Basics Of Building A Survival Shelter

Super Survival Shelter

Learning to Build a Survival Shelter

If you and your family need to bug out and head into the woods for a time, having a survival shelter is very important to your well-being. You need protection from the elements, and possibly from animals.

In this excerpt, you will see possibly the most impressive quick to build survival shelter I’ve seen. It allows you to use the supplies you find in the woods along with a few easy to carry supplies from your bug out bag, to build a shelter that will keep you and your family warm and safe even in cold conditions.

If you plan to use this kind of shelter in cold climates be sure to get out in the woods and build one and test it ahead of time. In a real emergency, your chances of survival are greatly increased when you are using skills you have practiced ahead of time.

A photo from the show in which we used this shelter to survive a week of brutally cold temperatures in a damp, windy river valley.

This past winter (one of the coldest winters in US history, I might add) I filmed 8 episodes of a new survival show called Fat Guys in the Woods. I literally take three guys off the couch and into the weather for a week with practically nothing but a knife and a canteen. It gets crazy real quick after that. Seeing that it was one of the coldest winters on record, shelter became our number one survival priority week after week.

This is where all the magic happens. Now that the structure is complete, we use two reflective emergency blankets to line the back and top of the dome frame. Packing emergency blankets as well as plastic sheeting in one’s survival kit is recommended — they’re lightweight and incredibly versatile. Once the back and top are lined with reflective blankets, the entire structure is covered in clear plastic:

The beauty of this shelter is the physics behind why and how it works, which is very similar to a greenhouse. The heat from a small fire placed a few feet in front of the shelter passes through the clear plastic and reflects off the top and back of the shelter and then absorbs into your body and bedding. A shelter with this design can easily be 50-60 degrees inside when the temperature outside is in the teens. It doesn’t require a huge fire either. A small, hot fire is very effective and it holds heat impressively well. – via The Art of Manliness

A Quick and Basic Survival Shelter

Of course, the situation you are in will dictate what type of shelter you need. Here is a description of a very basic poncho tent that you can put up with a few supplies and two trees.

This basic tent will work well in many milder weather situations but not come close to the shelter we just read about in the case of very cold weather. Adding the idea of the reflective emergency blankets and plastic cover to this basic poncho tent would increase its protection by a large margin.

Poncho Tent

This tent provides a low silhouette. It also protects you from the elements on two sides. It has, however, less usable space and observation area than a lean-to, decreasing your reaction time to enemy detection. To make this tent, you need a poncho, two 1.5- to 2.5-meter ropes, six sharpened sticks about 30 centimeters long, and two trees 2 to 3 meters apart.

To make the tent

Tie off the poncho hood in the same way as the poncho lean-to. Tie a 1.5- to 2.5-meter rope to the center grommet on each side of the poncho. Tie the other ends of these ropes at about knee height to two trees 2 to 3 meters apart and stretch the poncho tight.

Draw one side of the poncho tight and secure it to the ground pushing sharpened sticks through the grommets. Follow the same procedure on the other side. If you need a center support, use the same methods as for the poncho lean-to.

Another center support is an A-frame set outside but over the center of the tent. Use two 90- to 120-centimeter-long sticks, one with a forked end, to form the A-frame. Tie the hood's drawstring to the A-frame to support the center of the tent. – via

Have you ever practiced building a survival shelter? Which one of these will you try building first?

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