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Thread: warmest winter shelter

  1. #1

    Default warmest winter shelter

    Hi. I was just wondering what you guys think is the warmest shelter to build that is heated by a fire?

    I was thinking a debris hut with a ton of mud and leaves with a fire pit inside and pine boughs for bedding. Would this be safe? Could you leave the fire going while you sleep?

    Also, I was even thinking of using a wood stove inside the debris hut with a hole in the top for the stove pipe to go through. You guys think that would work?


  2. #2
    Bush Master MCBushbaby's Avatar
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    In my area, you're lucky if you can dig deep enough to hit debris and/or mud, heh.

    In my personal opinion, the warmest shelter would be a fire bed placed between two fire rows.

    The basic start is to dig a pit in the snow down to the earth and create a fire about meter long in the direction you'll sleep. Wait until the soil thaws and keep digging it out until you have a 1m by 0.5m trough. Keep a good, hot fire in it until you have a couple centimeters of red coals (add rocks if available, wait until they are equally hot).

    What you'll be doing is refilling this trough with the thawed soil you dug out and putting spruce bows over the top, as usual. The heat from the coals will warm the soil and heat you all night

    You could do one of two things now: 1) go fire-happy for maximum warmth or 2) build a shelter if you expect precipitation.

    1) Figure out how wide your bed will be once you fill in the trough. About half a meter on either side of your bed, build a fire row the length of your body. You don't want it too close or you'll cook. Too far away and you don't get in the heat bubble. Once you fill in your bed, cover it with spruce bows, and have the two fire rows on either side of you, you'll be able to sleep in a really comfortable temperature in any weather outside blizzard conditions.

    2) The problem with 1) is if you have precipitation or winds, you'll get wet from the melted snow (and the wind might ignite your bed). Nothing wrong with building a simple A-frame over your fire bed and putting a fire outside the opening.
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  3. #3
    missing in action trax's Avatar
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    Default IF...

    You keep your shelter completely closed in on the sides and doors and make a hole in the very center of the top, you'll be ok with a fire inside. I'd keep the fire small anyway and keep rocks around it, the rocks will absorb and re-generate some of the heat if the fire burns out over night. Dome shaped structures keep wind out better and hold heat in better, just ask an Eskimo.

    The more insulation you can put around the outside, the better and pine boughs make an awesome bed.
    some fella confronted me the other day and asked "What's your problem?" So I told him, "I don't have a problem I am a problem"

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    Super-duper Moderator Sarge47's Avatar
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    Talking A.t.b.g....

    Which stands for "according to Bear Grylls" The Holiday Inn Express isn't bad if they don't know about the campfire in the center of the room!
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    missing in action trax's Avatar
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    that's true, you are always so helpful that way...
    some fella confronted me the other day and asked "What's your problem?" So I told him, "I don't have a problem I am a problem"

  6. #6
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    Where I live there is a lot of shattered rocks and using 2 as uprights and 1 as a flat top and an other as the back you could build an "oven styled fire" inside the hollow. but with all fire in the interior be very carefull, a group of novice outdoor leadership students built this very same model and didn't watch it....It got away from them and got the debri shelter on fire during the night.
    Other than an qullick I would prefer a leant and a reflected fire.
    To thyne self be true

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