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  • Italy Earthquake Devastates Entire Towns

    Italy Earthquake - via The Mirror Searching for survivors - via The Mirror

    A magnitude 6.2 earthquake – along with a string of more than 80 aftershocks – hit central Italy early Wednesday morning. At least 120 people are dead, and entire towns are in crumbles. One such town is Amatrice, to which the mayor explained, devastated, “Half the town doesn’t exist anymore.” At least two other towns have been reduced to rubble, and the death toll is expected to rise as rescue teams arrive at more remote areas.

    The earthquake rattled central Italy during the early morning hours when most people were still asleep. Homes fell and roads buckled. The shake was so powerful it was felt more than 135 miles away. Italy is situated on two fault lines, making it not only the most earthquake-prone country in Europe, but also in the entire world.

    With homes destroyed, people are now essentially homeless. The same thing happened in Nepal in 2015, although on a much larger scale. Because homes were destroyed and residents were fearful to spend the night in a damaged home, Kathmandu and the surrounding area became a city of tents.

    City of Tents - Italy earthquake Kathmandu's tent city

    Having some sort of emergency shelter is always a good idea. A tent will keep you protected from outside elements, but even a tarp draped over tree branches is better than nothing. Sometimes you may need to rely on these alternate shelters rather than a compromised home.

    Earthquakes can strike anywhere and at any time. In the case of the Italy earthquake, it struck around 3:30 in the morning. Lights will be out and power will be sketchy, at best. Having an earthquake kit – stored in a safe container, such as a bucket – will help you through those literal dark times with your prepared flashlights and other gear and supplies.

    While the Italy earthquake is devastating, it is still a good time to reflect on your emergency preparations and continue to build it up with the gear and supplies you need. Being prepared before the disaster is essential for riding it out as safely and comfortably as possible.


    Earthquake_Blog_Banner Italy earthquake

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  • 5 Types of Base Camp Shelters

    There are many reasons to setup a base camp shelter. Whatever your motivation, make sure you design and build one that meets your requirements and anticipates your needs. From underground bunkers to pine bough lean-tos, unique base camp shelters are needed for different scenarios.

    These five shelter types will cover most of your bases. Keep in mind that each shelter meets a different need. You may require more than one type for the scenario you are preparing for.


    1. Bunker

    Old abandoned bunker in forest - base camp

    This hidden shelter option has many advantages. Easily defensible, concealed, and well-fortified, a bunker shelter can provide safe and secluded base camp accommodations. Long-term food storage, rations, and other supplies can be easily concealed and kept safe until you need to access them. Bunkers can be equipped with generators and electricity, secure doors, multiple rooms, and other amenities of a permanent shelter.

    The size and location of a bunker may be limited by your access to land, and the amount of funds you are able to allocate to building one. Land, excavation, materials, and utilities can require a significant investment.


    1. Portable

    Portable shelters provide protection from the elements while allowing users to keep on the move. Trailers, tents, tarps, and tensioned fabric structures let you set up camp without having to own land, invest in excavating and building equipment, or devote a lot of time to building a permanent structure. Portable base camps should be designed for ease of setup and take-down, as well as stability in extreme weather events.


    1. Permanent

    Celtic Round House Base campA permanent base camp requires access to land and a significant investment in materials. Creating a permanent shelter is one of the most expensive base camp shelter options, but also one of the most comfortable and secure. A permanent shelter is more conspicuous than a bunker or a portable shelter. This type of shelter also provides many of the same amenities of a house. A permanent shelter may have running water, electricity, heating and cooling systems, and other comforts. It is important to remember that, unlike a bunker or a portable shelter, a permanent shelter will likely require a more established access route, such as a road, driveway, or established trail.


