Survival skills are like backup gear, it’s something that is just lying around until the day you’ll have use for it and you see how important it is. There are many survival skills that you can learn but probably one of the most versatile survival skill is knowing how to build a shelter in the wild. A shelter is very crucial because you’ll need it for a variety of reasons – if you’re lost, you’re hurt, you need to shield yourself from the elements, or as a natural tent – and here are handy tips for building one.
First you need to look for the most ideal place to build your shelter. One of the most ideal sites for a shelter is the area underneath two trees, most ideally trees like evergreens because of their expansive branches. Finding an area that is near water is also very ideal because it will help sustain you if you plan to stay for a relatively longer period of time. Proximity to water means you won’t have problems getting access to it for cooking, washing and bathing. During winter, snow is a good substitute. You just need to melt it over fire. Make sure that the area you choose is also elevated so you won’t have problems with water levels rising or run-off when it rains.
One of the most crucial things you need when building a shelter is some sort of rope to help secure your shelter. If you don’t have any ropes or shoelaces handy look around your environment and use handy materials that you can use to tie things. This can include vines and grass or even thin branches. Try to collect a lot of them so you won’t run out of it when building your shelter.
The first thing you should build is your ‘roof’. First, gather the largest branches from the evergreens and tie them together. You can either tie the branches to trees near it or if there is a lack of trees in the vicinity, use two large branches that you’ve posted on the ground. The very top of the roof should be angled at the most 45 degrees to make sure that it won’t act like a collector for snow or rain. To make the roof better able to protect you, layer more evergreen branches on top – about two layers will be enough.
Now it’s time to build the ‘wall’ of your shelter. You will use more evergreen branches for the walls. What you need to do is to prop up the branches on the sides of your shelter. The tips of the branches should be on the bottom so that any snow or rain will easily drip down to the ground. If it is winter, put in snow on the branches because they will act as a form of insulation and will keep your shelter warmer inside.
Photo from binbin.net
[…] Read our other tips on essential camping skills, like how to start a campfire and building a shelter in the wild. […]