Tag Archives: shelter

  • 4 Reasons Why You Need an Emergency Shelter

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    Kathmandu Earthquake 01 - ABCKathmandu has now taken an unenviable place in modern history, a place now known for grief and sorrow. Such distinction is shared by San Francisco-USA, Messina-Italy, Port au Prince-Haiti, Kanto-Japan, Ancash Region-Peru, Haiyuan, Tangshan and Sichuan Province-China, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, the eastern Coasts of the Indian Ocean, and many other diverse places. All are modern scenes of great death and destruction brought about by earthquake. The images from all are iconic, and are continual reminders that serenity is a delicate state, that where lies peace and tranquility may become calamity and devastation in mere seconds. Nepal becomes another example what we can expect when the unexpected happens. More importantly, we are reminded of how important it is to prepare for the real and lasting effects that follow these disasters.

    Emergency shelters create a tent city Associated Press

    A few days after the devastating Nepal earthquake happened, I wrote about how the postcard-beauty of Kathmandu had become a pile of rubble surrounded by a tent city. Of all the images from this devastation, it was the vast hillsides of tarps and blankets that most poignantly struck me. From the immediate outset, emergency shelter was a major concern for those effected by the earthquake.

    After the earthquake, half a million tents were needed to provide shelter for the masses left without a roof over their head. And, to make matters worse, this may only be the preface to the Nepalese crisis; monsoon season is mere weeks away. Soon may follow downpours of rain, followed by extreme heat. Definitely not a time to be left without shelter.

    As happy and comfortable people, we tend to think about emergency preparedness as a short-term solution. We live and breathe our “72-hour kit plan” but don’t expect to be inconvenienced any longer than that. Don’t get me wrong, 72-hour kits and emergency kits are vital. And, for many situations, a 72-hour kit will be all you need. However, there are instances – such as the Nepal earthquakes – where a 72 hour kit will be your bread and butter for the first three days, but after that, you’re going to need something a little more…permanent.

    That’s where emergency shelter comes into play.

    It’s been almost three weeks since the 7.8 earthquake in Nepal struck. Since then, many countries have donated shelters to the shelterless people of Kathmandu and other regions; Britain has donated more than 65,000 shelters, with more on the way. So why is shelter so important? Let’s use Kathmandu to explain why.

     

    1. The Elements
    Kathmandu Eartquake Emergency Shelter in the Rain BBC

    This is probably the most obvious reason. Rain can really put a damper on things if you’re stuck out in it. With monsoon season on its way, there has already fallen quite a bit of rain on the affected areas in Nepal – and therefore the people. And then there’s the wind. Unless their tarps and blankets are anchored by rocks, the wind will make short the benefits of their makeshift shelters.

    Staying warm and dry is essential to physical health and general sanity (imagine all those afternoons watching your kids on a windy, rainy soccer field…now imagine you can’t go home…sick, tired and crazy!). Then, there is the sun factor, and the burn that cannot be blocked (remember the soccer field, again). In Nepal, shelter from rain, wind, and sun are only the beginning of why shelter is essential if they are to prevent illness, sleep at night, and survive. Reason enough to have a shelter plan?

     

    1. Hot and Cold

    The rain and altitude of Nepal make the night air drop to temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. I don’t know about you, but sleeping out in the cold, particularly when you’re also wet, makes for a very uncomfortable, sleepless night. And then, during the days, the heat can rise close to 90 degrees. Both extremes are compounded by the humidity. Shelter will hold the heat at night, provide much-needed shade in the day, as well as temper the extreme temperatures.

     

    1. Sanitation

    No matter where we are…we will all have sanitary issues. Improper disposal of human waste can shortly lead to widespread disease. Now, shelters might not necessarily cure the spread of diseases, but they can sure help. By having some sort of privacy shelter with a portable toilet, doing your business is much easier, more localized, and can be controlled, keeping waste contained, thus keeping disease and sickness to a minimum. Privacy shelters can also help keep you healthy by keeping you out of the rain, cold, and other conditions that breed illness.

