Tools You Should Carry

If You’re Exposed to the Elements on a Daily Basis, What Items Should You Carry to Aid in Finding and Making Shelter?

We can’t ignore the importance of shelter. Humans aren’t designed to handle extended exposure to the elements for extended periods of time, and many survival situations hinge on whether you can find adequate shelter.

Lets look at the ways you can include shelter into your EDC kit:

  • Your clothing is the first resource that you have to provide yourself with shelter. Choose clothing that is durable and paired to the climate in which you are going to encounter. If it’s cold and wet, dress in layers that can be shed if needed. If it’s extremely hot and dry, loose cotton clothing is often preferred because it breathes easily. You may be tempted to wear shorts and t-shirt while traveling through the desert, but lightweight cotton pants and long sleeve shirts can help shield you from the sun. Don’t forget about covering your head, face and neck if you risk being exposed to the sun for extended periods of time.
  • A Mylar blanket is one of the smallest and lightest forms of shelter that anyone can carry. These blankets typically weigh only 3.5 ounces and fold up to just a few inches in size. These survival blankets are fairly insulative, reflective and flexible in their use. You can curl up in it, suspend it over branches, stretch it over rope, para cord or debris. The silver, shiny Mylar blankets can be used to signal for help as well. If you don’t include one in your EDC then please put a few in your vehicles and emergency bags. Mylar blankets and tarps are often used not only for shelter, but as rain-catchment devices to collect water.
  • A tube tent is a very compact emergency tent that is made of polyethylene for strength and water resistance. They’re also commonly made in blaze orange for high visibility. Simply run a string between two trees, drape the tent over the string, stake it to the ground and you have an emergency shelter. It’s lightweight and can serve many purposes. This is great to add to your EDC kit if you are going on a day hike, or if your daily travels take you through the wilderness.
  • An emergency bivvy is another emergency shelter product that is basically a reflective and insulating body bag that reflects up to 90% of your body heat back to you. While this product fits into a very small pouch that can be clipped onto your belt or added to a small daypack, it probably isn’t best for your EDC unless you’re in the backwoods daily.

Regardless of whether or not you decide to carry shelter, your EDC must have tools to aid in the construction of emergency shelters. It’s also fairly easy to piece together emergency shelters from objects that are found all around us. Learning how to be resourceful and inventive is your best EDC preparation for providing shelter.