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Posted: 12/14/2016 11:41:55 PM EDT
I was out in the garage today and wondered how I might spend the night here if I was forced to in the SHTF scenario. Temps here are around 0 deg with -15 windchill currently

suggest how I might send he night, or a few nights, in a typical garage. there is scrap wood and means to build a fire. no other clothing other than what you are wearing. do you try to make a fire, indoors? do you make a smaller enclosure out of scrap laying around to get off the concrete floor and survive on body heat?

My winter camping skills are non existent. I would also welcome any good references for learning about snowcaves.
Link Posted: 12/15/2016 12:11:21 AM EDT
I have given thought to a similar scenario. It's also capable of getting cold here in Maine.

Given your criteria, I would crack a window or the garage door a tad and build that fire. Maybe think about keeping some blankets in your garage? Why would you be restricted to the garage, and unable to return to your home? Even in a t shirt and shorts, you've got a couple minutes sitting outside with -15° wind chills before you're in for permanent damage, more if you're working hard.

Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills has a wealth of information on preparing for cold weather, like layering, shelter (including snow caves and igloos [although I hear those are something that take a lot of experience to get right]), weather, and all the basic climbing info you can take. You might be able to find a free PDF online..

I think it comes down to being prepared. If it's cold and there's a storm coming in, keep a pair of gloves, warm jacket, and hat nearby. Maybe keep a camping sleeping pad in the garage with those blankets.. Maybe look into community resources, get to know your neighbors, etc. Still don't understand why you'd be confined to your garage for nights on end..
Link Posted: 12/15/2016 12:29:26 AM EDT
Walk to the other side of the property and go into the park model camper we have setup for year round emergency use....
Link Posted: 12/15/2016 2:57:46 AM EDT
I would work on a smaller area to try to heat and yeah I want off the concrete.

People have posted about setting up a tent in their house, rodent was in general discussion building a house with the tent setup so he could stay there as he worked on the house I think.

You have a shelter to block wind and help hold in heat.

If you spend time right now looking around I figure you could find something padded to sleep on, something like a tarp to help make that shelter, and overall really "up" your living space from stranded and breaking into a shed to not that shabby.

I give fire and its smoke and fumes a lot of respect, but I am also willing to admit I don't mind burning stuff if I feel ok with the exhaust system.

Problem with a garage is you might find fumes missing the window and building up in the garage and causing you issues.

I generally shut things down when I go to bed, I am in east tn so my cold is not extreme cold.  If I get cold enough to wake up, I fire things up and warm things up and go back to bed.  I did this when using space heaters in an apartment over a shut down bakery, no heating system in the apartment.  Even electric heaters got shut off at night.  Kerosene and propane heaters certainly got shut off.

And speaking of that, go dumpster diving and make yourself some home made camp stoves and stuff for that garage.  I would rather play with a coffee can wood stove with cruddy home made pipe out the window than burning scrap wood in camp fire style in a shelter.

For just your time and effort I expect you can do a lot.  If in east tn post here or kick out an email or pm and I sort of expect some folks have some stuff they might just give away due to having upgraded and wanting clutter gone and what not.
Link Posted: 12/15/2016 3:25:37 AM EDT
I keep a couple old large synthetic sleeping bags in a storage bin in my small tool shed/ work shop.  Also a couple cheap tents.  Worst case scenario I could set a tent up inside the shop, and use said sleeping bags and survive down below zero provided I was wearing pants and a shirt when I went out there.  Wouldn't be comfortable, but then again winter camping isn't always comfortable.  Any night on the positive side of zero degrees Fahrenheit would no worries.  Plenty of stuff staged in my shop for the short term.  Old knives, lighters, rags, etc...  No food because of freezing temps and critters but something is better then nothing, and why I leave a set of sleeping bags staged.

Once winter rolls around I put a sleeping bag in each vehicle to, which reminds me I have yet to do so!
Link Posted: 12/15/2016 5:47:35 AM EDT
Building a fire in your garage not in a wood stove will be a great way to die of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Link Posted: 12/15/2016 7:34:08 AM EDT
On a lighter note, I'm surprised no ones mentioned this.
Back a Winnebago into the garage. Live in that.
Ok, ok.......I tried....

Op, what do you have available to you to live in this garage? camping gear? Space heaters?
We need more information to offer suggestions.
If you want to heat the garage, you'll need to shrink down the area you're heating through whatever improvised method you choose.
You're out of the wind and the elements so that's not a consideration
Given that, layer up. You aren't getting snowed on, rained on, etc, so keep yourself warm through layers.
I know you said you only have the clothes on your back, but a typical garage has all sorts of stuff and materials to wrap yourself up on to retain heat
You'd be living in a relative lap of luxury by military standards.
What's the security situation? Do you need to worry about hostile forces possibly seeing you moving around or seeing your lights.
If so, cover over the windows
Link Posted: 12/15/2016 8:26:29 AM EDT
Personally I like the kerosene tower heaters. One 23k btu will keep an insulated garage or smallish house at a reasonable temp.

