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mistwalker

An Improvised Shelter; AMK Heatsheet

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I recently bought a few AMK Heatsheets emergency blankets ( with certified space technology ) for emergency kits in the cars and for our backpacks. In taking one out of the pack to check it out I noticed it has suggestions for uses as shelter. One of the suggestions is for a lean-to set up. While it does show the configuration it does not show how to attach the securing lines so I thought I’d do a thread and show one method for doing this. This method also works well for large sheets of visquine (actually visquine is stronger but also heavier and less compact), and you can do something like this with the heavy duty trash bags like the commercial ones as well. Before the critiques begin this is not an example of great location, it was spur of the moment on how to attach the lines because some people might think they’d need to cut holes in it…, and with me thinking that would be a bad idea….,I thought I'd be nice. Also...., as bad as the mosquitoes were out there this afternoon I may very well have contracted some pathogen in the process so cut me some slack.

 

I start with a large AMK Heatsheet, 96"/244cm x 60"/152cm, for 1 or 2, a roll of braided cord, and a sheath knife.

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First I make four stakes by cutting a small limb and then laying them on a stump for sharpening.

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and for cutting the other ends flat.

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If you have a machete or large chopper this can be done in two quick cuts per stake

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Then I pre-tie some loops in four pieces of string, with the first two being only about a foot long or so, you may want to wait on the second two to avoid waste.

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Then I tie some cord between two trees and drape the e blanket across with roughly ¾ on one side and pull the long side till it touches the ground and this is where I drive my stakes at an angle leaning away from the shelter and just a bit wider than the material to help keep it taught. The stakes can be driven with the pommel of a knife if it's all you have available.

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Or they can be driven with a large rock if one is handy.

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Then I take some debris, also known as duff, and place it on the corner and wrap the material around it making a ball

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Then I take the loop and wrap it around the ball.

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Then pull the working end of the cord through the loop and tighten it.

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Then tie it to the stake

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Repeat this step on all four corners doing the back ones that touch the ground first, then using the front ones to tighten it all up and the finished product should look something like this.

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I've added these after snagging my oldest, and her cat apparently, to give some perspective to the size.

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Along with shelter suggestions, it also comes with wilderness tips on things like water and emergencies printed on the orange side in both English and in ummm French I believe.

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With the versatility of a blanket, light shelter, windbreak, or sunscreen as the silver side can be turned up to reflect away heat, and that it takes up little room and weighs next to nothing for $5.00 I think it’s not a bad investment ….., now to see how long it holds up, as I left it set up. I’ll check out the warmth factor next fall.

 

 

 

EDIT: I hope you keep reading, I was pretty impressed 5 weeks later.

 

 

 

 

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Great tutorial Mist.  :thumbup:  I have a small one but I havent taken it out of the package. I dont think mine is as big as that one. A small stone works as well but I like the rubble as it is more readily available.

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I picked up the single person version of the heat sheet.  Nice kit to have with you.  Nice illustrations on the pegs and tie points, which were a good idea I think.

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Thanks guys, Rock Creek had a lot of the small heatsheats but only three of the larger ones so I got all of them with one to test. I thought with my heighth it would be best and Since Either of us may have a baby with them..., and with there being little size, weight, or cost difference it just seemed best. While these e blankets are in now way as tough as a tarp they are pretty strong for their weight at only 3.5 oz/99g. I want to set one up in the sun out in a field with the silver side up and two thermometers to check the inside and outside temps.

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Great post Mistwalker.  :thumbup:  That would be interesting to see what the temps may be in the sun. That is if you don't create a big reflective panel and blind some pilot with it oops.gif

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Great post Mistwalker.  :thumbup:  That would be interesting to see what the temps may be in the sun. That is if you don't create a big reflective panel and blind some pilot with it oops.gif

If all the airstream travel trailers out there have never hurt them I think I'm good to go lol.

 

I added a couple of pics to offer a better perspective on size.

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Ok I just don't want to have to take up a fund to get you out of jail. Of coarse maybe Blue could bake you a cake with a file in it :woot:

 

That will work good with a fire in front it would reflect the radiant heat on to you and keep you warm.

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I've heard he can cook pretty damn good., I wouldn't mind a cake.  A small fire..., and not too close.

 

Definately on the cake  :yes:

 

And I was thinking a sm fire as a large one would probably start it on fire or melt it. But it would do just fine with a sm fire. Might not be your best night in the woods but it would make life just a little more comfortable

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Thanks for that post Mist, that's really informative!  I have one of these but didn't realize it was so versatile.  I like that shelter design, I might have to try it out some time. 