    1. Emergency

    An emergency shelter is necessary for quick and easy setup. This type of shelter is often located near a survival cache, and is meant as a temporary spot to regroup on the way to a more permanent base camp. An emergency shelter may also be required in an extreme weather event, such as a rainstorm, tornado, or blizzard. Emergency shelters can be crafted from many different materials. Having a tarp can make emergency shelter setup easy. If you aren’t that lucky, tree branches, rock outcroppings, or dry cave openings may have to suffice. Emergency shelters can be dug into the side of large snowdrifts, riverbanks, or small hills.  Survival caches setup ahead of time can also store tarps, ropes, and stakes in the event that an emergency shelter is needed.


    1. Semi-Permanent

    SafariTent_Open_Lifestyle_Moab_MattBarr_002_Web base campMore stable than an emergency shelter, yet not as immobile as a permanent one, a semi-permanent shelter can create a long-lasting, durable base camp that can be relocated or disassembled if necessary. Tensioned fabric structures can be anchored to nearly any surface to create a sturdy semi-permanent shelter. These types of shelters may have electricity and other utilities setup in mobile or temporary configurations.



    Jimmy Wall is an avid outdoorsman always advocating people to get outside. Living in Washington State, he says nothing is better than a climb up Mount Rainier to Camp Muir.


    Disaster_Blog_Banner - base camp

  • Afghanistan Earthquake Leaves Thousands in Dire Need of Shelter

    “We are in dire need of help. The earthquake is not over for us yet. It shook our world.”

    Those words by Wahab Hayat ring true for all affected by Monday’s Afghanistan earthquake which also reached into Pakistan. It may have only rumbled the earth for 45 seconds, but it’s still shaking up thousands of lives.

    Homes Destroyed and Shelter - BBC - Afghanistan Earthquake via BBC

    At least 360 people were killed in the 7.5 magnitude earthquake, over 1,600 people injured, and over 4,000 homes destroyed. Now, just a few days after the earthquake, there is a plea for food, blankets, and other necessities. Most dire for them, however, appears to be shelter.

    In the mountainous regions, heavy rain and even snow have made things nearly unbearable for the displaced in those areas. While it’s bad for adults, they worry more about the safety of the children.

    “Thousands spent Tuesday night in near-freezing temperatures,” reported the BBC.

    Lacking proper shelter following a disaster is something we’ve seen before, and just recently, too. In April of this year, Nepal was hit with the strongest earthquake in its history. It killed 9,000 people, and destroyed around 900,000 homes. Displacement was widespread, and a lack of shelter made it difficult for most, especially when Monsoon season came about.

    To this day, nearly six months later, there is still a need of shelter in Kathmandu and other areas of Nepal. For those in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the need for shelter is become a matter of life and death.

    While government agencies and charities work quickly to bring shelter, food, and other necessities to the hardest-hit regions, broken roads and landslides made it difficult to reach some of the devastated regions. Others are still waiting for help to arrive.

    Child By Rubble - Al Jazeera - Afghanistan Earthquake via Al Jazeera

    These events are tragic, but it is still important that we learn from them. When it comes to emergency supplies, are you prepared to take care of your family for up three days at the minimum? Relying on outside help could have you waiting for days. In the case of the people in Pakistan and Afghanistan, they’re sleeping in the cold because help hasn’t arrived yet. Once their food supplies run out, that’s it. Things aren’t going well for them.

    Of course, it’s difficult to prepare for every single disaster, and every scenario that accompanies them. But you can prepare for the basic necessities. Food, water, and shelter are three of the most important areas to prepare for. Sometimes food and water take top priority. For these people, shelter is what they need most.

    Barebones Inside - Afghanistan Earthquake Inside the Barebones tent

    Start off by having emergency blankets in easy to access locations. If you have a tent, make sure it’s in good condition. If you don’t have one, consider getting one. It’s much more pleasant sleeping in even a tiny tent than outside in the wind and the elements. If you have more room for tent storage, our Barebones tents are the ultimate emergency shelter.

    But no matter what you choose, just make sure you choose something. Here in Utah and other areas of the United States, the nights are already getting a wee bit chilly. If something were to happen to your home now and you were forced to sleep outside, would you have the proper shelter to keep you and your family warm? It’s something to start thinking about.


    Earthquake Banner - Call to Action - Afghanistan Earthquake

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