Dave Canterbury on Emergency Shelter

So what we’re going to talk about today is how to set up an emergency shelter very quickly and so we’re going to prepare things before we go we’re gonna make sure we have these things ready and we don’t have to have a lot of rope and cordage to make this happen generally about 25 feet or 4 poles of this type cordage like paracord in just a couple feet of smaller cordage the key is to have this cordage here smaller diameter than this cordage so what we’re going to do this is just an example very quickly to show you how it sets up and now we’re going to pull it off of here for a minute and you could use any tarp for this could be a very inexpensive tarp like this that’s lightweight in for an emergency this is okay you’re only talking about one or two nights not staying forever if you have a blanket a space blanket that’s reflective on the inside that’s better but this will do just fine if you can’t afford something else and it folds up very small inside your backpack so the important thing for this is this right here okay and so what we’ve done I’m going to explain these knots very quickly cuz we’re gonna leave this the way it is the important thing is to never have to cut your cordage so now I can take this part and use this just like this okay and wrap this around my hand and don’t wrap this too tight because it makes it hard to get undone and we can store it in our backpack just like this and then when we have to set up our shelter we can just move these down start to pull the cordage out go around the tree we don’t need to tie a knot here we can just pull this through a loop and put a stick in there and this makes what’s called a marlinespike marlinespike and then just come around here like this and pull tight we want to start about waist level that will allow us to sit on the ground and sit up at the top of the shelter now we’re just going to take this turn it over in our hand and put a loop in it and pull the standing in through like this take this line put it through the loop one time two times and when we pull tight it will hold tension and then we can just put a half hitch in there to keep it tight everything comes undone very easy when we’re finished and so there’s no knots that can’t come undone very quickly now we can just slide these to the end out of our way and this is called the prusik knot okay this on the line and all we did was we’re taking two pieces of rope that are about a foot long again no knots we can’t untie very easy to untie and so we’re just tying us stopping knot on the end of each sorry the line turn the line over tie one side to this line like this take the other end tie it to the other side like this and then pull together like this very easy to get undone and loose but it will hold tension against ourselves then we can just take that and put the loop over the line and go one two three pull it down dress it up like this and as long as this line is smaller in diameter than this line we can slide but when we pull tension side to side it won’t move but as soon as we let go of it it will move again okay and that allows us just to be able to put the tarp over and connect it and move it so that the tarp is tight and we can also move it side to side on the line if we need to then we would just take our tarp and throw it over the line in whatever configuration we want in this case we’re just using a regular like a pup tent shelters like a two-man shelter someone could sleep in and just shove the line through the grommet and then we put a stick in here just like that put the line loose and then pull tight and then we can adjust by moving this and this to get it centered between the trees then all we need to do is take more sticks let’s take this out here and here we can just I need a piece of rope in there it’s easy enough just to take a loop of line through pull it like this then we can take our stick and use that same climb the Rope like this can’t be pulled but very simple to get out and pound in so it’s down and do all four sides so then we have a very quick tent that’s good okay we can also with this we can now take this and we could tie out here with the rope out or down to adjust so we have more cover over the top to work inside of is raining inside or we can drop it to the ground in inclement weather to crawl inside to go to sleep at night we don’t have some wide enough space between these trees but we could also turn this tarp sideways on a diamond and so the points would be out and it will give you more coverage this way but less coverage this way and we could also use this tarp on the same thing on the same line and we could pull it down to the ground yank that stake out for me real quick pull that out real quick we could take this see this is a rectangular tar pendant yeah it’s not gonna be long enough we can we can also take this configuration and pull it about eye level in the tree like this and this knot doesn’t have to be fancy on the backside you can actually just tie a shoelace knot in there it’s not a problem no problem got one more that’s not this would be better flows out here like this so we need a better steak here but I need a longer steak but this is this would give you you can get inside it very deeply you could put a fire in front and it will reflect the heat all the way around to give you a convection heat this style shelter is used often in the boreal forest so anyway and again same thing here you know you can’t you could open this up if you wanted to so you just had half of it she had some shade from the Sun if this was tight yes of shade from the Sun and you wanted to be able to work out here because the weather was nice then you could turn half of it back and then at night you could pull it back over and shut it down well you could lash this out to a tree to have even more coverage underneath there or you can lash it here to here and then pull one side down just as a wind block and sleep on the other side oh it’s okay too much complication anyway then you could tarp this out here to have a different style shelter that would shed rain butter or you could bring this straight down to the ground