     

    1. Insects

    Insects, man…tell you what! Those little bugs just, well, bug me while I’m camping. Shelters, fortunately, can protect us from those nasty critters. This is especially important where there are mosquitoes. If their buzzing doesn’t drive you nuts, their bites will, not to mention the fact that they can carry all sorts of diseases. So, keeping them out of your space is another benefit of being ready with shelter in a catastrophe.

     

    Besides all these shelter-from-the-elements reasons, the sense of home, family and belonging that a shelter provides is a benefit that cannot be overstated, particularly in a world torn apart, as in Kathmandu. So you see, there are many reasons to think beyond your 72-hour kit and consider why an emergency shelter plan is essential following a disaster.

    Do you have emergency shelter for yourself and your family? Check out our range of shelters – including the heavy duty Barebones Safari and Barebones Little Bighorn tents – and get started preparing your family with shelter!

     

    What shelter works best for you and your family? Let us know in comments!

     

    Barebones Safari Emergency Shelter

    Barebones Bighorn

    Posted In: Disaster Scenarios, First Aid and Sanitation, Insight, Shelter and Temperature Control Tagged With: Barebones, emergency shelter, Nepal earthquake, Sanitation, shelter

  • Sleep Like the Bees in a B-and-Bee Shelter

    Sleep Like the Bees in a B-and-Bee Shelter

    Every once in a while I come across something so clever, I really wish I’d invented it. Like these ninja bread man cookie cutters. Seriously.

    My current discovery is this: portable, hexagonal, stacking shelters modeled on the architecture of a beehive for strength and efficiency of space. Called B-and-Bees, this Belgian brainwave comes equipped with convertible sleeping/seating space, luggage storage, and even power. They can be stacked at least three high (as near as I can figure out from their Dutch language blog), with metal stairs for access and a zippable canvas flap enclosure.

    The B-and-Bee is currently being marketed as a solution to the problem of muddy fields created by an abundance of tents setup for music festivals. This is a fine idea, though the author of the Gizmag article, “B-And-Bee shelter looks to comfort festival goers,” puts my feelings on that narrow scope into words when he writes, “One can't help but think that the company is missing a trick marketing B-And-Bee solely toward festival organizers, as it could perhaps be useful in other areas too, such as in natural disaster situations, for example.”

    Indeed, it looks like someone is already on top of that. Ecofriend.com reported on these hexagonal emergency shelters (with solar power, no less!) all the way back in 2010. We don’t know if they ever took off, or if B-and-Bee will tap into this market, but we sure love the idea!

     

    -Stacey

     

    Photo Courtesy of B-and-Bee image gallery/Press Kit

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: shelter

  • 10 Must-Have Items for Camping

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     10 Must-Have Items for Camping

    When the weather warms and nighttime comes late, camping calls. Camping trips can provide a much-needed change of pace and change of scenery for families always wired in or on the go. But if you’re what you might call “indoorsy,” the thought of packing up food, clothing, warmth, and shelter so you can leave your home—with its ready access to food, clothing, warmth, and shelter—might sound daunting, no matter how idyllic it might sound to sleep under the Milky Way.

    Do not be daunted. With a few pieces of the right equipment, camping under the stars can be easy to arrange. And you and your family can be one step closer to living a life of comfort outside your comfort zone. Here are ten camping essentials that will help you finally make friends with the great outdoors.

    1. Water. Any outdoor experience will require you to be well hydrated, so easy access to water is key. Most maintained campgrounds provide clean water access for campers, but you’ll need containers to trek the water from wherever it is to where it needs to be. Water carriers vary from handheld water bottles (Emergency Essentials 32-oz yellow water bottle), to backpack containers (Blue Camelback Cloud Walker 70-oz Hydration Pack), to multi-gallon containers that can serve your whole family (Reliance 5-gallon Collapsible Fold-A-Carrier).

    10 Must-Have Items for Camping: The Reliance Fold N Filter

    2. Food. Camping families are hungry families, so high-quality, tasty food should be your priority. But outdoor living begs for simplicity. Look to easily prepared foods like the Emergency Essentials MREs and Mountain House meals for delicious breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and desserts.

