14 Survival Shelters You Can Build For Any Situation

Have you ever heard someone talk to you about survival shelters? You might have just brushed them off and said to yourself, why not just put up a tent, right? Wrong. Check out why in this post!

Building Survival Shelters To Live Through Adversity

If you find yourself in the most unlikely circumstance where building a survival shelter matters the most, and you only have minimal equipment with you, what would do? I hope I caught your attention because I’m about to show you different survival shelters you can build for any situation. Remember, you have to learn how to choose a strategic location before setting up any form of survival shelter. A location that is:

  • A few yards away from a body of water (if there is any)
  • Free from possible hazards like insects, predators, landslides, etc.
  • With high elevation
  • With more than a handful of materials

But if circumstances would not permit then digging right in where you stand will do. So, let’ start shall we?

1. A Tarp Shelter

A Tarp Shelter | 14 Survival Shelters You Can Build For Any Situation
image via brads_walk

If you have a tarp or a poncho with you, you can set up a tarp shelter in just two minutes. First, anchor down the back side of the tarp facing the wind to ensure your tent won’t be blown away. Second, set up a stick on the other end which will act as an entrance, then tie the tip of the stick with a string or rope with the other end anchored down at a 45-degree angle. This is also a fairly easy shelter to break down if you’re always on the move. Or you could just tie a rope in between two trees and place your tarp over it anchoring all sides on the ground.

2. A Debris Shelter

A Debris Shelter | 14 Survival Shelters You Can Build For Any Situation
image via offthegridnews.com

The word “debris” itself explains the material you need. Find a ridge pole and elevate one end with two sturdy forked branches or a small pole forming an elongated triangular form. Place branches on either side of the pole down to the ground from end to end. When done, cover the ribs with debris to keep yourself insulated when inside. Cover it again with more branches if you want to.

3. Spider Shelter

This shelter is similar to a debris shelter but has an extra dome-like structure at the front. It gives you extra room for you to sit up, cook, or more space for your gear. It is also the type of survival shelter for medium to long term use because you can actually upgrade it depending on the situation.

4. A Wickiup Shelter

A Wickiup Shelter | 14 Survival Shelters You Can Build For Any Situation
image via dailycaller.com

This is close to a teepee-kind of shelter if you look at it. You initially start with a tripod to build your base then continue on with more poles as you deem best. The gaps will be filled with debris, such as leaves and small twigs, starting from the bottom working your way up. This is great in keeping you warm, and you can actually light a fire inside it if you want to.

5. Jungle Shelter

Jungle Shelter | 14 Survival Shelters You Can Build For Any Situation
image via primalsurvivor.net

Choose a space amid two trees and tie a pole or a long branch in between them at a certain height. This will act as a support for the branches. Tie the pole down to the ground at a 45-degree angle. Place more branches across the frame and cover it with leaves. A paracord would certainly be useful in situations like this. Unless you carry a rope with you at all times.

6. A Desert Shelter

A Desert Shelter | 14 Survival Shelters You Can Build For Any Situation
image via bisonrma.blogspot.com

Ideally, a shelter below the ground will help decrease the heat from midday sun around thirty to forty degrees Fahrenheit. You can use a tarp, a poncho or any material to cover the whole length of your body. Choose a depression in the sand or you can dig one, and then anchor the sides with rocks or sand weight. Make sure to leave one side free so you can crawl in. It’s simple yet very effective.

7. Dugout Survival Shelter

Dugout Survival Shelter | 14 Survival Shelters You Can Build For Any Situation
image via diehardsurvivor.com

This one requires tons of work but this is needed if you need a mid to long term shelter. A sandy type of soil will be ideal for digging a ditch and this will be your basis for the area of your dug-out shelter. Avoid dry wash basins. Dig about 2 to 3 feet down and line it up with grass for your mattress. Line the top with branches and place vegetation, which will serve as a roof. Leave enough room for you to get in or out.

8. Using A Juniper Tree For Survival Shelter

This shelter requires very minimal work because of the way the tree is formed. Build the door of the shelter at the backside where the wind is blowing. Pile long branches to form the framework “wickiup” style using the trunk of the juniper tree as your base. The rest of the tree and its leaves will act as cover for strong winds and moisture. Cover it with vegetation and you can actually build a fire right in front of the doorway and you can keep yourself warmer.

9. A Tree Top Hammock In The Rainforest

A Tree Top Hammock In The Rainforest | 14 Survival Shelters You Can Build For Any Situation
image via sierramadreresearch.com

Sleeping on the rainforest floor at night can be very dangerous as there will be nocturnal predators out for the hunt. Choose a spot high up in between the closest trees or one sturdy one with big branches and tie both ends of the hammock on each branch or tree. A strong tarp, blanket, and even a tent can be used. Tie your waist with a rope secured to a branch a bit higher of your hammock in case you roll off.

10. A Bamboo House In The Wild

 A Bamboo House In The Wild | 14 Survival Shelters You Can Build For Any Situation
image via kaiconfusion.wordpress.com

If you can cut down pieces of bamboo you can actually make any kind of shelter you want depending on its abundance. You will need ropes or from a paracord grenade, or any paracord project for that matter, and tie each bamboo stick together. You can also bury the basic foundation into the ground and work your way around it by laying more bamboo around and on top.

11. Using Tree Branches For Shelter

 Using Tree Branches For Shelter | 14 Survival Shelters You Can Build For Any Situation
image via sticksandstoneswildernessschool.blogspot.com

Make an A-frame with the branches and this will be your main structure of the shelter. Place a long pole at the top of the frame setting the other end on the ground. If you can find a slope for the other end of the pole, this would give you more room. Line up both sides with branches full of leaves to keep the cold out.

12. Using Leaves In The Forest For Shelter

Using Leaves In The Forest For Shelter | 14 Survival Shelters You Can Build For Any Situation
image via justdiy.com

During fall tons of leaves are just lying everywhere. This shelter is close to the debris shelter but uses leaves instead of tree foliage. Using the basic A-frame structure is the simplest manner there is. Pace more branches to hold up the leaves then when you’re done, place as many leaves as you can for more insulation. Keep the entrance free, though.

13. A Snow Shelter

A Snow Shelter | 14 Survival Shelters You Can Build For Any Situation
image via adventureblog.nationalgeographic.com

Choose an area with a short slope and has snowdrift of about 1.5 meters deep where the wind is not blowing against it. Using a compact snow shovel, dig a trench five feet deep just enough for you to stand then continue digging a tunnel at the base of the trench. Ensure the ceiling is about a foot thick. This can be done by sticking a stick or ski pole on top about 46cm in. This will act as your guide when digging from the inside. Once you see the tip, stop scraping the ceiling off.

14. Igloo

Igloo | 14 Survival Shelters You Can Build For Any Situation
image via triplefatgoose.com

You can build an igloo shelter in 30 minutes by using hard, compact, and dry snow. With the help of a saw or a long knife, you can cut the snow blocks into the right sizes and weight which will serve as the walls of the igloo. In a blizzard, this can mean a matter of life and death.

Watch Survival Lilly build a survival shelter:

Remember, no one wants to be in a sticky survival situation nor is it planned. That’s why we need to be ready for the worst case scenario. The best way to do this is to learn as many survival tips or skills and practice them on a regular basis. You can even make it fun for you and your family. Whatever the odds and wherever in the world you might be, if you’re prepared, you will definitely be able to build your own shelter.

Do you have any other ideas on how to make a survival shelter? Please add them in the comments below!

Here are 10 critical points you need to know about building any natural shelter!

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