Building Survival Shelters: Things you need to know

In today’s time no one can be sure that they won’t face any situation that demands an ability to make a shelter. In fact, even if you are sitting comfortably in your city apartment or a beautiful farmhouse, any natural disaster or a man-made disaster can hit. These disasters can force you to stay alive by using a few types of equipment, techniques and whatever resources are available in your natural surroundings.  

Having a shelter in harsh situations not only protects you from all kinds of difficult circumstances, but it also gives you a mental boost and confidence. A properly built survival shelter will help you stay away from elements that can harm you and allow you to rest in all harsh conditions. 

Moreover, a good survival shelter building skills are much more than surviving an emergency situation. It is also one of the best recreational activities, and a great way to spend some quality time with nature. So, if you want to make your shelter as your sanctuary, this article can help you. This article includes all the necessary pieces of information that you need to know about the best survival shelter.  

Before you plan about building the best wilderness survival shelters, let’s know about the primary points that you need to keep in mind: 

Factors To Be Considered When Building Survival Shelters 

Following are some of the significant factors that you need to keep in mind while building the best survival shelter wherever you want: 

  • Location of shelter 

It is very important to have the best location when you are thinking about building a survival shelter. Pay attention to the altitude of the place, temperature, and humidity levels when you are creating the best survival shelter. Never build your survival shelter very close to water. You never know when the rain will arrive, and it will destroy your abode. Also, try to stay away from dead branches and trees when you are building a survival shelter. 

  • Position of the shelter 

Other than the location of survival shelter, it is very important to build a shelter in a good position. For example, if you are thinking of building a survival on a mountain, make sure to build on a side that gets proper sunlight. Similarly, position your survival shelter in such a way that the entrance of the shelter is on the opposite side of prevailing winds. To be more careful, try to build a shelter in areas that have less number of insects and reptiles.  

  • Windbreaks 

A windbreak is an excellent way to protect your shelter from the fire. You can build windbreaks from different items like rocks, ice, or even wood. The windbreaks can be used as a place to dry woods by using the radiative heat of the fire. In addition to this, it can also help you keep your survival shelter warm at night. 

  • Shelter material 

It is best to use the best shelter material when you are building a survival shelter. Try to avoid using all kinds of poisonous plants and bushes as shelter material. Use a good quality tarp, tarpaulin, or poncho to build your shelter in harsh conditions. You can use TarpsDirect tarpaulin or  Nylon tarp to build the best survival shelter. 

  • Follow safety rules 

Just because you are outside your location zone and you are away from most government protocols, doesn’t mean that you don’t have to follow the rules of the forest or mountain or anywhere you are constructing your survival shelter. Some of the safety rules include making the fireplace away from your shelter and keeping your self-defense tool accessible at all times.  

Tools to choose When building Survival shelters  

Once you have your location and position decided, it’s time to know about the major tools that you may need to build survival shelters. The type of tools required may vary as per the location and climatic condition, but some of the basic tools should always be in your emergency kit.  

There are different types of knives, cords, and shelter material that can be kept as a part of your survival shelter tools. Thus, don’t wait for your next trip into wildlife or for a natural disaster, pack up your survival shelter kid ahead. Include all these tools: 

  • Rope/ paracord 

A sturdy and durable paracord is a must in your survival shelter kit. A good quality paracord like Titan Paracord or Bored Paracord can be hugely beneficial for you. It can help you build a makeshift tent in no time. Also, it can be used to reach the top of the tree or a hill cliff. Thus, always keep this survival gear handy. 

  • Knife 

A knife is not only helpful when you are building a survival shelter, but it can be used for several other purposes too. You can get the Rothco Knife that can be used for all purposes when you are on a wilderness trip.  

  • Tarp 

The tarp is one of the most versatile pieces that can help you in building different types of survival shelters. Thus, it is very important to keep a good quality tarp, like WhiteDuck Tarp, for building different kinds of shelter for your survival. 

  • Military Poncho 

A military poncho itself can act as a survival shelter. Try to purchase a poncho that is waterproof as well as UV protected to get maximum safety. One of the best ponchos that can be used in all kinds of weather conditions includes Rothco Poncho. If you are on a short trip into a forest or somewhere in nature, you won’t even need to build a shelter if you have the poncho in your car trunk.  

  • Shovel 

A shovel is another essential tool that you must have in your survival shelter building kit. It can be used to dig the ground or to secure poles, and both tasks are an essential part of shelter building.   