The fumes affect me a lot less than the cheap non-vented propane heaters I've tried. Problem is finding a decent source of fuel

at the pump.  The furnace went out in my house a couple years ago on a -15f night. Fired up the tower, shut the bedroom doors,

and slept on the couch. 70 in the house when I woke up.
Link Posted: 12/15/2016 8:56:57 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Personally I like the kerosene tower heaters. ... Problem is finding a decent source of fuel

at the pump.
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Just about every gas station around here has a kero pump off to the side
Link Posted: 12/15/2016 12:42:08 PM EDT
My winter camping skills are non existent. I would also welcome any good references for learning about snowcaves.
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get a good sleeping bag, no need for a snow cave
Link Posted: 12/15/2016 1:10:38 PM EDT
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get a good sleeping bag, no need for a snow cave<img src=http://www.ar15.com/images/smilies/smiley_thinking.gif border=0 align=middle>
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
My winter camping skills are non existent. I would also welcome any good references for learning about snowcaves.

get a good sleeping bag, no need for a snow cave<img src=http://www.ar15.com/images/smilies/smiley_thinking.gif border=0 align=middle>


I will add snow caves are only good for escaping extremely cold weather and/or wind. Still need a good sleeping bag/insulation.
Link Posted: 12/15/2016 10:48:33 PM EDT
Thanks so far. I appreciate the thoughts.

given the temps around here it was kind of an exercise of what if my car broke down, the power was out and this is what I stumbled on as well as a what happened if I had to BO in the winter and this was the best shelter I could get. so the fully stocked camper 20 ft away may not be a realistic option.

in a bug out scenario you might not have the materials needed for a woodstove with proper venting. a good sleeping bag is important but would be something I NEED to keep in the BO gear/vehicle at all times. Usually I have blankets, candles and keep some of those cheap heat shield wraps in my gear bags as well.

I'm getting my son (7) into camping; we do winter hikes/snowshoeing and make hot cocoa and smores on a field stove but would like to work up to spending time overnight in potentially subzero weather.
Link Posted: 12/15/2016 11:13:14 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/16/2016 12:30:44 AM EDT
Canvas tent with a wood-stove.

Link Posted: 12/16/2016 12:51:10 AM EDT
Bro, do you even Mr. Heater?

I picked up a new portable buddy on CL for 40 bux.  I use it all the time in my garage and it has yet to let me down.
Link Posted: 12/16/2016 1:07:10 AM EDT
another + for mr heater.  they have a littler one and a large one.   both are good.  can connect to a larger tank if needed.

also, don't discount a really nice sleeping bag.  that is probably your best bang for the buck.
Link Posted: 12/16/2016 8:57:14 AM EDT
Help me survive the cold.....

Supposed to be fucking 84 tomorrow hete..hnnnggg.

Start camping...learn what you need to do now or freeze.
Evolution....amazing thing.
Link Posted: 12/16/2016 3:59:07 PM EDT
Car breaks down means you have shelter unless you are in the middle of a busy highway or something.

A couple tuna candles will probably heat the car ok, most folks crack windows of course.  A search on tuna candles should turn up a tuna can with 3 or more wicks, some people use the tiny cans and others use big cans and others use non-tuna cans. 

Heck, a can of sterno might even let you melt some snow and boil it to put in a mountain house pouch, hopefully you did not already snack on mountain house before you broke down.  Cheap support/stove easy to make or buy or play with esbit or something.  Tuna candle takes a while, plus I like more heat.

Some people go with candle lanterns, less likely to burn your sleeping bag or binky cause the lantern protects you from the flame.

Some people keep a bunch of this stuff crammed in an ammo can in case they do need to leave the vehicle.  Some use a backpack.  Some use a walmart.

Car kits are a common item to run a search on.  Most car kits are easy to make out of what I call my "clutter room."  Old stuff I never really use and kept cause it works but I bought something new and shiny cause new and shiny.

I would be really careful about open fire in anything with a roof and walls.  It needs a chimney for a reason.  Heck, just the articles over the winter about people with power out and cooking with charcoal in the garage and killing themselves should help that along.

Link Posted: 12/16/2016 4:57:28 PM EDT
Somewhat funny you should ask.  I'm in the UP, winter temperatures are similar here.

Our house was a foreclosure.  The bedroom door was missing.  On the property there is a very poorly constructed barn that had 6 horse stalls in it - each about 9x9.  One stall was partitioned with old plywood and whatever, with a makeshift plywood door.  The bedroom door was up on 5 gallon buckets in the stall.  A couple of blankets were still there.  I assume the guy was sleeping out there.  I heard from someone who knew the family he decided he was gay and they split up.  I don't know what time of year it was, but spending the night out there with 0F temperatures without heavy clothes or a good sleeping bag would be miserable.  

Lighting a burn barrel inside = CO poisoning, or burning the garage down.  That changes if you can improvise a wood stove.  Might have to feed it every hour but it should keep you warm.
In my case I would walk to the neighbor's barn that actually has horses in it and attempt to sleep amongst the hay bales.

Have time and money to prep and want to sleep in your garage?  Install insulation.  Install heat.  Install back up heat.

Link Posted: 12/17/2016 11:31:10 AM EDT
Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance!  

How many people will be in there?  Just yourself?  Add the wife, and you better have proper bedding available.

Stock garage with food and water.

You started this thread and now let us know what you are doing to prevent dying in your garage some winter.

Building a fire in your garage not in a wood stove will be a great way to die of carbon monoxide poisoning.
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Set up a small stove with proper venting.    

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