wilderness survival shelters

Nature and the wilderness can be your friend in a crisis or emergency. You can find food, equipment and even temporary housing in the woods. You may not have air condition, heat, running water, bathroom and a kitchen in the wilderness. However, you can build wilderness survival shelters in the woods for temporary housing for you and your family believe it or not.

I will give you 5 designs that you can build in the wilderness. In a crisis or emergency, a wilderness survival shelters may be the only home you got in a serious crisis such as a total collapse of society or economic collapse.


Top 5 Wilderness Survival Shelters

Round Lodge

The round lodge has been around from many cultures. It is structured like a tipi and can protect you from wind, rain, cold and sun. The best part about these shelters is that they are designed to have a smoke hole through the roof, so you can have a small camp fire on those cold nights.

The round lodge is very simple and does not require a lot of time and labor. It is built by slanting a large number of tall wooden poles together in a circular facing and fastening them together at the top where they all meet using grass, vines or sinew. Then, the walls can be thatched with grass, hay or other materials at hand for extra protection.

You can be creative and add tarp or hay around the shelter as well for added protection and warmth. Tarp will be ideal for any shelter, because it will protect the shelter from high winds and rain. The idea for any shelter is to keep warm and protect yourself from animals. Keep this in mind when building your shelter.


Quinzee Snow

If you find yourself in a crisis or emergency situation in the winter months and there is  snow on the ground, then this could be another option for you. You will need large amounts of snow in temperatures below freezing to build this shelter.

This type of shelter requires a bit more time to build and labor. Since this may take some time, you may want to build a alternative shelter for the first night, until the snow shelter is completed.

To construct a quinzee, you must first case out a large, open area with plenty of snow. Consider how many people you will need to house and how big you may want it before you begin. When you have your ideal snow shelter size, begin digging and packing together a snow pile as high and wide as you feel is necessary.

Don’t build it too high, that will just create unnecessary work. It should be just large enough to fit you and your family. Next, let your snow mound sit over night. This is important, because your snow shelter will have to harden for sturdiness. Once a few hours have passed, begin digging a hole in the middle of your mound at the very bottom.

Once you are able to climb inside the shelter, try to leave the structure a thickness of about 24″. Be sure to add a small ventilation hole so the air can circulate. For the last step, you can build a small heat source inside the snow shelter. You can have a small fire going or use lanterns if you have them.

Once your heat source has been going for about a few hours, shut if off. Snow walls will have melt a little bit, but will refreeze overnight. Finally, you should find some hay or some material that will cover the floor to prevent direct contact from the ground.


Debris Hutdebris Hut

A debris hut is fairly easy to make. First, you will need to gather a lot of natural debris such as leaves, branches, long grass and pine needles. Next, look for a large pole-like log which is about twice your own height for use as a ridge-pole. The straighter the pole, the better your shelter will turn out.

wilderness survival sheltersFrom here, you will want to find two nearby “Y” shaped branches and prop the hole up with them so your ride-pole sits at about your pelvic level. You could also use a tree stump or anything capable of supporting one end of the ridge-pole at the appropriate height. Your ride-pole should be about the size of your writs or larger. You should avoid breakable pieces, which will make your debris hut not sturdy.

Next, build your framework, search for sticks and limbs which are at least two fingers thick. Then position the sticks along the length of your ridge-pole about “6”. Then, you should be collecting debris such as smaller sticks, dead branches that still have leaves, pine needles and long grass. Place debris over the debris hut such  for added protection against the wind and water.

After when you cover your hut with debris, now it is time to create a thick bedding. Climb in the shelter and flatten out the debris on the floor. Repeat as necessary to make a thick comfortable bedding.

When you are ready to enter the hut for the high, pull in a bunch of leaves with you into the shelter. This will provide you with extra protection and warmth. This structure is great if you want to blend in with the environment.


Wedge Tarp

This tarp shelter is perfect for windy and rainy conditions. To build the wedge tarp shelter, stake down two corners of the tarp into the wind. Then tie up a line to the center  of the opposite side of the tarp.

Tie the remaining two corners down toward the ground. Use more cord and a less steep angle for open wings and better ventilation. Tie the last corners down sharply to protect you from harsh weather. This will make sure that the shelter is firmly in place.

Find a few rocks or heavy logs under the tarp by the first tie downs to create deeper basins to catch water. This shelter is a swelling and a water harvester.


Tarp Tipi

With some rope, wooden poles and a tarp can give you all you need to build one of the most mobile shelters that Native Americans have used called the tipi. The best part about this shelter is that it is mobile and you can move from location to location with this shelter, unlike the other shelters above.

Use any large fabric from a parachute material or a tarp. Then use a rope to bundle a few straight pole together or hook a few forked poles to lock in the first three or four poles.

Then place the poles in a circle around the main supports. Pull the tarp or other covering into place and tie down well. Try to adjust the frameworks so the tarp will cover the shelter completely.


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Here is a quick and easy shelter building video for you. This video will teach you how to build a basic wilderness survival shelters. This shelter will keep you warm and will protect you from harsh weather for sure. Enjoy the video!

Video about wilderness survival shelters: