Coming Soon – The M.V.T. SHIELD – The Thermal Shelter (+ Update 6/10)

The Great ‘Tactical Training’ Con
June 7, 2013
Morale in the Field Tip – Hot Drinks
June 11, 2013
I have, in conjunction with a business partner, been developing a commercial military grade thermal shelter tarp: The M.V.T. SHIELD . This has been a developing concept since writing about out the ‘thermal poncho’ concept on this blog and in Patriot Dawn/Contact. 
The product is in final development phase and I hope to have it up for sale over the next few weeks.

We are moving away from the ‘thermal poncho’ name that I have used before due to confusion with people thinking it is designed to be worn like a poncho, when in fact it is designed to be strung up like a shelter tarp, taking advantage of the air gap between the person underneath and the thermal shield properties of the tarp to defeat FLIR.

The M.V.T. SHIELD will be available in a few weeks and will have duel purposes as a thermal shield, a conventional shelter tarp, and will be in a camouflage material. It is based on a high quality nylon tarp design rather than the poly-pro cheap & nasty versions, so it will fold up just like a military ‘poncho’ shelter or equivalent nylon tarp.

Uses: rain shelter, thermal shield, emergency thermal blanket, primarily designed as static shelter but can be flung over you in an emergency.

We have taken the decision to sell a basic camouflage tarp design and allow customers to customize it with any additional ghillie material as they wish. The initial product will be available in the standard U.S. woodland BDU pattern and as we move forward we intend to offer other camouflage patterns, such as arid/desert.

The photos below are not of the actual product, but show how such a shelter should be deployed. The photo shows versions of nylon military style tarps that are being deployed as rain shelters. The thermal shelter will have the same qualities, and will be deployed in the same way, with the addition of a thermally protected layer, providing full shelter from FLIR surveillance.


Update 6/10: Its important to me that I make it clear to you that it is very important to me that this will WORK for the customer and that you deploy and use it correctly for maximum survivability. Testing has been ongoing. There are two aspects to bear in mind with the use of the M.V.T. SHIELD:
1) Thermal shielding. As of now, testing has shown that the M.V.T. SHIELD will block 100% of heat transmission through the tarp, so long as you keep the air gap as designed between your body and the tarp itself. Note that use of a single emergency blanket, of the type that come folded up, was shown in early testing to cut down the image but it will not stop heat transmission. Heat appears as a non-specific bloom across the fabric of the tarp, as viewed by a thermal imager. With the M.V. T. SHIELD deployed above you, there will be no thermal signature due to the effectiveness of the thermal blocking layer.
2) Deployment. A Thermal blocking tarp is not a silver bullet. We are aiming to aid camouflage and concealment in the visual spectrum by use of camouflage material. You also need to give thought to visual camouflage in the thermal spectrum. Man-made objects, such as a tarp, have specific shapes. If you lay  a tarp out, it will have a rectangular shape through TI that is visually distinguishable from surrounding objects. Objects have different qualities under TI and that can allow them to be made out with the contrast under TI viewing. In the same way that you can see trees and all that through TI. That is why I refer to utilizing terrain and canopy  masking to camouflage the man-made shape of the thermal tarp. You may block heat but still be seen by shape.
Therefore you can achieve such a thermal camouflage effect in the same way that you achieve a visual effect. We have decided to leave off the ghillie style top covering to allow users to customize as they wish to their situation. For the absolute best camouflage from visual shape, you should use a mix of terrain/canopy screening and also you can lay camouflage over the top of the tarp. This can be leaves/branches and also something you make to break up the shape of the tarp, such as camouflage netting or a gillie style layer. This is up to you to customize your camouflage to your environment. If you place something above or over the tarp, you will break up its shape, just as you do in the visual spectrum. In the TI spectrum it is all about shape contrast, not at all about the camouflage color of the tarp, which cannot be seen under TI.
For those of you who have read Patriot Dawn, you will know that having one of these is essential to avoid death from above by Regime thermal assets such as drones and attack helicopters.

Comparison to the USMC shelter tarp:

The M.V.T. SHIELD is 6′ x 8′, which is 72″ x 96″.

The USMC tarp is approximately 80″ x 90″.

The M.V.T. SHIELD is also camo on both sides, unlike the USMC tarp which is camo one side, brown on the underside, with no thermal shielding capability.

The M.V.T. SHIELD has all the standard properties of the USMC tarp:

“The USMC Military Field Tarp, or Military Wet Weather Tarp, is a camouflaged protective tarp designed to provide the USMC with a lightweight, waterproof covering which will also function as a ground cloth, survival shelter, sunshade, gear cover, emergency litter or overnight shelter against the weather”

In addition the M.V.T. SHIELD will also operate as a protective shelter from FLIR surveillance; its most important capability although likely to be held in reserve until necessary. In the meantime, you can utilize the M.V.T. SHIELD as per a shelter tarp.
USMC Shelter Tarp

Live Hard, Die Free.


  1. I’ll take one! Then I’ll give away the cheap one in my pack.

  2. idahobob says:

    Looking forward to it.


  3. Mark says:

    Are you field testing these now? When will these be available?


