Shelter Heating with Hot Rocks
Here are two simple ways to heat a shelter that cannot use an
internal fire. Using these methods there will be no need to spend another cold
The first method is to place several football-sized rocks in
the fire and cook them for an hour or two. Dig a hole in the work area of the
shelter about one foot by one foot and six inches deep. After the rocks are hot,
remove them with forked sticks and place in the hole. They will keep you warm
Be sure to keep all flammable materials from falling on them
because it could start a fire or smoke up the shelter. By experimenting with the
number of rocks, you'll be able to regulate the heat.
The other method is for warming your sleeping area. Remove the
bedding materials and dig a trench one foot wide by one foot deep and about body
length. Place the hot rocks in the trench and cover the rocks with six inches of
dirt. After the moisture has baked from the ground, replace the bedding and get
ready to spend a warm night. When you get up in the morning place the rocks back
in the fire in preparation for the next evening. Again, experiment with these
methods so you'll be able to sleep comfortably.
Heating a shelter that cannot have an internal fire is no
major problem. If you follow the few simple precautions you will spend a warm
and enjoyable night. Remember, do not select the rocks for heating from near a
water source because they might explode when heated. Be sure nothing flammable
falls onto the hot rocks to start a fire or smoke you out.
Finally, be sure the rocks to be buried are covered with four
to six inches of dirt to prevent burns, and allow enough time for the moisture
to be baked from the ground before bedding down.
Follow these methods and spend many warm and cozy nights.
From The Tracker magazine, Summer 1982,
published by the Tracker School.
For more articles from The Tracker magazine, visit the
Tracker Trail website.