All the emergency and disaster preparedness in the world means nothing if you don’t know the basics of survival skills like building an emergency shelter!
Emergency Shelter | A Step-By-Step Guide
Learn This Survival Skill and Never Be Without Shelter!
1. The first thing you will need is a ridge pole. Your pole should be very sturdy and as long as your height, plus your arm extended in the air.
2. Prop the ridge pole up on one end to give your feet extra room. You may also prop it on the ground, although not giving the pole the additional height creates a triangle with the ground that reduces your foot space.
3. Lay down on the ground and measure how long your ridge pole needs to be and mark out where your body is. It’s important to create a shelter that is the right size for you. You need to be able to fit in the shelter without having too much extra space. This is especially important when you’re stuck out in the cold. Your shelter needs to be small enough that your body temperature can heat the space and keep you nice and warm.
4. If the space inside is just enough, and there is not much room to move around, you did it right!
5. You will also need some Y-sticks to prop up the ridgepole at the other end. Make sure the Y-sticks are really solid and grounded – this is your framework. If you push your weight down on the Y-sticks and it falls over, you’ll need to find sturdier sticks.
6. The next thing you need to do is insulate yourself from the ground. Avoiding direct contact with the ground will help you maintain a more comfortable body temperature.
7. Leaves serve as a great insulator, but you will want to put them in before you build up the rest of the shelter.
8. Keep in mind that the leaves are going to compress. Make sure the compressed material beneath you is at least four fingers deep.
9. Now you need to add ribs to your debris shelter, which will provide structure on the sides and will give support to the leaves that will go on top.
10. Your ribs should be strong. Dead branches should work okay as long as they do not break or crumble. There will not be a ton of weight on the ribs, but the stronger the branches the smaller the chance that your shelter will fall apart.
11. You also want them to be fairly close together and not to extend very high above the ridge pole. If it rains and the ribs are too tall, water will penetrate the leaves and run inside the shelter. If the ribs are roughly the same height as the ridge pole, water will run down the sides.
12. The ribs do not necessarily have to be identical in size. As the triangular shape gets smaller towards the other end, shorter branches will fit in perfectly. If you come across a log with a large bend, make sure the curve stays on the outside. If the bend falls to the inside, it will take up a lot of space inside your shelter.
13. To prevent the leaves from falling off of your shelter, place smaller branches with the ends pointing up to help support the leaves.
14. Once you are finished with the ribs and lattice, you may add the leaves on top to insulate the shelter and help capture the body heat escaping from you.
15. Leaving the entrance open will allow heat to escape. A great option is to create a doorway and close it off as much as possible to reduce the amount of heat escaping. This will also allow you to build the leaves up and over the doorway.
16. To construct the door, gather four Y-sticks and create a framework on either side of the entrance. The purpose of the doorway is to reduce the size of the opening, so place them where there is just enough room for you to wiggle your way inside.
17. Once the Y-sticks are grounded, put sticks across the top and along the sides to finish off the frame.
18. Now you can add the last bit of leaves around the doorway. Be sure to start building from the bottom and work your way upward to prevent leaves from falling through.
19. When you have finished constructing the debris hut, crawl inside on your back, feet-first, and you’ll be all set in your shelter!
Watch this video by NorwegianBushcraft for another great idea on building an emergency shelter specifically during the winter time:
Our friend Dave Scott, who you may know from the Bushmaster Bible, is back again to teach you the best tips for your survival arsenal. Through his time as an instructor at the Earth Native Wilderness Survival School, Dave has become an expert on all things survival. We hope you enjoyed this post stuffed with his awesome tips to build an emergency preparedness survival shelter, which you can build with nothing more than what you can find in nature.
What do you think of this tutorial on building a DIY emergency shelter? Do you have other ideas on making temporary emergency shelters? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Up Next: DIY Super Shelter: Live Like a King in the Outdoors
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 9, 2014, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
A wickiup, also known as “tipi” or “teepee,” is a conical tent used by indigenous tribes a long time ago. Find out how to make a wickiup yourself!
Building A Wickiup | Creating Shelter for Survival
In this article:
What is a Wickiup?
The term “wikiup” originated from the Algonquian word “wikiyap” which means “dwelling house.” This type of shelter may be old but it’s definitely not outdated. During the olden times, Indian tribes use the wickiup as a shelter. This type of shelter allows you to build a fire inside without you suffocating. Its spacious area allows more than one person to sleep in it. This is the most fitting kind of a survival shelter in forests because it is easy to build and the materials to do so are readily available. It can be used as a temporary or a long-term home.
