. http://www.kodiakcanvas.com/ I've heard amazing things about these tents. Best part fast setup.

Downside - pack has a little weight due to the nice thick bottom liner

02-03-2018, 02:12 PM
I would say a good lean-to is always better. My step-mom has a camp close to the ski region and even during the summer the nights can be cold. That wouldn't be much of an issue except I have yet to find a commercial tent that doesn't leak in even the lightest rainfall, but the floor of the tent is more than willing to impersonate a swimming pool and collect it all. I have awaken many times in a tent in 3-4 inches of cold water. Luckily it never caused any issues like hypothermia. The past couple of times I've been down there I've just thrown a tarp over low hanging tree branch and made tent stakes out of smaller fallen branches. I'll either use pine boughs or another tarp for the floor. It's actually much warmer, as well as completely dry, and all you need to carry is a tarp. I would recommend a 10'x12' though, every time I've tried to use a 6'x8' it's not big enough due to the height of the supporting branch. If you want to go for an old-fashioned Army pup tent a 6'x8' would probably be perfect, even this would be better than a commercial nylon/polyester tent.

02-03-2018, 02:18 PM
I also wanted to mention, for anyone who doesn't already know, keep your lean-to, wig-wam, pup tent, or other custom shelter as small as possible. It's much harder to heat a larger space, especially if firewood is scare or too wet. If the space is small enough you can heat it with just your body-temp if needed. This is one of the bigger issues with commercial tents; they're made a certain size and can't be made smaller. Also, because they're often made from highly flammable materials it's a risk every time you try to heat them.

Finally, as most people know by now, the tent itself is of little importance without a proper floor. Be sure to use pine bows, dry leaves, hay/straw, blankets, or whatever you can as most of your body heat is lost to the cold ground, not the air above you.

02-03-2018, 06:36 PM
Unless I have a truck with a camper shell, I prefer a tent in a camping situation, just more comfortable for a big guy like me. My father always said he didn't go camping to be uncomfortable, he said he "roughed it" enough in 'Nam. Hell, we lived and ate better while camping than at home...lol. :-)

I camp for fun so there's no use to be uncomfortable, an air mattress inside the tent is awesome and it also keeps you dry if your tent happens to take on water. Silicone waterproofing spray is a great thing to treat your tent and seal it's seams with.

What I'll do if it looks like rain, is put up a nylon tarp canopy and pitch my tent under that. The tent also has a rain fly so double protection from getting soaked. I always use a ground tarp that is folded slightly smaller than tent bottom to pitch the tent on top of. I dig a small trench around the tent to catch water and drain it away from the tent.

Now in a survival situation, I'm likely to build a field expedient poncho canopy, lean-to, or debris hut and have done so numerous times when caught out in the woods or fishing when bad weather strikes suddenly. That's why I like to carry several disposable ponchos and 550 cord in my fishing bag.

02-03-2018, 06:42 PM
Shameless self-promotion :0aTongue_Out_Emoji_: Also, check out my survival shelter article.


77 wolfpack
02-04-2018, 02:26 AM
I have to agree with what AK said. I prefer a lean-to because tents like to collect rain if they are not properly stored, but its just the weight and space of it while camping. You can wrap your tarp around your bottle of JD so it doesnt break.

02-13-2018, 05:41 PM
You can wrap your tarp around your bottle of JD so it doesnt break.
Sounds like you're camping trips are a lot more fun than mine.... :0aSlightly_Smiling_