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Army Going Nemo on Personal Shelters

Kit Up! was introduced to Nashua, NH-based Nemo Equipment from our friend Rob Curtis at the Gear Scout blog when he spied some Nemo Go-Go shelters on his embed in The Stan.

Not afraid to ride the coattails of their competition, the Kit Up! team of yours truly and Military.com Editor Ward Carroll were afforded the opportunity to haul over a couple Nemo shelters on our own trek to Afghanistan in anticipation of some extended times under the stars.

Alas, that was not to be, but it looks like that despite that (or perhaps because of it) Nemo has made great inroads into the Army's Natick Research Development and Engineering Command who are in the midst of a major look at Soldier individual shelter systems.

Kit Up! spoke with  Chris Aall, an engineer working the shelter program with RDECOM, about the service's latest look at the most important of snivel gear.

According to Aall, the service is in the midst of fielding about 20 Nemo shelters -- both single man and two man -- to a unit from the 10th Mountain division which is heading to Afghanistan to establish a new firebase. The unit will test out the shelters and provide RDECOM with feedback on pros and cons.

The thing that makes Nemo shelters interesting is their wide use of Airbeam technology which replaces traditional graphite or aluminum tent poles with air-filled pockets that support the tent. Aall explained that these are stronger and more durable than poles and can easily be fixed or replaced if punctured. Try making a bum tent pole work...

It's unclear precisely which models will be sent, but Aall said they could be a mix of the Nemo Morpho (a shelter that looks more like a tent) and the Nemo Longbow (a single or 2-person bivy-style shelter with a single airbeam over the head.

One things for certain: though he admits both tan and olive drab work well for the shelters' color schemes, the tents being sent with the 10th will indeed be produced in MultiCam...

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