  • Bivvy 

The Bivvy or the Bivouac is a kind of temporary camp that is used by soldiers or mountaineers as a sleeping bag. It is a kind of sack, and sleeping inside a bivvy feels like sleeping under the sky full of stars. So, if you are thinking about skipping heavy tents, a bivvy can be the best option for you. Some of the best options for bivy include Alpine Bivy and Spartan Bivy

Principles to keep in mind When Building Survival Shelter  

Just keep in mind to not forget about the primary principles of building a survival shelter that includes: 

  • Proximity to water 

This means your survival shelter should not be located too close to the water bodies, but it should not even be too far that you have to walk miles to get a glass of water. Just keep your shelter 200 meters away from the water body, and you are good to go. 

  • Exposure to forces of nature 

The survival shelters that you construct have to face all elements of nature like wind, water, wind direction, and sunlight. Thus, it is better to construct shelter at a location that prevents exposure to these forces of nature. 

  • Fuel for fire 

You can’t cook your food, or keep yourself warm if you don’t have fuel for the fire. You need to build your shelter at a place that has dry wood and branches to fuel your fireplace. Thus, always keep this point in mind before you plan the location of the best survival shelter

  • Bathroom area 

No matter where you can, you can’t stop this “natural force.” But having a toilet area too close to your survival shelter can’t be good for health and well-being. Thus, locate the bathroom area at least 100 meters away from your survival shelter to stay safe. 

Different Types of Survival Shelters That You Can Consider To Build 

Since we have all the tools and tips needed to make the best survival shelter, why not know about the different types of survival shelters and the process to make them? 

In this section, we will explain to you about different types of survival shelters that can be built in different climatic conditions as well as depending on the location you are heading out: 

  • Natural Shelter 

When you are heading out into nature and wildlife location, the first thing to look for is a natural shelter that can help you stay safe in an unknown location. There are a number of natural survival shelters that you can easily find at any place you go to. Some of the best natural survival shelters include a natural cave made up of big and small-sized rocks, an undercut bank, root structure of a fallen tree, dense bush or thicket, or even a tree full of branches that can help you from rain and heat. Although these are not the perfect survival structures that you may be looking for, these are great for beginners who are in an emergency situation.  

  • Debris shelter 

The best part about debris shelter is that it can be installed quickly, and if you create it properly, it will help you keep dry and warm for a longer duration. The leaf debris can act as the best insulation and protect you in harsh climatic conditions. You can use knives like Rothco Knife to get pine and spruce boughs, but it may take more time to build. Even if you don’t have access to a knife, you can use roots and barks of the tree to tie structures together. Following are the types of debris shelter that you can build: 

  • Lean-to Shelter 

If you want to get protected from the sun’s heat and precipitation, the lean shelter can be the [perfect survival shelter to build. Although this shelter is not best for the winter season, you can build walls around this shelter to stay away from harsh wind. The shelter can be made easily, and you don’t need much resources and time to build this shelter. All you need is a tarp, poncho, or a plastic sheet to get this shelter ready for use. 

  • Double lean-to shelter 

The double lean-to shelter can’t be made as quickly as a lean-to shelter, but it can keep you warm and dry even in severe conditions. You may find different versions of the lean-to double lean-to shelter, and you can choose to build any version that you find suitable. These types of survival shelters are built with gaps in between the roof spines. This space or gap helps the smoke from the fire to rise.  

  • Tarp Shelters 

Tarps are one of the best materials to make the best survival shelter. Different types of tarps are available in the market. The best tarps that can be used include the WhiteDuck Tarp and the Cartman Tarp. These tarps are durable and sturdy enough to protect you from rain, heat, and sunlight.  You need the best quality tarp-like Aqua Quest Tarp. Just choose a good campsite that has three to four trees around it. When you are making a shelter using a tarp, your imagination can be your biggest asset. Tarps are lightweight, and it will take up very little space in your kit bag.  

Thus, if you want a safe and secure place to stay without carrying heavy luggage, a survival tarp can be the best option to build and stay. In addition to this, the best part about a tarp shelter is that it is very easy to construct, and it can easily adapt to any weather condition you plan a visit. If you want to have shelter against wind and rain, all you need to do is to have a lower ridgeline while you can increase the ridgeline to get more shade and to allow a cool breeze to blow.  

