“Making “Wolfgang
Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Winter vehicle survival shelter test

  1. #1
    Mini Gun lee1959's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 19 2011
    Posts
    1,198

    Winter vehicle survival shelter test

    Now those of you who live in our warmer climes won’t get much from this one, but maybe a few from the colder areas just might. The particulars of how and why are irrelevant, but after a long discussion of the viability of an automobile as a semi-permanent alternative to a tent as a shelter, a friend of mine challenged me to live in my car from about dinner time on a Friday to Sunday morning at 10 AM, or about 41 hours. I was to use nothing but what my vehicle carries in it for a winter emergency kit, and the things I carry into it on an everyday basis. No added food or drink was to be allowed. He obviously thought that this would be a challenge, I on the other hand thought it would be at worst perhaps a bit boring. I was not limited to sitting there all day long, I could go about normal daily outdoors activities but forgo any indoors activities.

    In this exercise I am probably better prepared than most as my semi-retirement gig is a special needs school bus driver. I spend from about 5:30 AM to 5 PM either at the bus yard sitting in my car or driving the bus, approx. 6 hours of this is spent pre-tripping and driving the bus the rest is spent in the car with it normally off. I do this because I dislike the seating in the garage, and driving back and forth to home would be way to expensive. My car is set up for my comfort, limited meals and also has an extensive emergency kit, in effect for about 5 plus hours a day I live in my vehicle. I often run the car for maybe 10 minutes each break, or 30 minutes total for 3 breaks to take off the initial edge while I eat something quick.

    To make it a bit challenging I did this over a weekend in Christmas break, in the midst of a cold snap where the high temps were in single digits and the lows down to close to minus double digits. Overall, I have to say I was right, the experience helped me work out some things with my car and GHB kits but nothing serious. The first thing I did was prepare to spend a long cold night, I started up one of two Zippo handwarmers I keep and use almost daily. Then put two of the frozen water bottles from my supplies in to thaw. I had several thawed bottles in my lunch bag. I took off my boots and put on wool boot pacs liners from the two pair in my emergency stores, for “slippers” which are warmer and less constrictive than my boots for long periods. To keep this from being too long will just mention things I had available to use.

    Available for use are 2 different weight coats, in addition to the wool shirt jack I normally wear and two different vests along with several weight gloves and hats including a wool navy watch cap. I have a quilt I usually wrap up in during the day along with a warm neck pillow. But also in my emergency kit are several wool blankets and two dual density “space blankets” which reflect back heat. I have a canteen kit which can be used to melt water if needs be and various other tools and emergency items.

    Food items vary according to desires but currently my “snacks”, breakfast and lunch items include a box of mini slimjims, bags of various jerky’s, oatmeal cookies, dry cereal, peanuts, fruit snacks and fruit “leather” along with a large bag of Hershey miniatures’ for a treat. A case of water bottles is available as is instant coffee and a plug-in water heater coil for coffee in my canteen cup.

    Entertainment includes a bag of reading material, cell phone charger and a plug in mini DVD player with movies. Yes, before anyone says it my car is indeed full, but, it is that way for a reason, it is lived in 5 days a week. Sleeping is usually done in the front seat just reclined but for this I pulled down the back seats and used the larger more open space. Lighting after dark is provided by small LED pushbutton puck lights.

    Overall it was a very successful weekend. Cold, yes, a bit but overall, I was very comfortable. The water thawing worked but was slower than I had planned, adding the second hand warmer would have speeded things up a lot. And a warm meal would have been nice, that will be remedied with some MREs.
    Last edited by lee1959; 01-14-2018 at 03:36 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator of the Year
    Official Bersa Chat Greeter

    VIP Site Benefactor
    mitchr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 01 2010
    Posts
    25,653

    Re: Winter vehicle survival shelter test

    True, we don't see the kind of temps you are talking about, as a rule, but have had situations come up that made me think we need to be better prepared. Once was on a trip from Odessa to Shreveport for Christmas & having water pump go out (naturally at night) & couldn't run the heater. Was only about 18 degrees, but not really prepared for it. Hitched a ride into a nearby town to call my FIL from a burger joint (before cell phones) & when the lady closed up, she gave us a ride back to our car to wait on him.

    Of course, we all had coats, but not for 18 degrees for any length of time, & we had a blanket which we wrapped around the kids. A car pulled up behind us & a man tapped on the window. It was the husband of the burger shop lady, coming to check on us. He invited us into his car & kept it running until my FIL could get there (about 3 hours)! It's been over 40 years, but I think about that every time I pass thru the little town of Van, Texas, which I did on a regular basis in my last job.


    P.S. We do have a sort of emergency kit, extra clothing, but no food & always take some bottled water any time we leave the house.
    Last edited by mitchr; 01-14-2018 at 09:01 PM.
    Think Green.......Recycle Congress

    Certified Armed Infidel

    Right Wing Extremist

  3. #3
    Semi Automatic nickndfl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 14 2014
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    331

    Re: Winter vehicle survival shelter test

    Carry one of those big 3-wick candles and matches to keep from freezing to death.

  4. #4
    Mini Gun groberts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 28 2012
    Location
    Okie
    Posts
    1,978

    Re: Winter vehicle survival shelter test

    Sounds like a good boring story to tell on the series Fargo. Boy has that thing gotten bad. Makes the people of Minnesota look real stupid.
    Certified Armed Infidel

  5. #5
    Mini Gun lee1959's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 19 2011
    Posts
    1,198

    Re: Winter vehicle survival shelter test

    Yep, pretty boring overall, but interesting nonetheless. Not sure about Fargo, have never seen the show. I think that what it helped show was that with a bit of planning , and gear most all of us have available it is not too far of a stretch to consider the vehicle as an alternative shelter during emergencies like having to bug out. Hotels are not always available, or affordable, and tents have their own set of problems, including very slow evacuation under emergency conditions. I understand hot weather is a whole other topic as that has a whole new set of challenges to the vehicle user.

    One thing I will add is that something as simple as using a whisk broom to brush off snow before entering helps keep the vehicle more manageable. I am n ot a big fan of candles or other such methods to keep warm inside of a vehicle, too many possible chances of ending up in a worse situation than before. Layering a space blanket between other blankets drastically increases the warmth factor by retaining much of your body heat, wearing a wool cap helps a lot too.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •