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Building a Long-Term Wilderness Survival Shelter

by Bruce Haring

If you find yourself in the a situation where you need to stay in the wilderness for an extended period of time, one of the first things you need to think about is building a shelter to stay in – you will definitely need more than a tent.

When the weather is good, tents are a suitable choice. However, they do not provide much insulation when the temperature drops. Additionally, they are a little fragile, so the material will eventually dry out and tear.

Long-term shelters basically fall into two categories – emergency and prepared. Prepared survival shelters are built before the disaster actually strikes which means that you have ample time to build the shelter, ensure that it is stocked with necessary supplies and even add little personal touches with a bit of interior decorating. Emergency shelters are the shelters you build if you have to bug out and do not have a place to go.

Things to Consider When Building a Long-Term Prepared Survival Shelter

There are certain things you need to keep in mind when you are building a wilderness survival shelter, such as:

Location – Before you start building your survival shelter, make sure that the location you choose is a good one. This means picking a spot where there is a source of water nearby. But it should not be so close that you have to deal with pesky insects.

Also, the sound of running water can hide other sounds such as dangerous wild animals, etc. Make sure that you do not build your shelter on top of a hill, where it is open to the elements like wind and lightning. Some areas are also prone to flashfloods, so keep these things in mind when picking a location for your shelter.

Available Materials – Throughout history, man has built shelters out of materials that are readily available to them, which is why you see structures such as adobes and igloos, as well as those made with stone, wood, etc. Look around and see what natural materials are available to you and take advantage of them. Apart from natural materials, you can use scavengable materials as well. This will help you save money too, so it is a poignant idea.

Size – Your shelter should not be too big or too small. You may think that having a large survival shelter is a good idea, but you will find it difficult to heat it once you actually have to use it, especially in winters. While it can be uncomfortable to live in a small, cramped space, you need to think about what you really need. Remember that you are building a survival shelter and not a new home.

One thing that you will really need space for is storage. Get a shipping container and pace beside your shelter and you will have a convenient and secure storage space.

Insulation – Insulation is one of the most important elements of your survival shelter. When you have more insulation, it will do away with the need to produce more heat. Many people do not give much importance to this part of building a shelter and come to regret it later.

You need to make sure that you have adequate insulation all around your shelter, especially the roof. If possible, you should build your survival shelter where there are rock outcroppings or trees for a wind break – this will be of immense help in keeping your shelter warm as well.

Efficiency – This means that every space in your survival shelter should be designed in such a way that it can be used for something. You can build in storage to take advantage of space that is not used. You should make it as energy efficient as possible too.

This will ensure that you do not need to consume a lot of fuel to keep it warm when it gets cold. Water efficiency is critical as well. Make sure that you can collect rainwater from your roof so that there is a constant source of water close to you. Water is one of the most integral survival needs, so you need to make sure that you have plenty of it and do not waste a single drop.

Building a survival shelter is not a difficult task. All you need to do is make sure that it is designed properly and that the materials you use are sturdy and durable. If you get these right, you can be sure that the wilderness survival shelter you build protects you and your family in any emergency for a long time.







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