Hey guys, what's up? Melanie here. Today we're here for a guest post by Angela Williams of thesurvivalcorps.com. She's going to give some tips on building your own outdoor shelter in wooded areas, the desert, at the beach and on the snow.
That can be necessary in some survival conditions (hope it won't though), or you might have just watched The Revenant and want to try building yours. Either way, hope you'll find this post helpful for you.
Mind you that this is NOT a super helpful, full of information type of post. It's just general ideas around building your own shelter.
Back to you now, Angela.
Thanks Melanie! Hello everyone, I'm Angela. Like Melanie said, I'll give you some tips while you're building your own outdoor shelter.
So as you know, unlike other animals, humans have an inherent need for shelter and there might be some situations that you didn't pack any tent. In that case, the only option would be to build your own.
So, how do you go about building a reliable shelter outdoor that can offer you a secure and comfortable area to sleep and rest your back? Keep reading to find out.
Building an Outdoor Shelter in Wooded Areas
If you find yourself in wooded areas, the best type of outdoor shelter to build is a lean-to shelter. Interestingly, it is one of the easiest shelters to make in the wilderness. It provides you with sufficient protection from rain, wind and hot temperatures. It also provides you with a cover against wild animals. Follow these steps to build a lean-to shelter:
Step 1: Find the right location
Lean-to typically requires some sort of “backbone” against which the shelter will rest. The backbone can be fallen trees or boulders that act as a horizontal brace to lean brush or other sticks against. In fact, any sizeable stationary object can do. Alternatively, you can use some rope and a tarp (if available) to make a lean-to between two large trees.
Step 2: Lay sticks against the backbone
The second step is to place sticks to lean against the horizontal brace. Try to use sturdy sticks as they will act as the side wall of the shelter. Ensure you create enough space between the rods and the horizontal brace and the ground to give you enough room to crawl into comfortably.
You need to keep in mind that the larger the room in the lean-to, the harder it will be to keep yourself warm. Also, remember to keep your lean-to closer to the ground. The low profile will provide you with further protection from the wind, and it will not catch attention.
Step 3: Pile debris over the lean-to frame
Using leaves, moss, and grass build a wall around your shelter. Such debris will provide you with additional insulation from the elements. Any tiny forest debris will do as long as you can pack it tightly on the wall frame of your shelter so that wind will not blow it away. For extra insulation, pile more of the forest debris on the interior and floor of the lean-to.
Step 4: Dig a fire pit
If the area in which you build your shelter is too cold, you can further provide insulation by starting a fire on the side of your lean-to. Just make sure it is a reasonable distance from the shelter to avoid any accidents. Put a ring of stones around the fire-pit to put a stop to any spreading fires.
Building a Shelter in the Desert
The problem with a desert is that you will not find foliage and vegetation that easily. Thus you will have to make do with what you have. Follow the following steps:
Step 1: Find a good location
In a desert, you will need to pay attention to your surrounding environment to find natural shelters to offer you a way out. Search for rock outcroppings or caves that tend to form natural trenches. You can use one of the trenches as a base to construct from.
Step 2: Pile up sand around the rock outcroppings
The second step in building your own outdoor shelter is to pile up sand around the rock outcroppings you initially identified. The sand piles will provide you with further insulation from the environmental elements.
If you have a canvas, a poncho or any kind of liner, use it as your roof. Secure the edges of your liner with sand or rocks but make sure you leave enough room to allow you passage into the shelter.
In case you lack any material to use as a liner, try foraging for natural supplies. Use anything at your disposal to form a roof whether leaves, sticks, brush or other things. The reputation of deserts is that they are very hot in the day and very cold at night. This shelter will insulate you from such extreme temperatures.
Building a Shelter at the Beach
Natural supplies are readily available on most beaches including lots of sand, driftwood, some trees, and even small woods. Therefore, building a shelter is very easy.
Step 1: Dig a trench
Beach sand is loose and therefore easy to dig up. Dig a trench large enough to accommodate you and your companion if any. Build three walls around the trench using sand. Compact the sand ato the best of your ability to provide it with strength.
Step 2: Make a roof
Try to find large driftwood and lay it over the trench to serve as a roof. The beams should be able to lie comfortably and stable on the compacted sand walls. Find leaves, bushes, shrubs, and shrubbery and lay them on the pole to form a thick roof over the trench. Use additional foliage to cushion the floor of the trench to provide you with a comfortable bed.
Building a Shelter on Snow
Snowing conditions present many problems because of the freezing temperatures and at times the fierce winds. Thus a shelter is necessary. Here is how to make one:
Step 1: Clear your work area
Start the process by clearing an area that measures approximately 8 feet in diameter. Pile mixed snow on the cleared area until you achieve a height of about 6 feet. The mixing of snow from various areas and layers adds to the strength and stability of the pile due to differences in core temperatures. Wait for an hour or so to allow the snow pile to harden
Step 2: Dig a trench in the snow
Building snow shelter is challenging. Digging into a snow-covered ground can be difficult. You may need to find a tool to help you with the digging. A shovel does it well, but you may not access one. You might need to improvise.
Once you are sure the snow has hardened, dig a cave from a single side to the middle part of the pile. Just hollow the cave until there is room enough for you and your companion if any. Allow more space for comfort. Poke a few ventilation holes on the side walls of the cave to allow enough air to flow in.
Step 3: Mark the shelter for visibility
Find ways to mark the shelter for easy identification. This becomes important if it continues snowing. The additional snow can impede the shelter taking you back to the starting point. You can mark using ski poles, sticks or any other appropriate thing.
Step 4: Build a wind wall
The last step in building a snow shelter is to build a wind wall. A few feet outside the entrance of your sanctuary, make another pile of snow to form a wall. The wall will offer your shelter protection against wind and other snow from blowing in the direction of your snow shelter.
A proper shelter can offer you protection from weather and other elements. It can provide you with a comfortable place to protect yourself & rest properly.
Keeping in mind that human beings might not survive for more than 3 hours in extreme outdoor weather condition and honing shelter making skills in all kinds of environments can make a big difference in a survival situation.