  4. Anonymous says:


    • Max Velocity says:

      Details to follow. Working out costs before we establish price.

      Curious: how much do you think it is fair to pay for this product?

    • Honestly, the price depends on the baseline for the materials that go in, the work needed to produce ’em, storing and shipping, and then the ever-debatable profit factor. Perceived value would also come from some product review & analysis data. I’d respect any report you make. “Independent” positive reviews would add more. Greater weight and bulk of the item would detract due to packability issues.
      Personally, knowing that a good quality camo tarp/cover/ground cover is probably going for at least $50, and adding in the thermal blocking properties, I would be ready to quickly order one at $75-ish. I would likely still get one at $100, but would have to take more time to build the wife-non-cognizant slush fund.
      I would think that if you published your wholesale cost factors and then added a justifiable profit margin, you would likely improve sales as the guys that read your blog generally appreciate ‘straight up’ talk. And that’s not to say I expect some low-low amount, either. Most businesses add nearly +100% to their manufactured items; but they usually produce in bulk and carry the brick & mortar inherent costs up front. I wouldn’t begrudge you 20% at all, seeing as this is a pretty unique item and I know you’d likely use a lot of your income to upgrade your training site and be able to post more interesting info because of it. But whatever the final comes out to be, you’ve always been a fair dealer in what you say and I wouldn’t expect any different from your product line. And fair for you is dependent on what you need, want and intend to do with your business. I wish you every success!

    • Max Velocity says:

      You will need to adjust your price ideas upwards – with this product you are getting two tarps plus the thermal barrier plus manufacture costs. Its going to run somewhere over the $100 mark, maybe even around $150.
      Its not the same as buying a nylon tarp, and some nylon tarps run at over a $100 just for the tarp, for the quality ones. Yes that’s retail, and we are buying bulk, but we will need the right quality for the product to function right and also don’t forget the ‘finicky gear nerd factor’ so this will satisfy all the critics out there!
      All you fellow Patriots are a fussy bunch, you know. And then we’ll get into the whole “but I don’t want woodland camo, I want DPM, Flecktarn, A-TACS, MARPAT….this funny camo that I saw once but can’t remember but I really liked it” etc etc and on forever blah blah, and then we”ll have to order bulk material for that camo and we may have to order minimum 3000 yards and have to decide if its worth it in that camo and on and on and you see where this goes…..

    • LOL. You asked the question. I just offered my idea of an answer. And…
      See? Straight up info is good to go. Two tarps, thermal barrier, quality fabric, and all in camo? Sounds like a deal.
      (“Fussy bunch”? — your Brit roots are showing again…but I figure I’ll still ‘fancy’ buying one to keep with BO bag I keep in the ‘boot.’ Right next to my case of warm London’s Pride beer and bag of ‘crisps.’)
      And now that we all know the price range, that just gives us time to start building the wife-non-cognizant slush funds. Maybe enough time to save up to order more than one.

    • Max, just a heads up. I don’t care what it costs. I don’t care what color it is. Well, I’m assuming no neons, candy colors, metallics, titty pinks, etc.

      You’re doin’ a good thing.

  5. fltactical says:

    Hahaha… I literally just purchased 4 yards of thermal military tent material…. I was not looking forward to adding the grommets … blah blah blah. Well, can’t wait to purchase your tarp. Will save me time and further money *have 60 dollars into the material and it is flat green, not camp. Thanks for your drive in making us all a bit safer.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Cool beans Max, now what about deterring FLIR surveillance on the move? Could something like a thermal “umbrella” work? Perhaps one could add a curtain to counter ground based IR?

    • Yankee Terrier says:

      Max,if you sell it I will buy a few of them, the capabilities of FLIR are scary….Having the ability to chache them would be useful since setting up hiding/fighting positions and rapidly displacing might make necessary the abandonment of a few of these..You may wish to make a higher cost durable model and a lower cost “disposble or better expendable model” I know I am working on one now.. Thanks…also on the uniform / camo thoughts remember another factor…what the outfit you put on makes “YOU” think and feel like…Tiger stripe equals STUDIES AND OBSERVATIONS GOUP…ACU equals pajamas for example…

  7. Anonymous says:

    Measurements? Equal to the USMC Field Tarp (bigger than a poncho)?

    • Max Velocity says:

      It is 6′ x 8′, which is 72″ x 96″.

      The USMC tarp is approximately 80″ x 90″.

      The M.V.T. SHIELD is also camo on both sides, unlike the USMC tarp which is camo one side, brown on the underside, with no thermal shielding capability.

      The M.V.T. SHIELD has all the properties of the USMC tarp:

      “The USMC Military Field Tarp, or Military Wet Weather Tarp, is a camouflaged protective tarp designed to provide the USMC with a lightweight, waterproof covering which will also function as a ground cloth, survival shelter, sunshade, gear cover, emergency litter or overnight shelter against the weather”

      but in addition the M.V.T. SHIELD will also operate as a protective shelter from FLIR surveillance. its most important capability although likely to be held in reserve until necessary. In the meantime, you can utilize the M.V.T. SHIELD as per a shelter tarp.

