How to Build a Survival Shelter

by | May 10, 2019 | Blog, Survival Kit | 1 comment

When the horde is finally unleashed, you won’t always know where you’re gonna be bedding down for the night. If you are stranded in the wilderness, you’ll need shelter to protect you from the elements and hide you from the undead until it’s time to move. In this post, we will show you how to build a survival shelter using natural materials.

Building a survival shelter using tree branches

This is the most common type of survival shelter. Before we show you other ways to make a shelter, we would like to show you how you can use tree branches to make a survival shelter.

Select a spot to build a shelter

In your immediate area, you may find a place where you can build a survival shelter. Make sure the area is decently flat, and has a tree splitting its trunk a few feet off the ground. If you want to know how to build a survival shelter, first of all you have to select a suitable spot.

And if there is no such tree in the area, you have other ways. Take a “Y” shaped branch and stick it into the ground. It will simulate a split trunk.

Try to find two trees that have low split trunks. They should be within 10 feet from one another. And if you do not find this set up, just a tree in a flat area will do. If these conditions are met, you can easily figure out how to build a survival shelter.

If you can, build the shelter near a stable rock. It will not only reduce wind exposure but also help keep the shelter warm.

It is important to choose a flat ground. Avoid bottoms of valleys and tops of hills.

Use a long, thick and straight tree branch

Make sure the branch is about 10 feet long and 3 to 6 feet thick. It should be sturdy because it will support the shelter. You are really lucky if you have a survival knife. If you can use your knife as a wood saw, saw down the branch and make it straight.

Place the branch in the “V” of one tree

Place an end of your branch in the “V”. As the branch moves upward, the trunk splits from this part. The “V” should be about 5 feet off the ground. If you do not find a tree with this shape, you can use a long stick with a “V” shape and place it against the tree. The end of the branch should be placed in this “V”.

You can make the branch more secure by tying it with vines or rope. If there is no tree with a split trunk nearby, tie the branch to a side of a tree. If you do this, you must use strong tying material.

Do the same with the other end of the branch

When this end of the branch is placed in the “V” of the tree, a horizontal frame will be created. And if this end is left on the ground, you will have an “A” frame. But that frame will be a bit smaller.

Lean some long branches on the main branch

Relatively thin branches are the best. Make sure they about 2 inches in diameter. Lean all the branches at 50 degree angle. They are the “ribs” of your shelter. Make sure that the angle is not less than 45 degrees. In that case, you will end up making a bigger shelter, which you do not need.

You will find it easy to keep warm if your shelter is small. When you lie down in the shelter, you should be able to lean on your side.

Along the sides of the main branch, place some smaller sticks. Between the ribs, there will no longer be any space if you place the sticks properly. Make sure these sticks are at least one inch in diameter. After that, Place some insulation over the branches. You can use leaves, twigs, mud or brush as insulation.

Making a snow shelter

When it comes to figuring out how to build a survival shelter, we must talk about making a snow shelter. If you get stuck in a snow-covered region, you will have to build a snow shelter. It will protect you from the extremely cold temperature. Now we will show you how you can build a snow shelter.

Build an 8 feet high pile of snow

Your eventual shelter will not collapse easily if you build a round-shaped pile. Once you have finished building the pile, poke some sticks through the dome’s top. When you hollow the inside, these sticks will work as guide sticks.

It is better if you can mix partially melted snow with frozen snow. If you can do it, your shelter will have a harder surface.

Poke some sticks through the mound

When you hollow out the inside, these sticks will keep the walls of the shelter equally thick. To make sure that the thickness is optimal, use some 2 feet long sticks. Throughout the outside of the mound, poke these sticks. Make sure the distance between the sticks is at least 2 feet.

If you can, give the snow some time to freeze

When you pile the snow, it partially melts. You will get a sturdier shelter if you allow it to freeze. In a more urgent situation, give it at least 20 minutes to partially freeze. And if the situation is not really urgent, allow it a couple of hours to freeze. The shelter will be very strong.

Dig an entrance on the downhill side

On the side of the pile, dig a small hole with a snow shovel. You will use this hole to enter the shelter. If the entrance is placed on the downhill side, it will be sealed in case there is a snowstorm.

Hollow out the center and create a small enclosure

Remove snow from the inside of the mound and hollow out the center. As soon as you run into the guide stick, stop removing snow in that direction. Thus you can ensure the ideal thickness of the walls.

Do not make the walls too thin. Make sure sunlight is not visible through the walls.

For ventilation, make a small hole in the ceiling

Use an ice pick or thin trowel to make this hole. Do not make it too wide. The integrity of the structure will be maintained if the hole is in the center of the ceiling.

How to build a survival shelter in a sunny climate

If you get stuck in an area with a sunny climate, it is a lot easier to make a survival shelter. (Fingers crossed that Z-day doesn’t also come with blotting out the sun). We are going to show you the steps below.

Look for some branches

Make sure the branches are about 5 feet tall. With these branches, you will build the shelter pretty easily. If there is not much vegetation in the area, you can use shrubs. The branches are about 2 inches thick.

Branches shorter than 1.5 feet should not be used for this purpose. In that case, your shelter will be too short. You can easily figure out how to build a survival shelter if you find some branches.

Drive the branches into the ground

Make sure the branches form a square and serve as posts. To drive them, you can use a rock. If you can not drive them with a rock, dig a hole and make sure it is at least one foot deep. The branches should be at least 5 feet apart.

You can also make a triangle formation by using 3 branches. Make sure you do not break the branches when trying to hammer them into the ground.

If possible, tie lightweight branches

Between each pair of branches, tie a thin branch using parachute cord, if you can manage some. The roof will be less likely to fall down if you do it. In the absence of any tying material, you can also use thick blades of grass. Do not use branches thicker than 1 inch in diameter.

Lay some tarp on the structure

Make sure that the tarp does not fall off the shelter. You can place some small rocks on the corners. If you do not have access to a tarp, you can use some foliage. Your goal is to block out the sun.

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