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Building a Wilderness Shelter

How to Build A Shelter in the Wilderness

Shelter is one of the essential elements of survival, along with food, water, and clothing. While we can generally depend upon our home to provide all the shelter we need, a disaster can deny us this, and we will have to make our own shelter. Being exposed to the elements increases the chance of injury or illness, so knowing how to construct a simple survival shelter can have a profound influence on how we get through an emergency. You may also need a wilderness shelter if you become lost while hiking or camping in the woods. Knowing how to provide for your survival will increase the chances you and your family have of living through a trying situation.

Using What You May Have At Hand

If you are trying to construct a shelter near the site of your damaged home, you will probably be able to use some of the material at hand. Many people keep tarps in the home, and if you have one of these, you can put up a simple tent by stringing a rope between two trees, throwing the tarp over it, and then weighting the edges of the tarp after pulling it out. This kind of tent will keep the sun and rain off of you, but will do little to protect you from cold weather.

You can also use some materials from a damaged home to make a more sturdy shelter. Only take materials that you can access safely, however. Boards can be used to make a fairly weatherproof structure that can be augmented with bedding from the house.

A Little Home In The Wilderness

There may be times when you find yourself in need of shelter when in the wilderness. People get lost, or something occurs (like a flooding river or landslide) that cuts them off from their return route. In any case, when you find yourself in need of shelter, begin constructing it immediately. Weather changes and nighttime 137 First 2 in 1 first aidwill come on more quickly than you may suppose, and it will be much better to work while you can still see and in some comfort.

While it is possible to use a poncho or emergency blanket to make a crude tent, if the weather is chilly, this will do little to keep you comfortable. Use the materials at hand, and even if you have no tools, it should still be possible to make a shelter of some kind. Also important is a first aid kit to make sure anything that happens in the wilderness is under control.

If you are in an area with trees, look for a fallen one. This can serve as a foundation on which to make your shelter. Clear the area beneath the tree and then use fallen branches to construct a lean to ‘roof’ on one side. This should be the side facing the wind. Cover this with pine branches and then work to make the sides of the shelter to provide more protection. Bring pine branches into the shelter to use as insulation on the floor.

Building a fire in front of your shelter will provide extra heat, just do not put the fire right in front of your door, in case you have to leave suddenly. To help reflect heat into your shelter, use rocks to make a low wall behind the fire. This sort of shelter will help you to survive everything but the most extreme winter weather. Find matches in our Build Your Own Kit section!