Fire Shelters can Save Your Life

From the discussions that I hear and the comments made on various websites, I know that many of you plan to avoid problems by going to bug out locations in the country.  One of my biggest concerns about this idea is that you will have many inexperienced people attempting this.  Being unfamiliar with the dangers of wildfire some of them will start wildfires.  Without fire suppression, these will spread rapidly.

There are actions that you can take to protect yourselves including firebreaks, choice of terrain, such as locating near water with good escape routes.  One thing you may want to consider is to have some US Forest Service fire shelters available.  These are a simple to use shelter that weights about 4.6 lbs.  I realize that is a bit on the heavy side, but if you have them available they can save your life.

Below are the instructions on how to use one.


If you are interested in them go to and read further.  To date they have saved the lives of about 300 hundred firemen that have been trapped in wildfires.


4 thoughts on “Fire Shelters can Save Your Life”

    1. Natural wood smoke has a tendency to rise. Chemical smoke seems a little heavier and has a tendency to stay near the ground longer. The emergency fire shelters are typically used by firefighters during forest fires. Yes, they still will be breathing some smoke, but it is the heat or falling trees that would get them first.

  1. Those instructions are wrong and can kill you if you follow them! Fires are very windy. You do not ever take your shelter out until your area is ready for use. If you have time to clear a spot then you do so before you take out the shelter. Otherwise you will be clearing the spot and your shelter will blow away. Not only that but when you do take it out you’d better have a good grip and get your foot into the strap right away.

    If you ever do see a shelter you may notice little pin holes in it. That is normal and the shelter will work. Do not take your shelter out of the package to practice getting into one. Either purchase a “practice shelter” or make something similar. It should take you less than 20 seconds to pull it out of the bag and get yourself completely inside and on the ground. This does take practice.

    Any permanent place you make in the woods needs to have a safety zone. This is an area precleared of brush and grass. If you do things right you won’t even need to pull out your shelter. If you don’t then the shelter certainly will save your life. This means you need to have something on you to clear the ground because if you aren’t in bare soil the brush or grasses will burn inside your shelter.

    I don’t always have my shelter with me but when there’s active fire around or lightning predicted it’s on my hip.

    1. The instructions are the ones provided by the US Forrest Service, however what you say makes good sense. I would clear the spot first.

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