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Nice tutorial & pictures Mistwalker!

A small stone works as well but I like the rubble as it is more readily available.

I like that idea too, even a handful of sand for us desert folks.  :thumbup:

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Good work, Mist!  It's nice to get the 'double whammy' of a product review and a shelter tutorial in the same post! :hugegrin:  :thumbup:

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Thanks for that post Mist, that's really informative!  I have one of these but didn't realize it was so versatile.  I like that shelter design, I might have to try it out some time. 

Glad you learned something SK, try it out some time, it's not limited to the e blanket.

 

 

Nice tutorial & pictures Mistwalker! I like that idea too, even a handful of sand for us desert folks.  :thumbup:

Yep, I like your thinking, and if worse come to worse two walking sticks stuck up in the sand and string tied between them as it is very light, I was just puzzling over ways to do it in sand and on rocks last night. With two walking sticks, some rocks, and some string and it could be place leaned against a rock face and the strings tied to the rocks out to the side instead of stakes and it would be decent sun screen. Using a similar method you can tie two together for more of a sun screen.

 

 

Good work, Mist!  It's nice to get the 'double whammy' of a product review and a shelter tutorial in the same post! :hugegrin:  :thumbup:

Thanks KB glad you liked it. Like I said earlier, it's not as strong as some other materials but is not all that flimsy, and is light and portable

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I've heard he can cook pretty damn good., I wouldn't mind a cake.  A small fire..., and not too close.

Bigblue cooked up this little snack for Mrs Swede and I>

 

novascotia2024bw3.jpg

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Bigblue cooked up this little snack for Mrs Swede and I>

 

novascotia2024bw3.jpg

Ok..., I gotta get on good terms with this guy lol, that looks awesome!!

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Just remember, the good things about these e blankets (which may well be the best on the market) are that they are very light weight, take up very little room, come in a hard but light protective case, are multifunctional, and have some good tips on them you may need in a time when you are panicing. They tuck away in a small bag quite nicely.

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However..., being a really strong and durable material is not one of their charactersistics. They are good to have along as a contengency for light rain, dew, staying warmer or a break from light to barely moderate but cold winds, and a good sunscreen. I wouldn't suggest choosing one with the intentions of it being a shelter in expected inclimate weather. Something like a small tarp or even a good poncho like in the upper right of this photo is much stronger, will serve you far better, and they can be used the same way except they come with gromets to be used as tie-downs.

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Here is a link to a thread by Adi which shows a great example of how a poncho can be used.

http://www.wildsurvive.com/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=72&/topic,2264.0.html

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Nice tutorial & pictures Mistwalker! I like that idea too, even a handful of sand for us desert folks.  :thumbup:

If you use a stone with this one, try to use one without sharp points or corners

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Mist,

 

Great post. That's an awesome looking improvised shelter.

 

I really like the dirt/leaves for the corner tie holds.

 

Can you tell me, how sturdy is the blanket itselt?  If you get a small tear will the entire thing likely rip?

 

I have a very cheap E-blanket and it's... very cheap.

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Mist,

 

Great post. That's an awesome looking improvised shelter.

 

I really like the dirt/leaves for the corner tie holds.

 

Can you tell me, how sturdy is the blanket itselt?  If you get a small tear will the entire thing likely rip?

 

I have a very cheap E-blanket and it's... very cheap.

Hold on, I'm doing a full range of tests on this one. It is still tied between the trees and has sagged hardly any at all. All I know yet as far as tearing is that in grabbing it and pulling on it with just one finger it stretched thin rather quickly and I was pretty sure my finger would have gone on through fairly easily....., about the same as heavy visquine. However as of yet I really have know idea as to whether or not it would keep tearing or how easily because I want to see how it holds up a little over time. I don't think it'll tear the way you are thinking, I think tearing it a little on and edge then strtching it from the ends wouldn't cause it to tear the way the brittle ones do. I'll check out more about it as I go because this one is just for tests to see what it can handle. I intend to pretty much "destroy" it in the process of learning about it. I do know that it is stretchy and has give to it not like most of the silver e blankets, it is more cloth like, and very pliable and not brittle.., doesn't crinckle or crackle like other "space" blankets. Howerever it won't stretch far and stretch back. So far the tie-down buttons have done fine with no tears in them even in the light rains we've had and the shelter hasn't pulled out of shape due to it's own weight or the light wind and rain (hell it has no weight). They are calling for storms tomorrow so we'll see more about it then. Later I am going to see if I am right and that sections of it could be used like a skin (no.., not sewn , just wrapped) to transport water if needed. So...., more on it later.

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