What Kind of Survival Shelter do I Need?

Shelters so many to choose from!

There are so many variations on different styles and types of shelter when it comes to a “Survival Shelter”. Most things will depend on weather conditions, environment, available resources and time you have to get a critical shelter established.

In an emergency you may be faced with howling winds, extreme temperatures and lack of daylight or on the other hand you may have the best of conditions available and good weather. It really depends what you have and what your immediate needs are.

In very extreme circumstances you may have very little time to build a favorable shelter and may be stuck with sleeping in wreckage or using whatever natural shelters you can find such as caves, rock outcrops, a pile of pine needles or the under boughs of a tree or a thicket to help keep your head dry and wind off your back. There may be times you have to ultimately wrap up in the clothes you have on your back and try to survive the night until conditions hopefully subside the next morning. More times than not you are going to be unprepared and be without shelter. We all wish that emergencies would happen while we have a pack full of gear and cool doo dads. But when the proverbial doo doo hits the fan more than likely those resources wont be available. This is where experience and training come into play. Knowing what to do when things go bad and the optimal gear is not available. There are thousands of different scenarios and situations, which in no way can I cover in this article without writing a book. So shelter will depend on what YOU know how to do and whats available!

Now What?

You need to seriously determine what your immediate threats are. Are they heat, sun, wind, snow, rain or temperatures? Then ask yourself what resources are available in my immediate or closeby area, materials, natural shelters, time available. Do you need a shelter that will keep you warm, dry, cool, off the ground because of dangers such as reptiles or insects or just a simple poncho shelter from the poncho on your back? Your shelter choice may be really simple or somewhat elaborate depending on the situation and protection needed.

Now is The Time to Learn

Now is the time to learn! NOT when the emergency is present and trying to learn as you go. During the emergency is not when you want to make mistakes that could cost you your life! If you have access to wooded areas or different terrains go out and try things in those areas under different conditions. If you don’t have those resources available sign up for a local survival course, considering your area has one available. Luckily I know a guy in my neck of the woods!

Knowing Basic Shelter Skills Should be Part of Your Preps!

If your a prepper then you know gaining knowledge and skills is just as important as having lots of supplies. Pepping is worth nothing if your isolated away from your gear and emergency stockpile. If your home or preps were ransacked by looters or your home is no longer safe to return to. Then basic life sustaining skills such as shelter should be practiced before hand.

Some Ideas for Shelter?
  • Natural Found Shelters: Such as caves, rocky outcrops, underneath trees or downed trees.
  • Vehicle Wreckage;  Aircraft, tipped boats, rafts or cars etc.
  • Personal Shelter: Ponchos, tube tents, garbage bags, poly plastic or tarps.
  • Primitive Shelters: Made from natural materials such as debris shelters, lean-to shelters or thatched wigwams.
  • Abandoned Structures: Old houses, garages, sheds, commercial building or old Forrest Service cabins.
  • Tents: Of course if you have the luxury of having a tent available when things go bad then your lucky!

Anything you can find to stay out of the elements! This is where survival becomes creative. You may be bedding down in a pile of leaves or pine needles to make it through the night. Or if conditions are perfect you may be sleeping under the stars under a jacket.

Regardless what shelter you have, never sleep on the ground. Conduction from the ground can chill you to the bone as your body absorbs the cool ground or snow! Eight inches of material should be a minimum or sleep off the ground on a platform. even if your just sitting on the ground put something beneath you. Keep this in mind even during the summer months just because it was eighty degrees during the day doesn’t mean you wont freeze your butt off at night!

Every day you are stranded or lost you should try to improve your shelter. Build it like is going to be a long term home it will be more comfortable and the better it will protect you.


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