  • Poncho Shelters 

A poncho can be a multipurpose item in your survival kit. It can help you to stay dry in all conditions, and it can also be used to build temporary shelters. You can use military ponchos like Rothco Poncho to build the best survival structure. The poncho shelters are of different types like: 

  • Horizontal lean-to shelter 
  • Vertical lean-to shelter 
  • The ridgeline lean-to shelter 
  • A flat roof lean-to shelter 
  • And poncho tent 

All these shelters work best to help you prevent sunlight and precipitation. These ponchos are not sturdy enough to protect against heavy winds and thunderstorms, but it can be your temporary abode if you are facing any unfortunate emergencies.  

  • Shelter off the ground 

If you need the best survival shelter off the ground, a survival hammock can be the best shelter to make. You don’t need many items to prepare for this shelter. You can use a hammock or a strong tarp to make this temporary shelter. This shelter gives protection against all types of animals and reptiles in the jungle. The hammock shelter is just another variation of a tarp shelter, but it is off-the-ground. You need to tie the tarp off your hammock between two tree trunks to get a sturdy place to rest at night. Just add a layer of cloth on your body to get insulation and warmth you need at night.  

  • Desert shelters 

Building survival structures in the desert is not an easy task, and you need to be well-equipped with sufficient knowledge to make the best survival structure in the desert. Most people think that shelters are not essential for desert structure as people can stay easily in their vehicles. But, if you are planning to stay in a desert location for a longer time, it’s important to build the best survival shelter 150. Deserts can be brutally cold at night, and you need to be very careful about this characteristic of the desert if you want to build the best desert shelter.  

So, let’s look at the best desert survival shelters that you can create: 

  • Juniper tree shelter: Deserts are known for juniper trees, and in the absence of tools and gears, we can easily use juniper trees to make the best desert shelters for us. A fallen juniper tree can be easily converted into a natural shelter. You don’t need much equipment if you have found a juniper tree. The juniper tree will prevent you from heat strokes on sunny days, and it will keep you dry on rainy days. Thus, it is one of the most affordable and quick methods to plan for the best survival shelter 150 in the desert. If you have no idea about this natural shelter in the middle of the desert, it’s time to look for one. All you need to do is to search for a juniper tree, and you are good to go. So, get ready for an adventurous trip to the desert.  
  • Desert Tarp: The desert tarp has been in the culture of desert structure for centuries. Initially, it was used for deserts in North America and the Middle East, but later on, it became prevalent in all desert locations around the world. To prepare this structure, you need the two best quality tarps like Aqua Quest Tarp and a few ropes.  

Once you have all the materials and tools needed, dig a spot on the ground. Lay one tarp on the low spot on the ground and then drive each stake at each corner of the tarp. Then you need to tie the tarp tightly to the stakes. You can also fold two larger tarps to create two layers.  

After that, tie the four stakes to four anchors. You can use stakes, logs, and rocks as an anchoring object. So, all you need to build a desert tarp is the best quality tarp that can handle the heat, wind, and harsh weather. 

  • Snow Survival Shelters 

The snow shelters work at places that are covered with thick layers of snow. People who go out for mountaineering or hill climbing should know about how to create snow survival shelters. So, take advantage of the snow and build shelters that can keep you safe and warm, even in snow. 

Here are different types of snow shelters that can be built:  

  • Snow cave: A snow cave can be the best shelter to create in an emergency situation at places covered with snow. Planning and creating a snow cave is an easy, fast, and affordable process. The reason you can make a snow cave at a place covered by snow is that snow has an insulating property. Although snow is cold, it can easily trap heat. If you build the structure carefully, the temperature inside the cave will rise significantly, and it will help you stay warm and cozy for a longer duration.  

Another benefit of the snow cave is that it helps you to stay protected from wind and snow blizzards. One important factor that needs to be considered before building a snow cave is that you need to stay dry at all times. Avoid sweating as much as you can. This is because wet and cold together can lead to a hypothermic situation. So, keep this point in mind, and you will stay protected in areas covered with snow. If you are planning a trip to a snow-covered area, learn about the snow cave building process, and you are good to go.  

  • IglooWhen you pay attention to the details of the igloo structure, it is made to last for a very time. The integrity and planning style of the igloo is very simple. The igloos are dome-shaped building structures that are made of blocks of packed ice. When making an igloo, ice is used as a building material. We all know about the insulating property of ice, and this phenomenon is best used in making up of igloo. The entrance of the igloo should be below the ground level, and it should be pointed in such a direction that it doesn’t face the direct wind.  

