Prepared Society Forum banner

Emergency shelters,,,let me count the ways

3888 Views 6 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  NaeKid
Sometimes one needs a more substantial shelter than what most tents can provide.

Someplaces defy setting up anything but a "stand alone" tent.

In a long term Bug Out scenario, something more substantial than a tent will be needed.

Sometimes one gets unexpectedly caught out in the woods during a cold night.

What kind of shelters can one put together in a short amount of time with only a knife?

Apache Wickieup: Good when there is a stand of young trees. Pull down the tops of the young trees, in a circular pattern and tie them together about 3-4 feet above the ground. Cut many small branches from neighboring trees and horizontally weave those limbs in and out among the vertical trees so as to basket weave walls. Leave a 2 foot hole at the top where the vertical tree tops are tied together. One can now, if time is available, vertically weave small branches into the walls to plug holes and make the shelter more windtight. Make sure that you leave a 2 foot opening at ground level as an entrance on the leeside (downwind).

This shelter takes approximately 2 hours to build, under optimal conditions!

I'll be back to post other shelters such as "Brush" and "Lean To" shelters. I would appreciate everybody's expertise added to this thread!
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Lean To's: Probably the quickest and easiest shelter to construct. The lean to also provides the least amount of shelter from the elements!!

Find 2 long poles (or cut down 2 young saplings) and place one end of each into the "notch" of a tree formed by a branch growing out from the trunk. Take other saplings/small long logs and lay them horizontally along the two support poles. Use cord or vines to tie the cross logs to the frame.

Face the opening side of the lean to downwind!

If you've a tarp, lay it across the lean to, if not, gather small branches from neighboring trees and weave them in and out of the cross timbers. You can also pile leaves on top of the "roof" to block the wind. There needs to be 2-3 feet of leaves to provide wind and rain protection.

If time is available, one can build wings on the sides by standing short logs vertically along the sides, lashed to the support timbers. Then weave in smaller branches horizontally among the vertical logs.

If time is available, a windbreak can be woven across the open side of the lean to, far enough back to allow safe spacing from a fire. The "lean to" design will reflect some of the heat of a fire into the "lean to" area.

The basic "lean to" can be built by one person in about one hour. Wings will require another hour to two hours. A windbreak across the front will require one to two hours. Under optimal conditions!!!
See less See more
A Hooch: Using a tarp or a GI poncho. Anchor one of the longer sides of the tarp or ponch to the ground with either stakes or lines to the bases of nearby trees. The closer the trees are to the length of the tarp or poncho, the better. Raise the tarp or poncho approximately half of it's length, and tie off the sides to nearby trees. Now fold the remaining half of the tarp or poncho, DOWNWIND, and tie off to nearby trees at a slightly inclined angle.

One can cut small saplings to lash between two trees to fold the tarp or ponch over to the downwind side. One can even fashion poles to tie the overhang to.

This will take approximately 30 minutes to put together.

Build a small fire in front of the opening, spread some insulating material (leaves, cedar boughs, etc) down inside of it, and spread your bedroll/sleeping bag out.

In some cases, with sufficient time, dig a long, shallow foxhole, where you're building the hooch, and then fill that with insulating material. You'll get more protection from the weather!

The foxhole will take approximately 1 hour to dig.
See less See more
How good are holes for shelter, is there a good way to make sure rain doesn't seep in? What if you laminate the interior but a hole is made in the lamination?
dig a trench around your shelter with a runoff canal downslope. That will carry rainwater away before it seeps into a foxhole shelter arrangement.
Another shelter that is quick, down, and dirty!! I don't have a name for it.

Find a large evergreen tree. Cut the lower limbs off on the downwind side, about 4 ft above the ground. Use the cut boughs to make a windbreak opposite of the tree and far enough from the trunk to allow room for bedding and a small fire. Use a tarp or a poncho to make a cover over the pklace that your bedding will be.

Additional small windbreaks can be constructed on the sides between the ground and the lower limbs of the trees.

The tree/boughs will provide protection from the elements above and on 3 sides. The lean-to will keep raindrops off your head, and will reflect heat from your campfire back to you. The windbreaks btreak the wind and provide cover from people passing nearby.

This would take 1-2 hours to make.
I carry rain ponchos and space-blankets (silver poly sheet) with me. I also carry some rope and duct-tape as well. Using the rope (twine, etc) I will tie the rope between trees and then use the space-blankets and the duct-tape to put it all together. The corners of the space-blankets can be held down with medium sized rocks.

The space blankets will keep the wind and rain off of you, and, if you build it right, it could help keep you alive for several days (provided you have sufficient water and food).

Rescuers will be able to locate the silver of the space-blanket easily from the air and also from the ground if they are looking in the right direction while hunting for you.
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.