Location and Material Selection
Find a suitable place to build your shelter. It should be well above the waterline and away from any visible flood areas. You should also take care to check for animal tracks and other signs to avoid any late night visitors. And, don’t forget to collect branches for your campfire and all the other things you’ll be needing to maximize the hours left while the sun is up.
The base of your shelter is important because it will keep your house standing firm. Your wickiup is cone-shaped, so you should design the frame like a tripod. Use three strong poles or wood available around you and build a tripod that will secure its place. For it to be stable, look for strong vines that will hold your tripod in place, preventing it from being dislocated. Tie it around the upper end of your frame and spread apart the other ends of the poles to make a space for you to get in. You can also use rocks to keep your frame from falling apart.
Animal skins are the material normally used for covering a wickiup but there are plenty of other options available in the wild. Branches, debris, and even moss are all fantastic options for covering. It’s also a great idea to keep a few contractor trash bags in your kit because they make an incredible covering that holds in heat and makes it waterproof. This will provide you with insulation and protection from severe weather conditions. Make sure not to leave holes or spaces to keep the heat from escaping, providing you warmth inside.
Look for large leaves or even small branches to create a nest for you to sleep on inside. Don’t collect branches or leaves with spikes or sharp ends to avoid discomfort and injuries. Make sure to have sufficient space for you to lie on.
Add additional poles or wood to keep the debris stable. This will also support your framing. You can add another layer of debris to make sure the insulation is enough. Add leaves to avoid raindrops from running through your covering. Always store extra wood in case your fire burns it all up.
See how comfy you can be in a wickiup in this video by Driftwood george:
Forgot to bring your tent for your camping trip? No problem! Now you know how to build a wikiup, you can just make one as your temporary shelter in the woods. It would be a fun and satisfying experience for sure. Just don’t forget to bring your survival food kit so you won’t starve.
Have you tried building a wickiup? What was the hardest part in making one? Share your experience in the comments section below!
Up Next: 14 survival shelters you can build for any situation
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on June 6, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
My first piece of advice on how to build a shelter from natural materials is to look around for something man-made. In my last article, we talked about the use of a vehicle or vessel to keep us safe. But there are times when Mother Nature provides a hollow cave or natural covering.
This time around, I’m going to share some of the experiences I’ve had when Lady Luck is smiling down on someone else. There are times when we wish to build primitive shelters from scratch primarily with natural materials, but we aren’t always successful in foraging for these.
Unless you’re trained in thatching roofs, chances are your survival shelter is going to let water in when it rains. A plastic bag buried in your purse or pocket will go a long way towards providing a precious bit of waterproofing.
How to Build a Shelter with the Materials Around You
Building A Teepee
This lovely leaf teepee that we built in the Smoky Mountains looks to be the epitome of primitive shelter building yet hidden beneath its lush foliage is a trash bag covering the apex. Thankfully it didn’t rain but it was very comforting to know that if it did we would remain dry, even if it meant sitting upright and back to back. As the weather turned out to be dry I sometimes wish we had lain down on the trash bag instead as were eaten alive by chiggers on this expedition. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
In my experience, bindings made from roots or vines are rarely as robust as commercially manufactured strings, ropes, and cords. You may think that you don’t have anything like that with you, but take a look at your clothes. Your clothing is your first line of defense in any survival situation and not just in the most literal sense– what are you wearing that you could adapt and use?
A little trick that Myke taught me is to replace my boot laces with 550 paracords and wrap a few extra lengths round for good measure. It’s a pain in the backside if you ever have to travel through airport security but a lifesaver out in the bush. Even if you don’t have 550 cord, your regular shoelaces will work wonders in tying the struts of your shelter together. As will fabric strips ripped from the bottom of a shirt or skirt. A single string of 550 cord cinched together the top of this teepee in the Smokies. Always be sure to retrieve your cord, natural or otherwise, when you move on.
Another useful tip, though glaringly obvious, is making sure your shelter is big enough for you to fit into.
A single person can crunch into a remarkably small place, albeit with some discomfort, but if you’re making a temporary home for more than one person or your whole family it’s a good idea to test it out size wise. As a mother, I’m always thinking things like, “Would my little boy cope with this? Would this type of shelter work if he was with us?”
