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5 Types of Survival Shelters That Could Save Your Life

by Richard A Reagan

No one expects disaster to strike but we all need to be prepared for it. If you’re out hiking in the back country and suffer an injury that restricts your mobility, or if you’re backpacking and run into a surprise bout of inclement weather, you may find yourself in need of some temporary shelter to keep yourself dry and warm. Here are a few types of easy shelter that anyone can make and that could mean the difference between life and death.

1. A-Frame

An A-frame shelter is perhaps the easiest type of shelter to create. All you need to do is tie a rope or string between two trees and drape your tarp over the rope. Tie down all four corners to the ground and weigh down the sides if need be to keep the tarp from blowing away in the wind.

2. Wedge Tarp

The wedge tarp provides more protection against wind and rain. Rather than having both ends open like an A-frame shelter, one end is anchored to the ground, normally with at least two or three corners being tied to the ground. The opening on the other side is propped open out of the wind, allowing the occupant(s) to stay dry and warm.

3. Lean-To

A lean-to can be constructed from numerous types of materials. A tarp lean-to is one of the easiest to construct, with one side of the tarp up in the air tied to trees or rocks and the other side anchored to the ground. It’ll provide shelter against the rain, but might be a little windy.

4. Teepee

A teepee can also serve as a means of emergency shelter. All you need to construct one is three poles or logs stacked upright against each other so that their bases form a triangle. You can place other poles vertically around the three main poles too in the shape of a circle. Then wrap your tarp around the outside of the poles to create your teepee. Be sure to leave a small flap on one side to allow you to enter and exit the teepee.

5. Leaf Hut

For longer-term stays in the wild, creating a leaf hut may be the way to go. You can shape one just about any way you want to, although the wedge shape may be easiest. You’ll want to find a long log to act as the center roof support and prop one end up in the air. Stack other logs and branches vertically like ribs to cover the sides of what will become your hut. Then pack leaves, pine needles, moss, or other vegetation into the gaps to windproof and weatherproof your hut.

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