If you have resources available, you can cover the inner lining of the igloo with animal skin to make it warmer and much more comfortable. Most igloo structures are made up of the local people, and they are mostly permanent structures. If you are planning on staying at the snowy places for long, it’s best to learn the techniques of building an igloo.  

  • QuinzheeA quinzee is similar to an igloo, and not many people know about this survival shelter. To make an igloo, you need the right amount of snow, but quinzhee can be made by even packing together the snow blocks.  

To make a quinzee, you need to pile up movable gears under the tarp you have. You can also use a backpack for this. Then, you need to pile up the snow on the tarp and the gear. The snow should be packed in such a way that it is two feet thick all around. Next, you need to insert a 12-inch long stick around the dome.  

You can use three to four dozen guide sticks for this. Burrow itself into the side of the quinzhee and then retrieve your tarp. Now it’s time to excavate snow till you reach the base of each stick. At last, make fist-sized ventilation on the roof of the structure to get enough breathability.  

  • Log Cabin 

Sometimes our trip to wilderness may get converted into our worst nightmare, and you may think that this is the end of the world. In this case, the best thing to do is to build a survival shelter that looks like your permanent home. Yes, we are talking about building a log cabin.  

The log cabins are a kind of dependable and solid home that can help you stay safe in all kinds of weather conditions. Although a log cabin takes a bit more time to get constructed, it is strong enough to protect you from the forces of nature. To build this survival shelter, you need to have proper knowledge and experience of building such shelters.  

The basic idea behind the creation of this log cabin is to lay a frame of logs that interlocks at the corner to form a rectangular shape.  You can layer the ground with sand and silt to keep the cabin off the ground. Once the rocks and gravels are placed on the ground, you need to place the base of the log, which will be about 12-inches in diameter.  

Once the logs are placed on the ground, you can place a floorboard, or you can skip this step to build walls. Depending upon the number of items that are available to you, you can keep on building roofs and other parts of your temporary home.  

  • Dug Out Shelter 

Constructing a dugout survival shelter may need lots of work. But this is the best survival shelter to go for if you are planning for a mid or long-term survival shelter. To plan this type of shelter, you may need a location with sandy soil, as sandy soils are ideal for digging. Try to dig up to 2 to 3 feet deep and lay up the dug ground with grass and leaves as your mattress.  

You can line up the top of the ditch with branches of trees and vegetation to make the roof for the dugout. You also need to keep in mind to leave enough space for you to come out and enter. Many soldiers use these soldiers to hide in difficult locations. All you need to construct this shelter is a durable knife and any object that can help you dig the ground.  

These were some of the types of survival shelter that can be built with minimum possible equipment and almost no technical skills. Although, if you are pro at making survival shelters, there can be a lot more designs and types of shelters, for beginners who don’t know much about constructing survival shelters, this article may be quite useful.  

Learning to build survival shelters is not as tricky as it may seem, but if you have knowledge about all these basic shelter types, you are in good shape.  

With all these survival plans and shelter plans available, it’s time to step out of your home and start an adventurous journey. No matter where you want to go, or which type of weather condition you are about to face, you can build any of these survival shelters.  

Building survival shelters – Final words  

The shelter is one of the topmost priorities when you are staying outdoors. If you are not prepared to face extreme climatic conditions, you may even get killed. Thus, before you plan a journey to any extreme climatic conditions, it’s important to have proper knowledge about different types of survival shelters.  

Even if you are afraid of making a home away from your home, you should try it once. Having the necessary skills to build survival shelters can help you prevent all sorts of emergency conditions. Don’t let the comfort of your home prevent you from wandering and staying outside. Follow the survival rule and build the survival shelters as per the weather conditions and landscape you are visiting. 

If you are a prepper, you should have all kinds of equipment and tools needed to build survival shelters. The list of survival shelters that we have provided can be built even if you don’t have much technical expertise or skills needed. All you need is a few materials like Aqua Quest TarpAlpine Bivy, and Titan Paracord to build a survival shelter of your choice. So, what are you waiting for? 

Let this year be filled with amazing adventure and plan to visit any place you want if you have these survival kits with you.  

Like most skills, practice will make you perfect, and you will know all about survival shelter making with few practices. In addition to these survival tools, don’t forget to carry first aid, emergency medicines, and clothing that are favorable for all kinds of climate. Let the wilderness of the outside world make you a free-spirited bird. Have a happy and safe journey!