    Here are some ideas:
    Breakfast: Serve up Mountain House Scrambled Eggs with Ham, Red, and Green Peppers with a side of Mountain House Granola with Blueberries and Milk for a warm, filling start to the day.
    Lunch: After a morning of walking, hiking, or fishing, your crew will be ready for a satisfying lunch. Try Mountain House Chicken Salad Wrap Filling with Multigrain Snack Bread for a hearty sandwich. Serve something like an Oatmeal Cookie for a post-lunch snack or dessert.
    Dinner: When camping, the evening meal is a time for friends and families to share the highlights of their days’ explorations, while settling them in for a night outdoors. Meals like Mountain House Beef Stroganoff with Noodles, MRE Italian Bread Sticks, and Mountain House Garden Green Peas will open mouths for food and conversation.
    Dessert: End the day with a sweet treat like Mountain House Raspberry Crumble or a MRE Fudge Brownie with Chocolate Chips, and you may find yourself dreaming of happy things, no matter what the temperature is outside.

    10 Must-Have Items for Camping: Mountain House Pouches

    3. Stove. Cooking over a campfire can be exciting and tasty, but bringing a portable stove, like the Stansport Propane Stove, will allow you to prepare a wider variety of foods with more predictability and less work (win, win, win), giving you more time to explore and enjoy (win, win!). (Quintuple win!)

    10 Must-Have Items for Camping: Stansport Stove

    4. Utensils. So easy to forget, but so helpful to have. A three-in-one set of sturdy utensils, like the Basic Chow Set, can be useful for prepping food, cooking food, and eating food. Take it from the sadly expert: sticks are not nearly as effective.

    5. Light and fire. A little light at night can transform a campsite from spooky to cozy. You can choose from a variety of portable light options, including personal gear like the Princeton Tec Quad 4 LED Headlamp (great for night reading in your tent or finding your toothpaste) or the High Uinta Gear Pathfinder 9 LED Flashlight, or community lights, like the Goal Zero Lighthouse 250 Lumen Rechargeable Lantern. If you’re going to light a fire, to roast marshmallows or to warm you up on a chilly night, then bring Fire Lighters, which are reliable, easy to light, and require little or no kindling.

    10 Must-Have Items for Camping: Fire Lighters

    6. Sleeping bag. Perhaps the most critical piece of equipment for a restful overnight excursion is a comfortable and warm sleeping bag. Bags like the Slumberjack Latitude Mummy Bags (available in regular, long, and for 0-degree Fahrenheit and 20-degree Fahrenheit weather) are designed for reliable coziness.

    7. Tarp. According to expert campers, a tarp is many times useful due to its versatility and water resistance. You can use it under your tent as ground cover. (Tip: A tarp used for this purpose should be a few inches shorter than the width and breadth of your tent, so any water dripping off your tent will absorb into the ground and not drop onto your tarp and slide toward your tent.) You can position it above your cooking, eating, or lounging area, to keep off rain or to limit sun exposure. And, if you’re really adventurous, you can erect it over your sleeping bag and gear and camp without a tent at all!

    8. Tent. If you’re inclined toward a more comfortable arrangement, a quality tent can provide you with protection from the elements (and mosquitoes!) and much-needed privacy. Mid-size tents, such as the Slumberjack Trail Tent 3, provide ample space for the gear and sleeping bags of three adults, while not being hard to erect or heavy to carry.

    10 Must-Have Items for Camping: Slubmerjack Trail Tent 3

    9. Toilet paper. When in need, campers can use certain leaves, pieces of clothing, or rocks (sandstone is not recommended), but you may find your bathroom experiences to be much less memorable if you remember to pack some good old-fashioned toilet paper. One roll can do wonders.

    10. Assorted plastic bags. Making friends with the outdoors means leaving it better than you found it, so remember to bring a few garbage bags, kitchen trash bags, and gallon-size zip-top bags, to store your empty cans, discarded wrappers, leftover food, and wet clothing. The right-sized plastic bag can help prevent a soggy, smelly end to an otherwise successful camping adventure.

    With these ten must-have items, your camping trip can be easy to arrange, happy to experience, and satisfying to remember. Go camping! The beautiful world is waiting.

     

    --Sarah Brinton

    What else do you consider a must-have item for camping? 

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: outdoors, camping, shelter

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