The Super Shelter

Super Shelter construction with its inventor, Mors Kochanski at Woodsmoke.  Kelly Harlton, Karamat instructor to left has a variation we discuss below.

Super Shelter construction with its inventor, Mors Kochanski at Woodsmoke Classic Camping Symposium. Kelly Harlton, another Karamat instructor, to left has a variation we discuss below.

There has been a lot of interest in The Super Shelter with recent YouTube videos and articles from others. While you may pick up a tip or trick here and there from YouTube and posts (this article included), getting instruction in the field and doing it yourself are going to be your best teachers. To add to that, and the main reason for this article, I wanted to bring to your attention the new ebooks by the inventor of The Super Shelter, Mors Kochanski. Available from Karamat Wilderness Waysone of the eBooks is dedicated to just this shelter. The Super Shelter and more is also detailed in their DVD, Bushcraft Shelters. Both can be found on the homepage of their website.

Great video below from the Master himself, Mors Kochanski. Please note this video was made prior to the just introduced eBooks.

 

Cody Lundin teaching The Super Shelter in the northern Arizona winter through his school, the Aboriginal Living Skills School

Cody Lundin teaching The Super Shelter in the northern Arizona winter through his school, the Aboriginal Living Skills School

I still see on the web where folks attribute the solution to Cody Lundin. Understandable, as many first saw The Super Shelter on Discovery Channel’s hit T.V. show, Dual Survival where they called it Cody’s Super Shelter. As an FYI, Cody aptly named the solution on the show, Super Shelter, to pay homage to its inventor and one of his mentors, Mors Kochanski. As is the nature of media and lawyers, good luck passing credit unless it happens to be the advertiser.

One of my variations of the Super Shelter.

One of my variations of the Super Shelter.

Like many, I did my first Super Shelter without instruction. It took some trial and error, but my variation ended up like most. A ridge line (or pole) and raised bed (see photo). The raised bed aids in this solution as you are creating a microenvironment, and in that small space a cold sink forms – the bed gets you above this. While I find the raised bed advantageous and usually more comfortable, it is NOT a deal breaker by any stretch. Sleeping on the ground with plenty of insulation works fine too.

Harlton Hacienda version of the Super Shelter from the Kyle Ver Steeg article.

Harlton Hacienda version of the Super Shelter from the Kyle Ver Steeg article.

And speaking of that type of solution,  Kyle R. Ver Steeg II attended the Winter Course at Karamat Wilderness Ways taught by Mors. He wrote an earlier Master Woodsman® article on the “Harlton Hacienda,” a pretty slick version of The Super Shelter for the woodsman on the go wanting to keep their pack light. Kelly Harlton, an instructor at Karamat Wilderness Ways, has been using it for sometime and I have to say I am now a fan of his variation. Full article is HERE, but we included the video below.  Thanks again Kyle.

 

 

I am still a newbie when it comes to using a hammock in winter, but there is a variation of the Super Shelter you can do while ‘hanging’ as an FYI. We will try and get you that info.

Here are few more Super Shelter pics and video…

From inside one of my Super Shelters.  Freezing rain outside, got as high as the mid-90s in my shelter.

From inside one of my Super Shelters. Freezing rain outside, got as high as the mid-90s in my shelter.

While this SS Shelter worked and the raised bed was nice, I did a poor job on the 'canopy' trying to emulate Mors design.  Good lesson learned to adapt to the materials of my area.

While this SS Shelter worked and the raised bed was nice, I did a poor job on the ‘canopy’ trying to emulate Mors design. Good lesson learned to adapt to the materials of my area.

Hear what Cody has to say about the benefits of The Super Shelter from one of his classes in this video…

 

 

 

About Christian Noble

Chris Noble is the founder of MasterWoodsman.com and Woodsmoke Camping Company. A Master Naturalist, he holds a Bachelor of Science in Forestry and has worked as a Registered Forester and Certified Burn Manager in several states. Chris is also a Wilderness First Responder and since the late 90’s has been “practicing primitive” skills and taking lessons from numerous Master Woodsmen throughout North America. An advocate for Conservation, teacher of Wilderness Living Skills, and happily married, he enjoys passing what he has learned thus far to others, especially his 2 children, Emerson and Duncan.

7 Responses to The Super Shelter

  1. Brandon Jacobs December 23, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

    Good information! Been wanting to try this sometime. Thanks

  2. corey@natrevga.com'
    Corey December 24, 2013 at 8:33 am #

    Thanks for the clarifying detailing of the subject. I’m going to have to try out that hacienda version!

  3. tray@york.k12.sc.us'
    Tom Ray January 4, 2014 at 9:19 am #

    Great article Chris!! I was fortunate to be able to go to Woodsmoke and study with Mors. I do hope to get back there this summer! You are right-there is no substitute for learning from a great teacher and then putting that knowledge to use in the field.

  4. RyanPenman@gmail.com'
    Ryan Penman February 18, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

    So I am reading this article and as I look at the example picture I see myself in the back ground of one of them, small world I guess. Was a great article and enjoyed refreshing my memory of these shelters. I still have yet to try building one but it’s on the top of my ToPractice list.

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    […] Noble:  I have gone through an evolution of learning the Super Shelter on my own and then directly from it’s inventor Mors Kochanski and one of his students, Cody […]

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