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Thread: Various Types of Shelters

  1. #1

    Various Types of Shelters

    The importance of a good shelter is crucial to protecting yourself from the elements. A shelter will also give you a huge psychological boost (it will reduce the feeling of panic and helplessness). Not only are you battling the elements, you will also be engaged in a mental battle (the human spirit and the will to survive). Building a shelter should be among one of your top priorities, severe weather can strike quickly and can certainly kill. A well built shelter should keep you dry, warm and relatively safe.

    What to consider when building a shelter:


    Study the geographic location. Keep in mind the terrain and possible changes which may occur such as flash flooding and tides. Keep away from any water source. The higher the ground the better, the shelter will help provide protection from insects on the ground. Stay off game trails and tall grass (ticks). Keep in mind the direction of the prevalent wind, sun and shade.

    Building Materials:

    Chances are there will be lots of wood around. Try choosing "green" wood, if the wood is dry it may attract insects, may not be as strong and more flammable (important if you have a fire near your shelter).

    Ropes or vines for lashing and stability.

    Leaves and grass can be woven to make "roof singles", walls, insulation, bedding and flooring.

    Types of shelters:

    Usually depends on location and materials available. There are several types of shelters, the most important feature to remember is to elevate yourself off the ground.

    Natural Cover:
    If you run out of daylight or simply have no time to build a shelter try to find natural cover (fallen tree, uprooted tree, cave, natural depressions). Try to make a wind break and keep your back to the wind. Good for short term but not so much for long term. An example would be a cave, it could have bats, disease, snakes or larger animals and are usually damp with low ventilation. Regardless of the type of shelter, ventilation and drainage are important to consider.

    Lean-To: This shelter is half an "A-Frame". It can be used when rain or blizzard conditions are not an issue. Being an open style shelter, it will leave you more exposed to the elements.

    A-Frame: This type of shelter will provide better protection against the elements. The frame allows for the addition of an elevated bed.

    Snow Shelter:
    Snow is a great insulator. It will keep you out of the wind and in a well built shelter will be much warmer than the outside temperature. Ventilation is crucial with a snow shelter. Snow trenches and snow caves have saved lives, always create a small low spot in the shelter, this allows cold air to collect at the lowest level. Always have a method of escape, now shelters can collapse.

    Swamp Bed: Can be adapted from the A-Frame, it is an elevated bed well off the ground.

  2. #2

    Re: Various Types of Shelters

    Good post, could use some pictures!