This is Myke and I testing our shelter for size. Well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
Using A Poncho For Shelter
One of my absolute favorite items of clothing because its multi-faceted nature is the military poncho, yet I had never even heard of one before I met my husband. These days I carry one in my car, my camping kit, my survival bag and we have several others littered around the house that our boy plays in. In addition to keeping you dry, a poncho has many potential uses in a survival situation; a rucksack, a raft, a tarp, a medical stretcher and a smokehouse, to name but a few. And they make quick and awesome survival shelters. You can string one up in whatever manner you fancy or if you don’t have enough cord to construct a ‘tent’ just lay one over any primitive shelter that you have made to act as extra waterproofing.
Here in Alaska, we strung one between two trees and then I filled the open sides with large leaves to help keep the heat in. When using a poncho in wet climes be sure to tie off the hood so you don’t get leaks. Conversely, when it’s scorching prop the hood open so it acts as a vent.
There, of course, might be times when you do have next to nothing on you or with you that you can use and you have to create a shelter from what you have around you. My least favorite is the debris shelter, but sometimes there is no choice. For those who don’t know, a debris shelter is created by basically scraping up old branches and leaves and piling them into a rudimentary shield against the elements. We used one once when we were caught in a sudden tropical storm in Dominica. Itchy, uncomfortable and wet.
Using old branches and logs has obvious risks, other things are also likely to be using them as a home – sometimes stinging insects and arachnids but I have also seen lethal poison dart frogs in old logs in the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica. I also once sat on a fer de lance in a fallen tree in the Peruvian Amazon. This snake kills more people in South America than any other. Not what you want as a bedfellow.
Building A Lean-t0
Another basic shelter to make when you’re too exhausted to do anything else or perhaps when the light is fading is the ‘lean-to’. I was making this one on a Lost Survivors shoot for Travel Channel as the sun was going down in the Appalachians in Kentucky. The main spine was an old tree trunk that had fallen and caught on another tree (not fallen to the ground) then I placed cut branches and leaves to form the back wall. It was another night on the forest floor, which is never ideal but the shelter blocked a harsh wind that was kicking up.
On a separate trip to Kentucky, we wove a kind of cocoon out of river cane. We stuck either end of the canes into the ground to create a series of arches and then wove thinner more supple pieces of cane between the struts to make the walls. You can use this technique with any kind of reed or wood that is pliable enough, willow for example.
In the close-up picture of me standing in front of it, you can see pretty flowers embedded in the walls. This wasn’t an attempt to create bucolic loveliness out in the wilds but rather an eye-saving mechanism, the cut cane was razor sharp and the flowers marked the dagger-like ends.
It is without a doubt better to sleep up off the floor if you can. Even a layer of cut branches on the ground will insulate you from the cold. Another very important reason to be up is so you are not in the path of creatures that could otherwise hurt or kill you. This is particularly true in tropical jungles and swamps.
My favorite shelter of all time was one we built on the edge of a beach in Aitutaki in the South Pacific. It was a platform protruding at one end from the top of some pandanus tree prop roots and supported at the other by tripods we made by lashing three sticks together. The roof was a separate structure, a bit like a carport, crafted from palm leaves.
Building A Platform Shelter
Pandanus trees are great for shelter making, they look a little like palm trees but have these mangrove style prop roots. It’s the roots that are special, they are both sturdy and bendy. We made the cross slats of the platform from these roots. Once they were covered in palm fronds, it was like sleeping in a bed. They bounce a little when you lay down. Wonderful!
The mosquitoes in Aitutaki were bad, the noise was like the whirring of a cheap hairdryer. All night long.
However, the view in the morning made life a little easier to bear.
The first time I visited the Amazon rainforest we constructed a more elaborate version of the Aitutaki platform shelter. Unlike in our South Sea haven Amazonian land animals like to bite you, sting you and eat you.
Quick Tip: Bringing Fire Into Your Shelter
Getting off the ground is an essential, not a luxury.
Fire is also vital for protection in the deep jungle. Though our platform was too high to feed a fire without having to climb down, repeatedly, to the forest floor.
A problem exacerbated that we had our boots off at night to dry out our feet and prevent jungle rot.
Mike came up with the ingenious solution of having the fire in the shelter with us!
We built another mini wood platform on our sleeping platform. Afterward, we daubed a layer of thick clay on top of it to prevent the fire from burning through. We had very few insect problems because it also acted as a smudge fire. A fair bit of the smoke was trapped in the shelter with us because of the roof. We didn’t wake to the same amazing view as in Aitutaki. Thanks to our choice of shelter we made it through the night without becoming dinner for a jaguar.
