Shelter Building 101

Shelter Building 101

So, why do you need to know how to build a shelter if you already plan to hunker down or bug out? Great question, glad you asked ! Even though you have your plan in place, you really never know if situations will occur that will prevent you from reaching your bug out location, or if it becomes compromised. In either of those situations you may find yourself on foot and you will definitely need to know how to build a shelter. Remember our discussion on the “Rule of 3” ? You can only survive 3 hours in adverse weather conditions without shelter!
Now there are literally tons of ways you can build your own shelter on the go. In this discussion, we will focus on three different shelter types that are among the most common. It is important to mention that these skills should be practiced before you need them. The last thing anyone needs is to be in a crisis and not remember or know how to build a shelter.
1. Tarp Shelter
There are many variations of how a tarp can be used in building a shelter. They are affordable and lightweight, and can be folded compactly to fit inside a bug out bag. If you are a visual person the below examples will be helpful for you. Many of these can be made by using rope, paracord, and of course a tarp. By using natural elements such as rocks, limbs, or piles of leaves; you can help to anchor down any sides you need too. One important reminder for which ever design you chose is you should never sleep on the bare ground! This should be avoided so you do not lose body heat and get sick ! If you were to have a sleeping bag of course that would be great, but even still pile leaves under you for insulation. If you are able to use a method that gives you the ability to fold the tarp to make a floor, do that!
This diagram was enlarged to show you more clearly the vast ways you can use a tarp for shelter building. As you can see there are many different types of methods for using your tarp. If a video tutorial would be more helpful, we are providing one we’ve found that we believe shows a very quick and simple way that anyone can use to build a shelter. Note: There are videos that also explain how to fold your tarp to build a door and floor for your shelter, go check them out too!

Video Credit: SunDogOutfitter on Youtube

2. Dug Out Shelter
A dug out shelter is almost self explanatory, you begin with building a trench two to three feet deep and approximately six to eight feet long, if possible. You would line the bottom of the trench with dry natural elements for bedding, preferably grasses, leaves, or as the video shows willow or pine needles. While what you can find may not be too terribly comfortable to lay on, it’s all about survival at that point. You would then find heavy branches that are long enough the cover the trench. Next you would need to find materials to cover the branches for insulation. The attached video gives an example of how to build this type of shelter. Just remember, their location is not ideal but the techniques used are helpful.

Video Credit: Martin Survival on Youtube
3. Debris Shelter
A debris shelter is sometimes referred to as a debris hut,  and it also requires elements of nature to use for building your shelter. There are many varieties and adaptations that can used when making this type of shelter. One of the easiest is by building an A-frame structure out of heavy limbs and then covering it in natural debris such as limbs and leaves to create a small, but more importantly ..warm shelter. While searching for a good tutorial video for a debris shelter, we noticed that many of them are made to be permanent structures. Those require much more time and since we are focusing on more immediate methods, we are sharing one that we feel can be made relatively quick.
Video Credit: SC Outdoorsmen on Youtube
All of these ideas are only a few of the various types of shelters you can make, but if made properly will help to keep you out of the elements and help ensure your survival. Remember to do your own research and practice shelter building ahead of time so that when it becomes necessary, you will already have the knowledge you need to help you survive!
If You Have Any Questions, Comments, or Suggestions For Us; Please Let Us Know !!!

Author Information:

Sharon Pannell is a self proclaimed "Prepsteader", both prepper and homesteader. She authors the blog The Trailer Park Homesteader where she teaches others about the importance of disaster preparedness and self-sufficiency. Sharon believes everyday the stuff can hit the fan, it is not one big epic event necessarily and it only takes one set back to create a hardship; so big or small prepare for it all ! Along with her blog, Sharon can also be found managing her other social media sites including her Facebook Page The Trailer Park Homesteader, TTPH Pinterest Page, and TTPH Twitter Page.

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