In a survival situation a proper shelter can make all the difference in whether you survive or perish.
Of course, it’s always great if you have a tent in your emergency gear. But that is not always the case. So here’s a quick primer on what you need to do to prepare a shelter, according to Emergency Essentials’ Tips For Preparedness.
First, consider your terrain. If you are in rocky terrain and it’s practical, look for a small cave or for a recess under ledges. In forest settings, find an area under the branches or roots of large fallen trees, or consider thickets and the area at the base and under the branches of a large, standing tree (except during an electrical storm).
A lean-to of branches and boughs will give significant protection from wind and wet weather. Take into consideration the direction of the wind when situating your lean-to. Remember that wind generally blows down canyons in the evening and up the canyon in the morning. Also, more wind blows at the top of the ridge or at the bottom of the canyon than somewhere in between. Always consider the possibility of flash floods and avoid making your shelter in gullies or low places.
If you’re in an area with heavy snow, a snow cave makes an excellent shelter. Be mindful of the possibility of avalanches when selecting a location for your snow cave.