7pm on a spring night with forecast of 7C I set off in a running top & capri's to spend the night (dusk until dawn) in a British Columbia forest with my EMELEE Essentials Kit, to demo how it can be used to make a shelter and stay warm for the night in case I'm ever lost or injured.
The video shows my "camp" for the night but is short so here's some more info.
I built the shelter against a fallen tree and low down to keep drafts out and maximize warmth. It was sloped so that any rain would run off.
- I used rope and a regular foil blanket as a tarp to build the shelter.
- Wore the poncho
- Got in the bivy sack
In addition to the above I also had the EMELEE 10 Essentials items below, that I didn't use because I was warm enough without them. But if temperatures had been lower I also had these available to me.
- Dry top (not part of EMELEE essentials kit)
- Hand warmers (to throw in the bivy sack)
- Plastic gloves (to keep my hands warm)
- Fire starters
I could also have used my buff (or duct tape) to fix the bivy sack around my head to stop drafts getting in and maximize warmth.
I did notice when I got out of my shelter that I was cold & shivering in under 5 minutes. If I had been in a situation where I needed to spend a few hours, waiting for help without my shelter, in the outdoors at 7C I would have had hypothermia by the time help arrived. Note: SAR need to deal with cold issues/hypothermia in nearly 100% of rescues year round.
The location of the fallen tree I used to build the shelter was approx 8 metres off the trail. This meant my camp was not at all visible to anyone on the trail. The below video shows how hanging the reflective bag above my camp helps rescuers find me easier.
I'm usually a cold person, I'm the one wearing a puffy jacket when others are in t-shirts. From the above experiment I am confident that the EMELEE Essentials kit will keep me warm enough down to 0C. Watch out for a blog in the winter when I test it out at below 0C, freezing temperatures.
Note: In addition to the EMELEE Essentials kit I had the standard items that should be carried on a run/hike in the outdoors; food, water, In Reach (or equivalent), headlamp, dry top.
Take a look at what you carry as your 10 essentials/survival gear, are you carrying things that will help you stay warm if you need to wait for help to arrive?
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