Watch this video by J&J acres on how to build a teepee:
There is no blueprint for shelter building. Terrain and circumstance will dictate the final structure. If I look back over the years and remember every single one that I’ve slept in, each one was different, each had its own set of quirks, foibles, discomforts, and itches. You rarely sleep well in a wilderness shelter but out in the wilds, it is always better to have one than not.
Do you trust in these methods of building a shelter? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Up Next: Survival Shelters: Things You Need To Know
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2014 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
You may have heard the words “shelter in place” used often over the news or during an emergency situation. But do you really know what this means? Are you fully aware of what you need to do in case you find yourself in such a situation?
Sheltering in place is a short-term solution to address a biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological threat. Individuals that are under such hazards immediately need to seek shelter inside a nearby enclosed structure. Once inside, they would have to close all the doors, windows, and potential ventilation. The objective is to keep all contaminated outside air from seeping inside.
The following tips below will help you take the necessary actions in sheltering in place effectively.
Shelter in Place Tips to Keep You Safe
1. Learn How To Shelter in Place at Work, at Home, or in Your Vehicle
You can be almost anywhere when the local authorities sound the Shelter in Place alarm. It is best that you are knowledgeable enough to handle such a situation wherever you may be.
2. Check Your Home Emergency Kit
Other than the basics, your home emergency kit should contain pet food, OTC drugs for your members with prescription needs, water purification tablets, anti-nuclear radiation potassium iodide tablets, and an ABC rated Fire Extinguisher, just to name a few.
3. Include Documents in your Emergency Kit
Important documents like medical and immunization records, insurance cards, spare keys, extra cash, and a map are essential elements that should be part of your kit. Most especially if you have a family member with serious/on-going medical conditions.
4. Choose a Safe Room
If you can’t have a standard safe room installed, choosing a particular room in your home that has the fewest or no windows at all would be the next best thing. A master bedroom would be an ideal location for a safe room.
5. Prepare a Safe Place for Your Pets
Make sure the safe place is pet-friendly. Get rid of any plants or toxic chemicals. Block places where your pets might get stuck in if they get frightened like vents or underneath heavy furniture.
6. Check for Warning Systems
It is important to know whether or not you can see and hear the warning systems in your locality. Your local government may have sirens or warning lights installed in your area. Knowing where these are and how they sound like is critical for higher chances of survival.
7. Prepare a Family Emergency Plan
Advance preparation and constant shelter in place drills will make you and your family prepared with what to do, where to go, how, and where to find each other. Most importantly, plot out how you can all communicate with each other if you part ways and require seeking shelter in another place.
8. Stockpile Adequate Supplies for You and Your Family
At least a 3-day supply will get you through such a situation. Make sure you also have supplies for specific needs for persons with disabilities or medical needs.
9. Stockpile Bathroom Tissue
This item is often overlooked and somehow preppers realize its importance when it’s already too late. This will show you how to come up with a figure on how much tissue you should have in your stockpile. It will depend on how many people are in your house and how much BT you use on a daily basis.
10. Purchase Additional Medical Supplies
You must have extra medical supplies just in case. Disposable gloves, rubber or nitrile gloves, N100 masks, and disinfectants such as hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, and bleach. Other items such as duct tape, plastic sheeting material, and tarps are also equally important.
11. Invest in Solar Lanterns
Solar lanterns are the most effective and cheapest way to keep your home sufficiently lit during a blackout. You would not worry about batteries anymore and it should be bright enough for you to find your way around without stumbling.
12. Have a Store-A-Potty Ready
This 72-hour emergency toilet kit has an airtight lid, snap-on toilet seat, a 3 day supply of biohazard bags, and deodorizer packets. Other than making sure you have enough food and water, you can keep your health in tip-top shape through proper sanitation and hygiene.
13. Form a Personal Support Network
Support teams can consist of family, co-workers, friends, and caretakers. Inform them of your emergency plan and give them a set of extra keys to your home. Provide a copy of all important documents and medications to at least one out-of-state contact.
14. Prepare an Evacuation Plan
Once authorities order that it is clear to vacate the place where you’re sheltering in you must know where to go next. Designate meeting places outside your neighborhood. Prepare alternate exit routes in case the ones you’re traveling at might be inaccessible.
