The objective of shelter is to provide emergency housing. It is extremely important to be physically protected from nature's weather elements. They are many types of shelter that can easily be included in your 72 Hour Kit. You may also want to consider other shelter that can be used if you are not able to occupy your home due to damages or need to leave the area.
You may want to consider a family tent, backpackers tent, tube tent, rain ponchos, garbage bags, nylon rope or cord, duct tape, space blankets and space sleeping bags.
I find great sales prices for tents and sleeping bags at Big 5. Another great place is Major Survival Surplus Discount Store in Gardena. Watch for end of the summer sales for these items at department and sporting goods stores.
1. Bedding should be warm, lightweight, comfortable, waterproof and compact.
2. Sleeping bags-they should be at least 2 1/2 pounds. I find great buys at Big 5. We purchased 3 pound bags on sales for $17. Surprisingly, they are not too heavy to carry.
3. Insulation-you will need insulation under your sleeping bag to protect you from the cold ground. You can purchase a 3/8 inch foam pads (best and gives you extra comfort too) or put a plastic ground cloth under your bag. You can also use newspaper, leaves or pine boughs for insulation.
4. Blankets-they can be used to make a bed roll but they are usually not as comfortable nor as worm as a sleeping bag. Wool blankets are the best since they retain their warming ability. The only bad part is that blankets are very heavy and bulky. Check out the Boy Scout handbook how to make a bed from blankets.
5. Space blanket or bag (aluminum coated Mylar)-they are very efficient for retaining body heat and are a must for every 72 Hour Kit. They will keep you warm during the night in cold winter weather to keep you alive. Being plastic, they are impervious to moisture. They are good for keeping the rain out but they also retain sweat and condensation from your breath. You can also use them during the day to protect you from rain, sun and to retain body warmth.
Purchase a tent to fit your family size. We purchased a 3 man tent from Big 5 on sales for about $30. They have good sales each week, especially this time of year. Also check with other sporting/camping stores, survival surplus stores, Costco and Sam's Club.
See the Boy Scout manual or Young Women's Camp manual on how to build different types of shelters. Both of these books have good sources of information to keep with your emergency supplies.
Click here to see different ways to make shelter in the wilderness. You never know when you might need to know how to do this.
Include in your kits one change of clothing and footwear, check it periodically to make sure they still fit, especially for children and teenagers. Anticipate severe weather conditions. Try to avoid wearing cotton clothing since it retains water, which spreads over the entire body, causing loss of body heat at a great rate. Wet inter clothing causes freezing.
Wool clothing is the best: natural insulator that keeps you warm in winter and cool in summer, can withstand rugged and tough wear, repels water (will keep the body warm even though wet), and dries from the inside out. Keep two pairs of wool socks, one for wearing and one for keeping your feet warm while sleeping.
Every family member should have fire starting materials and know how to start a fire. These should be assembles into a kit and labeled as "fire starting kit". Teach all family members how to use them, safety, and practice at home or while camping.
This blog posting is complete! Updated June 2015