  8. Mark-CFI says:


    This is an FYI, and more than support for your latest venture to remain undetected. The importance of your Shield project and thorough field testing is essential based on this video of what we will be faced with if TSHTF.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Max How about a video of the tarp in action V the FLIR system?–Ray

    • Max Velocity says:

      This initial post is heads up. There will be more to come prior to it actually going on sale: photos of the product, FLIR views if I can figure out how to get it off my FLIR imager etc.
      Thanks for the ideas – hold your horses my friends!

  10. Switzerland says:

    Will we get a discount if we purchase one while attending your school?

    • Max Velocity says:

      Yes, and save on shipping, but you will have to do push-ups instead 😉

      I will plan on having a stock with me for classes. Same with my books.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Please notify me when you have them available at Thank you! Great idea!!!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Make them extra long. “Extra” as in several feet. Otherwise an end-on shot by a FLIR system can still easily detect the presence of a warm figure inside.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Have you thought about something along the lines of the ww2 USMC battle ultities? Or maybe even digital woodland/digital desert patterns?

  14. Semper Fi, 0321 says:

    Have been using a Brit desert DPM basha, (7’x9′), great shelter, far better than anything the Yanks have produced so far. Bigger and far more practical, including stretcher handles for medevac. Have not seen or used a USMC basha for comparison yet.
    Same goes for the Brit desert Smock, leaves the US jackets far behind in quality and usefulness! My favorite bush jacket.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Im six foot tall and do the hammock thing. 8ft is a min. I want a 10×10 for $150 out the door.

  16. Dan says:

    Will you be testing this against the uber expensive highly sensitive equipment that .mil
    uses or will it be tested against a $10K low end civilian Thermal camera…. there IS a HUGE

  17. Anonymous says:


    Friends and I made a couple with old mildewed [natural camo pattern BTW] canvas tarp, folded in half 12×20 with mylar spaceblanket [6×8] sewn into center. Blanket double sewn, tarp double sewn, with doubled-nylon straps sewn at four corners and two (2) each on all four sides. No metal grommets. Rattle-can painted SW desert dry-as-shit brown/green/sage/tan one side, mountain-west green/brown/aspen yellow other side. ASKO waterproofed.

    Nice, but relatively heavy. Bulky. Took up beter part of daypack even when tightly rolled. We nixed the 3-D camo material on the outside due to bulk. Had to be carried on pack bottom

    Untested. No mylar/IR masking at the perimeter, center only – big shortcoming ! We basically copied your initial post on the concept, but the cost and hassle would make all of us go for a lighter material. The “Shark Bag” has always been $65 to $80, if memory serves, and is limited in use due to being basically a “mummy bag” That would be a reasonable comparo-point for yours.

    Will look for them. This is a winner. Thanks


    • Max Velocity says:

      I think that with the land shark bag, even if it does block thermal as claimed (assuming the mylar is thick enough, thicker than a thermal blanket) is that it shows an ignorance of tactical deployment. As you say, its a mummy bag. What are you going to do, lay in it all the time? A tarp style shield is commensurate with standard infantry/backwoods operations – when you may well put up a rain tarp/shelter, and will function as such. It allows you to administrate yourself underneath it.

      To continue with the rain analogy, it’s similar to the way that a tarp is superior to a bivvy bag because if it’s raining, and you are in your bivvy, there is nothing you can do but close it up and lay there! Of course, its good to have a bivvy and tarp. but the rain tarp will keep the rain off your gear and allow you to do stuff, like sit up and plan on a map, or eat, or whatever.

      The camo netting or scrim or ghillie style sniper blanket or whatever is optional. What that will do is increase the camouflage qualities of the tarp, both to visual and under IR. Terrain and canopy masking will achieve the same.

    • Max Velocity says:

      Hmmm….looking at the Land Shark site and they talk of a mylar sheet laminated to a nylon cover, which reflects 80% of body heat. Sounds like an emergency blanket to me, – same specs – so I wonder about the claims of the stealth bag, because our testing has shown the an emergency blanket, that will reflect 80% of body heat as well, still shows a bloom of heat across it.. Particularly if you have the thing close to your body, such as the Land Shark.

    • Max Velocity says:

      My tests, against the claims on the website, show that you will see heat through this material, so I don;t believe the claims.

      80% of reflected body heat, as I tested, still shows a thermal bloom across the material as the heat passes through. And that was WITH and air gap with the thing strung up as a tarp!

      Land Shark – it’ll help, but not defeat TI like claimed.

  18. idahobob says:

    Again, I’m looking forward to purchasing this. And by the way, I do not care what camo pattern it has, as long it is not bright orange!



  19. I have been diligently searching for a light weight summer shelter for the shelter module of my G.O.O.Dodge bag. This looks like the winner.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Sounds awesome! Quit replying to Fussy Patriots and get to the Manufacturing portion of this venture! LOL.

  21. Any word on this Max?

    • Max Velocity says:

      Yes, we are working on it – the delay is waiting for the right materials to come in from our supplier. I think the NSA has put a delay on it! 😉

  22. Anonymous says:

    Very interested. Any news or eta?