15. Close the Business or Worksite
This is the first thing you should do. Ask the customers to stay. List down all the names of those who are with you in the room and contact your business designated emergency contact to let them know who is with you. Include their affiliation in your business.
16. Close and Activate the School’s Emergency Plan
This should be a plan that needs regular practice so students and faculty would know what to do in case of an emergency. Employees should be familiar with the building’s mechanical systems to turn them off and have it sealed immediately.
17. Stay in Your Vehicle
If it’s not possible to go to a building or your home, the safest and quickest way possible is for you to stay in your vehicle. Park in the safest place you could find. If possible under a shaded area. Turn off the engine, close the windows and vents. Grab your emergency kit and listen to the radio.
18. Follow Protective Actions and Protective Actions Guides
What can you learn from the Radiation Emergency Medical Management (REMM) site? Find out –> https://t.co/Be6KFLhBal pic.twitter.com/MG1sfrCuPn
The United States Department of Health and Human Services have a set of guidelines put together by the Radiation Emergency Medical Management or REMM. This will enable you to follow various ways to protect your family if you need to seek shelter in another place.
19. Seal Doors, Windows, and Air Vents with Plastic Sheeting
Using duct tape and plastic sheeting seal all doors, windows, outlets, vents, and other possible entry points of outside air. If plastic is not available you can use a wet towel.
20. Turn Off Cooling, Heating, and Ventilation Systems
Never forget to switch off these systems first prior to sealing doors and windows. Without doing so may bring contaminated outside air directly into your home. Don’t forget the fireplace damper as well.
21. Play the Game of Monkey See Monkey Do
This is for a typical school scenario. For a teacher, keeping the kids quiet and not worry about their parents is quite difficult. Playing this game may somehow catch their attention and keep them still, thus avoiding much more unnecessary dangers.
This is for a college setting with a shooter scenario. You will have to run to the nearest room. Lock the door behind you and switch your phone to “silent or vibrate mode.” Hide under a desk or furniture. Should you be under threat of the intruder, be ready to fight with anything that you can use as a weapon.
23. Convert a Regular Wet/Dry Vacuum into an Air Filter
As long as the vacuum has a HEPA filter installed, it will clean out the air drawn from outside. The air that will exit the exhaust port and blow into the flow-room will most likely be free of airborne viruses.
24. Wear an N95 Respirator Mask
This mask supposedly protects the wearer against airborne contaminants (0.3 microns in size) by 95%. Since it is disposable, it is best that you stockpile a few boxes for you and your family. This item should also be part of your emergency survival kit.
25. Stay Off the Phone Unless it is Completely Necessary
Trying to contact your loved ones can clog up the telephone lines which is critically needed by emergency personnel. Unless of course there is a fire, police, or medical emergency in your site. The school or workplace has systems for keeping your children or other family members protected in case they need to shelter in place.
26. Monitor Local TV and Radio Stations
Keeping updated on what is happening is important. This will enable you to make the necessary decisions that will make or break you and your family’s survival. Having a NOAA public alert radio is also important.
27. Prevent Boredom and Cabin Fever
Have board games, dance videos, playing cards, puzzles, and the like prepared to keep you and your family preoccupied while waiting for the clear out from authorities. You’ll never know when you might need them. It may take longer than you expect.
28. Once Given the “All Clear” Signal
Before exiting the structure, open all doors, windows, vents, and turn on the heating as well as the air conditioning system. Let the air out while waiting outside for about 15 to 30 minutes before re-entering.
29. Evacuating After the “All Clear” Signal
Identify the paths to the nearest exit prior to the “All Clear” signal. Stay together and exit in an orderly fashion. Never use the elevators. Once outside account for every person present and immediately report any missing person.
30. Report to the Evacuation Reception and Care Center
Register your name even if you do not plan to stay there. Family and friends that might be looking for you can proceed to the designated center. This will make their search much easier.
These are just a few basic tips that will help you go through the before, during, and after sheltering in place emergency procedure. There are many more methods you can find over the internet should you want to know more details. Overall, the ones aforementioned will surely be life-savers for you and those around you. It is best to be ready even before a disaster happens.
You must have known some of these shelter in place tips before coming across this article. Tell us about it in the comments section below!
