Shelter Building

Feb 23, 2017

Seasonally Appropriate Shelters: Location, Location, Location


Protection from the elements is a very critical aspect when choosing the proper location for your shelter. The shelter, ideally, should be able to provide protection from rain, sun, wind and snowy conditions. Ensuring that your shelter is able to protect you from the weather is extremely important and is often overlooked by novice survivalists.

The location of your shelter should be free from all natural hazards. Imagine if a rock slide came crashing down on you while you were sleeping? Obviously the result will not be in your favour, to say the least. The general rule is that shelters should not be built in avalanche areas, under areas where rocks could potentially fall or near standing dead trees.  Anything that has the chance of falling on your shelter is hazardous and should be avoided at all costs.

If you are intending to burn fuel for heat within your shelter, then proper ventilation must also be assured so that you don’t build up carbon monoxide and accidentally poison yourself or your group mates! Ventilation is also needed for carbon dioxide exhaled when breathing. Properly insulating and ventilating your shelter will ensure that you retain heat from burning fuel and do not create any hazardous situations for yourself in the process of using the shelter for survival.

Natural shelters, such as caves or rock overhangs and large hollow logs, can be excellent locations for you to bunker down in. These natural shelters also have hazards associated with them though and you need to be aware of those potential issues. The most common hazards when dealing with natural shelters are wildlife (maybe a bear already lives in that cave and he likely isn’t willing to share his home), lack of proper ventilation, pockets of natural gas and overall structural stability. Some natural shelters may appear stable at first glance, but in reality could be unstable and ready to collapse at any moment. Assess the situation thoroughly before choosing your location!

If you take all of these facts into consideration when choosing the location for your shelter you will become a master of knowing where is safe to stay or build, and where is not. The same principles of building houses in a community can also be applied to building shelters in the wilderness, even though there are more considerations to think about when in a wilderness scenario.

Act smart! Use the skills and knowledge you have acquired to assist you when choosing a location and never, ever build a shelter where you have even the slightest concern about your safety or the safety of others. If you follow all of these guidelines you will be well on your way to becoming a skilled and well educated survivalist.

Stay Safe, Play Hard!


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