When it comes to survival, shelter is one of the most important things to think about. The rule of 3’s states you can go 3 hours without shelter, and while this is not a hard and fast rule, it applies in a majority of situations.
When it comes to the different shelter ideas for preppers, the type of shelter depends on the type of situation you are in. This article goes into more detail about considerations for a good shelter, including Locations, resources, security, and sustainability.
While the home is where the heart is, and this is where we plan on being when disaster strikes, that may not be the case. Depending on the disaster scenario, and your location, you may have no other choice. This is why having the skills (and supplies) to build a survival shelter is so important.
Learning different methods of building shelter for a survival situation is important, but more important is applying those skills. If we are practicing preparedness skills today, we can make mistakes and learn. This is important because an SHTF scenario is no time to be making unnecessary mistakes.
I’m not going to go into much detail about you home because I wrote this article titled “Don’t Even Think about Bugging Out”. In that article I talked about how you should take care of your home base before you even begin to think about what it might be like leaving it.
Your home is where you feel safe, comfortable, and where you have all your supplies. Having to leave your home means having to leave a majority of your supplies, and adjusting to a new way of living. This could be a few days, or a few months, but regardless, adjustments will need to be made.
If something short-term like a natural disaster happens, we have a few options before we go to full blown bugging out. In short-term or localized events there may be places we can go on a temporary basis. We may have friends that live outside of the affected area, a hotel could also be an option, and although not ideal, there would be emergency shelter locations set up.
It’s a good idea to make a list of some of the places you may be able to go in a disaster situation, but you also need to consider how you will get there. Earthquakes and hurricanes could make roads impassable, meaning driving won’t be an option. Think about the different routes you would take, both on foot as well as driving.
Bug out Locations
Having a set bug out location is a reality for some preppers, but a dream for most. I wrote an article at Survivalist Prepper about our plans for putting together a bugout location, which at this point is a 5-acre plot of dirt.
It’s hard enough these days to pay for your main home, let alone purchase another one. With that said, a bug out location is a great way to ensure you could be away from population, and not have to live like a refugee or nomad.
As I stated in that article, a bug out location needs to be sustainable, have available resources, secure and secluded and most importantly needs to be owned outright. If you have the money, you could buy a cabin in the woods, or you could buy a plot of land, and build it up over time.
One of the most unlikely, but very popular topic among preppers is temporary or survival shelter. This is because of the number of skills you can learn, and it’s just downright fun to do. When it comes to survival shelters, your only limitations are your imagination, and the supplies available.
There are basic shelters like debris huts and lean-to’s that are mainly thought of in a wilderness setting, but the same ideas can be used in an urban area. In a wilderness setting you would have branches, leaves, and rocks. In an urban area you might have 2×4’s, sheet metal and pipes to work with.
Possibly more important than they type of shelter you build, is its location. You need to make sure you are protected from natural dangers, as well as manmade dangers. A survival shelter needs to protect you from the elements, and be secure enough to protect you from predators, human and otherwise.
Shelter in your BOB
Every good bug out bag has some sort of shelter included. This could be a tarp, a tent, a rain poncho, or extra clothing. A good bug out bad also has the supplies you might need to make a shelter more sustainable like fire starting supplies, food, water, and light.
A bug out bag is basically a micro preparedness plan, and should include the 6 areas of preparedness. When your home is your shelter, you have quite a few options, when you have your preparedness plan in a bag, you need to put a little more thought into what you can, and cannot take with you.
Dress to Survive
One often overlooked aspect of shelter is the clothing on your back. We tend to overlook this because it’s a habit (and common sense) to dress warmer when it’s cold. Along with the clothes I have in my bug out bag, I always keep an extra coat, socks, and a heavy shirt in my truck.
Another thing I do is keep some of my older camping supplies in my truck. I have a small propane grill, a 1-man tent, and other miscellaneous supplies. What you keep all depends on the room you have to store it, but my though is, it won’t do me any good sitting in the garage.