Up Next: 13 Winter Survival Methods To Keep You Warm
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
There is probably no stopping your now from building a bug out cabin or a secret survival shelter. With all that’s happening around us, anyone can dream of having a place to wait out an SHTF scenario but few get around to doing it. If you have the means and serious desire about having a good contingency plan when SHTF, you should have your own bug out cabin or retreat. If you are dead-set on getting yourself a survival shelter but have no idea how to get started, these tips are just what you need!
What You Need to Know to Build the Ultimate Bug Out Cabin!
Top Tips for Good Bug Out Locations
There may be a multitude of reasons for you to leave home and head for a safer place. It only makes sense to have a survival shelter away from it all; one to get you through rough times especially if your main house is destroyed. Choosing the right location to build your survival retreat is, therefore, a critical decision. Before you dive in too deep, consider these tips for finding the right bug out location.
1. Security of the Location
Your survival shelter or bug out cabin should be hidden from view. If you have a good spot for an underground bug out shelter, much better. If not, at least see to it that you have a good view of the surroundings. You should be able to see what or who is coming your way. This also makes defending your place easier.
2. Distance to the Location
It is a well-known fact among preppers and survivalists that when you bug out, your cabin or camp should not be easy for others to spot. However, it should not be too far from your home either. Remember that in an emergency situation, time is of the essence. You do not want to get caught up while on your way to safety. Look up the areas or states nearest to your place that are best to bug out.
3. Accessible Water Source
Water is essential to survival so the best bug out spot should have a reliable water source. This is why some of the most recommended locations are located in the mountains, where rivers and streams flow through.
Building a super secret survival cabin requires you to work with the environment of the location you picked. There should be vegetation around the area you want your cabin built. The materials you will pick for your building should also match the dominant color of the surroundings.
You shouldn’t only be safe from economic or natural disaster threats. You should also be safe from diseases and contaminants from a dirty location. This is why low lands and wetlands are a no-no for bug out. You should be able to clean your location easily to maintain hygiene.
6. Climate and Natural Disaster Threats
As we’ve stated, water is important, so you wouldn’t want to bug out in desert or arid areas. If it’s too frozen on the other hand, it will be more difficult to maintain a bug out cabin. You also have to forget areas that are too prone to natural disasters. Hawaii, for example, has an active volcanic activity. You might also want to avoid the tornado alley or the hurricane path.
7. Food Source and Production Potential
Now, it is very important to consider food sources when building a bug out cabin. It is good to note that wherever there is a spring or natural water supply, plenty of food sources like fruit-bearing plants and trees can be found. Animals will also be close by. Areas where there are fertile lands are also ideal for growing your own food supply.
8. Best Survival Locations
Considering the previous tips for picking the perfect bug out location, we now point you to the specific states to go when SHTF. Based on the opinion and study of survival experts, the following states are best for bugging out:
Northern Idaho–The majestic mountains of Idaho and western Montana
Oregon–One of the best prepper locations
Ohio–One thing: Amish
Colorado–The Rocky mountains
Western Dakota–Less population and low real state prices
Northern Arizona–The nearest best place to bug out in Southwestern US
Eastern Kentucky–Appalachian mountains
9. Worst Survival Locations
Based on the opinion and study of survival experts, the following states are worst for bugging out:
Rhode Island–Too small and too populated
Wyoming–Too flat and windy
Florida–Too populated and too many hurricanes
Texas–Too hot and too open
Hawaii–Too far and a bad place to be in when SHTF
California–Too populated and also a bad place to be in when SHTF
New York–Same as California
Tips for Building a Bug Out Cabin
You know by now building a bug out cabin is not a walk in the park. Heck, it could be a walk in the great big national forests of Alaska! But a well-thought-out bug out cabin plan or design will save you money and a lot of trouble. Here are tips to build an effective bug out cabin.
1. Use T-11 Siding in Construction with Support
Use construction adhesive when using T-11 siding to keep the nails tightly spaced. This will prevent critters from pecking on the siding where bugs can enter.
2. Screen Gable Ends
Be sure to critter-proof your cabin if you don’t want your supplies ruined by them. Seal or block those areas either with sheet metal or mesh screens.
3. Minimize Vents and Screen Them Well
A normal house needs to breathe but you can’t afford this luxury in a bug out cabin. Any point of access can be used by critters to seek entry into your cabin and destroy it.
4. Seal Rafters Eaves
Another attractive point of access for critters are the rafter eaves. You also have to find ways to seal up or screen the opening.
5. Caulk the Edge of a Metal Roofing
Apply waterproof caulking on a metal roof to avoid freezing and ripping the roof off if water gets accumulated and frozen in the gutter.
