Aside from taking care of a life-threatening medical emergency, creating some kind of shelter to protect you from the elements is almost always the highest priority in a survival situation. There are lots of different options when it comes to making a shelter, but here are a few quick tips that can help you learn to take advantage of natural resources and avoid unnecessary exposure to a dangerous environment.
- To avoid overheating or getting too cold as you’re moving through the backcountry, learn to seek shelter instinctively. During the heat of a summer day, walk where there is shade. When it’s cold, soak up as much sunshine as possible.
- Animals do this intuitively, and so should you — automatically take advantage of natural shelter. Hide from the rain or snow beneath dense foliage or below an overhang. Find protection from the wind on the lee side of a boulder or cliff.
- If you are in one place for any length of time, spend a little effort every day to improve the shelter aspects of camp. Arrange the shelter so it takes full advantage of either sun or shade, depending upon what you need most. Use tender boughs or forest duff to fix up a comfortable sleeping area. Erect barriers to turn away the wind and rain.