When we think about surviving an emergency situation, water and food are often the first thoughts that enter our minds. Hopefully, you’ve already taken care of stockpiling both to help you and your family get through a crisis that could last anywhere between several hours and a few months.
But if you think about it, a healthy human being can survive for several weeks without food and a few days without water. What you may not be able to survive for more than a few hours are the elements. You may find yourself in a situation where you need immediate shelter from extreme heat or cold, wind, rain, snow or enemy observation. It’s important to know, in advance, how to construct shelters with little more than a poncho, canvas or parachute, some poles and rope.
I’ve managed to track down a U.S. Army Survival Manual. If you check out pages 38-52, you’ll find instructions on how to build a variety of survival shelters. Depending on how much material you have, what your surroundings are and from what you are trying to protect yourself, one of these shelters could be right for you and your situation.
Here is a list of the 14 Best Survival Shelters that you can build:
- Poncho Lean-To — Make sure the back of the lean-to is into the wind
- Poncho Tent — Provides a low silhouette
- Three-Pole Parachute Tepee — Provides protection and can act as a signaling device
- One-Pole Parachute Tepee — When you only have one pole to work with
- No Pole Parachute Tepee — You’ll need a tree for this
- One-Man Shelter — Requires a tree and three poles
- Parachute Hammock — Three trees would make it more stable than two
- Field-Expedient Lean-To — Takes longer, but provides good protection against the elements
- Swamp Bed — Ideal when in a swamp or marsh
- Natural Shelters — Look for caves, rocky crevices, clumps of bushes, etc.
- Debris Hut — One of the best shelters for warmth and ease of construction
- Tree-Pit Snow Shelter — Need a digging tool
- Beach Shade Shelter — Protects against the sun, wind, rain and heat
- Desert Shelter — Use a poncho, canvas or parachute, along with terrain features.
Let me know if any of these shelters have worked well for you. And please feel free to share information about other shelters with which you’ve had good success.