to help block the wind coming across so there’s lots of ways that you can start a tarp up to be able to block win and be able to sleep in there at night with a fire the general rule is if you have if this is your shelter you want your fire one step away so here the wind should be at the back of the shelter yes but sometimes not always so sometimes if you are if you are using a long fire so in deep winter cold conditions you have a long fire that’s the length of your body when you’re laying down you really almost want to win to be across the fire so that it feeds oxygen to the fire but if you the wind is a tricky thing if you have a fire here and the wind is that the back of the shelter here blowing this way if you don’t have a fire wall behind the fire this will this will act like an airplane wing in the draft will pull the smoke into your so you have to have a firewall here the same height as the shelter and it’s not many people call this wall a reflector it’s not a reflector it’s not a mirror it’s not a reflector it’s just something that traps thermal mass and then transfers that heat and so when we build our shelter and we think about the fire the rule as I said is one step but for every equal distance away from that fire equal distance so if this is one step if the fire is if I take one step further back I feel 25 percent of the heat and one more step is 1/4 of the 25 percent so you have to pay attention to where your fires at and how high the fire is going to be and maintain it correctly to get the right amount of heat in the shelter to not get too hot or too cold and you have to understand what wood to burn you should burn hardwood when the fire is going soft wood to get the fire going otherwise you’re going to wake up all night have to feed the fire we must pull this down real quick okay yeah tell them if you are if you are sleeping on the ground okay there’s three things you have to worry about conduction which is the heat from the ground convection which is air draft heat and then radiant heat from the Sun and the fire and so you have to manipulate those three to equalize your body temperature and so if you’re sleeping on the ground and you want to battle or not get conduction from the ground you need four inches of insulation after it’s compressed so if I so if I lay a bunch of pine boughs on the ground here when I lay down on them it still has to be four inches thick and then I will not feel the ground probably okay so the back to that using multiple knots using the same knot for multiple things right so here we are using a marlinespike hitch we’re pulling a loop through okay that is a marlinespike hitch okay we can also this yeah this is this portion here is called a rope tackle it’s it’s a machine to tighten and then if we take this and pinch here and do this this is called the trucker’s hitch tell them this you can when using this we’re going to change this in a minute but remember that we have these here right what we can do is take this and put it through the tarp grommet and put this here and pull down then we only need one of these on the other end okay but the problem with the trucker’s hitch this is a very good knot but it’s difficult for young people and sometimes for females to pinch this and hold it tight so you can tie it off so if you take this one more time through underneath like this then it becomes what’s called a round turn and then when I pull tight it binds against itself it works better if we’re not on an angle but now it’s easy to hold now it’s very easy to hold I can hold it with almost no pressure and do the same thing and when I want to get out I just pull forward and it releases and so again no knots again we don’t want any knots that we can’t get out so if I just take this and go if I put a lot of pressure on this and this gets tight then it’s going to be difficult to get undone okay and I might have to cut so on this knot all we have to do is pull it apart and it comes undone all by itself this is called the bowline knot we just turned the line over and we have a story in America I will tell you okay so we turn this over and this is the rabbit and this is the rabbit’s hole so the rabbit comes out of his hole and he sees a hunter so he goes back around the tree and back into his hole and now you have the bowline knot and so now with this one all we have to do is pull on the side and it comes undone no matter how tight we pull on it so again we’re trying to make sure we have a resource that we don’t want to if we cut every time we cut this we make it smaller and smaller and smaller so when I put this in my pack I always leave the bowline knot on one end the two prusik knot and on the back side just to stop not now we can also use the marlinespike that we talked about before on our ridge lines as well but anywhere you can use the not the same is what you want to do you want to use the same knots all the time if I one time I use the I use the the marlinespike hitch a lot on the tree on trees if I’m coming in I usually keep a piece of cordage like this that is one pole in my pocket so in the pool is called a fathom a fathom its nautical term its nautical terminology they used to tie tie knots in the rope every one fathom and they would measure how deep the water and how fast the boat was traveling by how many knots so that’s called one fathom okay so usually one fathom of rope I keep in my pocket and then when I come into my camp if it’s wintertime I don’t want to put my pack on the ground so I will take and I have this bowline knot and I have six feet one fathom and just a knot tied in the other end and I would take that piece of rope put it around the tree and pull the end through so that’s hanging down like this I would pull it tight and just put a marlinespike hitch in there and now I can hang my pack here so I can work in my pack and it’s never touching the ground did it have any questions

Record of the master class on emergency shelter that Dave Canterbury gave on the second day of Steel Edge Show in Kyiv, Ukraine on Knots are:
Marlinspike Hitch – Knot – Hitch – Knot – SQUIRREL Social Media:
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