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Wilderness Survival Shelter

It's up to you to survive when alone in the wilderness.

A wilderness survival shelter is easy and quick to construct. An outdoor shelter can be fashioned from natural materials, and you don’t need any to create one. Caves or a natural windbreak can also be used. Regardless of which type of shelter you find or make, providing an escape from the elements is imperative.

Lean-to Shelter

A lean-to shelter is the easiest type of wilderness survival shelter to make. This type of shelter can be made with any material. Space Blankets like those found through Nitro-Pak will allow you to make a lean-to in minutes. The reflective material of a space blanket may also help rescue teams see you. A lean-to is a one-sided windbreak. Imagine a V lying on its side. The slanted line will be the part off the ground. Using a space blanket supported by a rope tied between two poles or trees you will have a ground cover as well. The point of the V can be held in place with a long stick or board or even your body.

Wigwam Shelters

Wigwam shelters are also quick and easy to construct. Sticks placed in a circle with one end on the ground and the top ends touching will form an upside down bowl shape. The outside of this dome can be covered with leaves, brush, space blankets or tarps. Unlike the lean-to, this shelter will allow you to have a small pit fire inside provided you leave a center top opening. The smoke from the fire must be allowed to escape from inside. The ground inside a wigwam shelter can be covered with evergreen branches, dried leaves or a space blanket.

Cave Shelters

Natural shelters including depressions, rock formation and caves will provide quick shelter in a pinch. Caves make excellent shelters, however you must check them carefully for animals before entering. In areas where bears are common even greater care must be exercised before deciding to enter caves. Animal dens are another option but again check them carefully. An upset fox or coyote is just as dangerous as a full-grown bear.

Snow Shelters

Snow can be used to make a wilderness survival shelter. Large drifts can be dug into, packing the snow as you dig to prevent it from collapsing. Snow bricks can also be made quickly and used to construct temporary shelter. It is warmer inside a snow cave than outside during a blizzard. If you find yourself stuck in the snow and have a space blanket and access to other natural materials such as flat rocks, you can create a spectacular shelter. Like the shelters built by Eskimos, proper construction of a snow shelter will allow you to have a small fire.

If you plan ahead, you might include a survival tent like the deluxe 8 foot tube tent available through Nitro-Pak in your survival gear. This small, portable tent will provide ground cover and a windbreak. It is easily set up and requires no separate poles only a couple of trees. If you can’t find those, any stick or post will do as well.

Hypothermia strikes fast and can be deadly. If you find yourself in an outdoor or wilderness emergency situation, your first priority will be to find or make a wilderness survival shelter.

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