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After taking on too many camping trips in my 38+ years, I decided on going in some of the worst wheather (read: at near and at freezing temps and rainy/icy weekend.) and trying to plan for it and still have fun. As luck would have it, the rain had backed off to a drizzle when we got to Henry's Knob, on the NC/SC boarder. I've watched some extreme shows on Discovery and thought I could make do IF I thought out all the important stuff in advance. I decided to make a lean-to and use tarp for the tent set-up. We took a set of pole loppers for the small trees (cedars for the roof) and I had gotten 6 of those "emergency blanket" sheets at Wal mart for the reflectivity inside for the heat. We cut the fire place in a long furrow on the ground (about 10 feet long, 3 ft wide) to spread the heat across the inside of the lean to and used the tarp as a wind break and allowing the smoke to go straight up. Once the coals were hot, it was very nice inside the lean-to part of the tent. I came out of my coat and we were able to play poker for a few hours well after dinner. The trick was to keep the smoke going straight up all night and the wind from swirling it into the airea where we were habitating. the reflective blanket sheets DO a nice job of keeping you dry AND bouncing the heatback to the ground in front of you. I did bring my 20Lb propane tank "Mr. Heater" to help out with the PM heating, but not using the tent was something to really get used to, but it really only took about an hour to make the 12'x12'x8' high lean-to out of the saplings. The rain hit FULL FORCE about 4 hours after we had it together, and after a few minor adjustments to the outside branches and tarps, it worked perfectly all night long. I was able to sleep without even zipping up the bag that night. The heat stayed bouncing back down and the ground was actually warm to the very back. Surprisingly, the next day the whole thing tore down in a matter of minutes, and we were on our way home....
 
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