6. Locate the Chimney Near a Ridge
A chimney is better located near a ridge to avoid buildup of ice and snow.
7. Seal the Crawl Space
The crawl space is also an entry point for critters and can even be a breeding ground for snakes and other critters. Seal the underside of the floor with a metal sheet or steel mesh.
8. Pressure-Treat Wood Materials
Using pressure-treated wood for your cabin will not only protect it from water damage, it will also make it critter-proof.
9. Secure Your Cabin Entries
Some prowlers can come and seek entry to your cabin. Make that super difficult for them so they will just leave the cabin alone. Frame your shutters and doors in angle iron and carriage bolts. Another layer of doors is also a smart idea.
10. Build Hiding Spots
Even with your reinforcement, some prowlers may still get in. Add built-in hiding places to your place to make it difficult for prowlers to find your supplies.
11. Install Flashing on Roof and Screen All Vents
Use steel roofing and flashing for a sturdy roof over your head. Screen the vents well.
12. Use Sturdy Screws and Metal Fasteners
Use Simpson type metal fasteners and screws instead of ordinary nails for better-supported roofing.
13. Consider a Root Cellar
Let’s go old school and opt for a root cellar. Many pioneers survived on their own with a root cellar included in their building plans. Secure its door with a steel frame, too.
14. Add Locks for Security
With a sturdy door, you need to add one more element to keep it inaccessible from unauthorized persons. Use a sturdy padlock and Hasp set for this.
15. Planning for Long-Term
You’ll never know how long you are going to wait out a crisis out so you can try to add a few more supplies. Try adding a wood burning stove, an indoor garden, and solar power for a little bit of comfort far out in the woods.
Watch the step-by-step guide on how to build an ultimate bug out cabin in this video from Drop Forged Survival:
A well-planned bug out cabin can help not only you or your family, but a few others you might want to bring along. With these tips and ideas, you can build a bug out cabin and perhaps use it as a wilderness retreat for now. Build a bug out cabin now because who knows when you might need it!
Will you consider these tips for your own bug out cabin project? We’re excited to know how your project is working out in the comments section below!
Up Next: How To Build DIY Survival Shelters To Survive Through The Night
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on October 20, 2014, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
Dugout houses make you invisible to trouble such as wild animals, and they also naturally stabilize heat, serving as your protection. Various stories will tell us about how people survived by living in pit-houses. Even soldiers who were away on war lived in a dugout for some time. This survival shelter is flexible for any kind of situation. With the proper design and structure, it will help you survive. In order for you to create a dugout in case SHTF, we share a helpful survival life guide.
Dugout Survival Shelter | A Survival Life Guide
Scan for the Perfect Spot
You’re going to be digging a lot so make sure the soil is not very sandy because it could break apart easily. Look for a ground where the soil holds together firmly. Avoid building around bodies of water. You might accidentally create a hole allowing the water to flow in your dugout house.
Look for Materials
Aside from your survival kit, you need something strong and sharp to break the ground and a shovel — or you can make use of your hands for digging. Make sure you have a sharp material for cutting branches or scout for available ones scattered in the area. Collect leaves or debris as your roofing material.
You’re going to dig a lot so expect to get all worked up. Dig a furrow about 8 to 10 feet deep or until space is big enough for you and your company to fit in. Make sure to leave a slope or space as your entrance and exit pathway.
Add debris and leaves inside your shelter so you won’t sleep on the cold hard floor (err, dirt). Create a nest-like crib (a dugout mattress!) that suits your comfort level. This will also add up to the heat requirement your body demands.
Put in logs or branches over the furrow you made. Also, add enough leaves and debris to cover it all up. This will serve as a camouflage for your dugout shelter, keeping you safe from the elements. Your entrance and exit pathway must remain uncovered for a quick escape in times of risk or even serve as a space for your bonfire.
Watch this video by Chandan Lahiri and learn to make a sand dugout in case a sandstorm hits your location:
During a pressing situation, a dugout shelter can be your best bet for survival. This temporary housing is quite easy to build while you’re out in the wilderness. Sure, you’ll get worked up as you dig for your temporary home but a dugout shelter can be a great option to protect you from all the elements outdoors.
Have you tried building a dugout shelter before? How was your experience? Let us know in the comments section below!
Up Next: 10 Critical Points You Need To Know About Building Any Natural Shelter
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 10, 2017 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
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