Emergency shelter

I once had seen a frameless fabric shelter designed to hold 2-3 people sitting inside. It was shaped somewhat like a ball and would block wind. Having 2-3 people inside of it would make for a warm place to get out of the weather. It was packable, ending up being about the size of a softball or football when packed.

Been looking for one online and coming up empty. Hoping for a link to buy one…anyone?


There is also a 6 person size, you can ask them about it. The one pictured is more popular.

Thought about making one of these…

The last item on this page is slightly 2nds sil impregnated (very waterproof, but not breathable) 1.1 oz. ripstop nylon. Very popular for tarps, etc. nowadays. Stuffs down to and weighs essentially nothing. I’ve made a couple of tipi tents with wood stoves ( http://outdoors.webshots.com/photo/2541444900068902019gCMWcH ) using the 2nds and I can’t tell it’s 2nds. Tents have worked very well for lightweight wilderness shelters.

What I’m getting at is that the price seems very steep for such asimple design. Making these would be a cinch if you wanted to save some money. Just an idea.

Body Boat Blade sells it (Beach Igloo?)
I just take a poncho with me. And/or an “emergency blanket”, ether of which is very cheap to buy and could squeeze 2 people underneath (though not fully-sheltered). Maybe an X-Large backpacker’s poncho (has a longer back) would fit 2 people fully inside, though.

i vouch for it.
the beach igloo type shelters do work well in a pinch when weather conspires to make life miserable in a hurry. they are rather expensive considering what they are, but if you paddle in exposed places it may come in handy.

the other day i was paddling with a buddy around a local rocky island just off the shore in Victoria, BC. it is our local spot, it’s less than a 10 min drive to the put in. the tide creates races there that are fun to play and train it. forecast was for gales on Sunday but they hadn’t materialzed so we went out for a quick burn. half way round the wind got wild and we were at risk, we could barely move. once home reports were 35 gusting 48 knots. barely got to shore. we waited it out and got colder by the minute. you can believe the beach shelter was a saving grace!

the footnote to the story is that the lighthouse keeper saw that we were stuck there, and called the CG. we were surprised when they showed up, but grateful for an out. by the way, we were only about a nautical mile and a bit away from the parking spot, stuck on the island, but there was just no way. i couldn’t even believe the CG zodiac would come out in those conditions…now the ride back to the harbour in that zodiac, was fully nuts. my back is still sore and i’ve never been so terrified. i’d rather be in a kayak any day…

emergency blanket???
Saw pikabike’s post about an emergency blanket! Has anyone ever slept in one of these before??? I have (or tried to) twice and I’d suggest saving your $2.99! A fleece sweater would be better than a krinkly, oversized potato chip bag that won’t stay put. I did get an “emergency bag” the mfg, I forget and it does work better, though it does trap moisture.

Bothy Bag…
The major maunfacturers seem to be mostly in the U.K. Terra Nova, Vango, Outdoor Design and JDS all make 1, 2, 4, 8, 12 and 16 person bags. A typical 2 person bag weighs about 16 oz (500 grams) and take the space of a 1 litre Nalgene bottle. Larger ones only add incrementally to the weight. Bags have air vent(s), plastic window(s), bottom draw-string and integral stuff sack.

Original article: http://www.backpacking-lite.co.uk/lightweight-shelter/bothy%20bags.htm

Integral Designs makes the Guides Silsack


Great Idea
I had no idea these existed. I’ve always kept a two person freestanding tent (MSR Hubba Hubba) in my boat in the event bad weather suddenly came up. Had to use it once and it spent 20 minutes in the pouring rain setting it up. It usually takes about 10 minutes, but the elements slowed me down. Would have been nice to have a giant dry bag to cover with.

Expedition Essentials

The Kayak Centre/GRO sells them.


Emergency shelter
The Igloos and similar work very well.I always carry a 12’X 12’ coated ripstop tarp with me for the same purpose and it I find it way more versatile. I made it myself and sewed the stuff sack into the middle seam that allows a paddle to be a center post and the tarp can be a sun shade or rain shelter as well. Weighs and packs about the same as an igloo and cost me about $45 in materials.

Sleep in it??
It’s an emergency blanket, not a bed spread. It’s not meant for sleeping, but rather to provide temporary shelter from cold or rain, especially for a potentially hypothermic patient. In that scenario, these work very well. I agree, they suck as a blanket to sleep in.


Who said anything about sleeping in it?
I actually did, when I was a kid. It’s a lousy sleeping device.

But for emergency wind and rain shelter, it works, and it packs tinier than anything else (weighs almost nothing, too). I’ve used it for exactly that purpose when caught in a thunderstorm. A friend and I huddled down under it till the storm passed.

I have the Expedition Essentials one
like it…never had to use it…

i did notice yesterday that NRS is now making one…


pretty affordable as well!!!only 75$

(they are also making a new tow system that looks suspiciously like the EE one as well…hmmm…)


Thanks for the link!
Here are a few more uses we’ve found for the Storm Shelter (I carry one and a Storm Cag every time I go out).

– A makeshift sail on a breezy, flatwater day. Fun with kayaks!

– A makeshift outhouse on winter days when you can’t just walk out into the water with your drysuit. Preferable for number 1. Remember, leave no trace!

– Lunch breaks when it’s raining. Sure, you’re already wet, but who wants soggy PB&J?

– Silly warmup games for groups before heading onto the water.

And, of course, warming people up after a cold winter surf landing.


Virginia Sea Kayak Center

It looks neat, but a question

– Last Updated: Mar-27-08 3:38 PM EST –

I am not quite sure I get the value of one fo the listed attributes. It sounds like they expect you to be walking around with it, which is not the way I'd normally think of using such a shelter.

"Two clear polyurethane panels help you keep an eye out for surprises up ahead."

Am I missing something obvious here?

That’s a little more reasonable…
…at that price, it may not be worth my time to make one…

"Port in a storm"
If you never paddle in a place where you might get caught out by a storm and have to stay for a while while weather passes, I suppose the bucks would seem like a waste. And a fleece top may do, though by nightfall on an island off of Maine even a July night argues for more than a fleece top.

But my husband and I have been stranded on an island as a series of storms came thru, once for three hours, before the gear we have now. And while we managed, just, I’d have been incredibly happy to have one of these shelters that day. It would also be useful if the same thing happened and you had to overnight on that island due to weather.

not missing much
the Expedition Essentials has ‘portholes/vent holes’ as well. It allows you too look around and see what is going on outside of the shelter.

It also seemed more like a catchy phrase similar to the size description at the bottom of the features.

I think they are great though (shelters in general). During trips I break mine out during a lunch break and eat under it.