Staying Protected

Step-by-Step Instructions to Building Yourself a Shelter

While stranded in the wilderness, away from any civilization, one of your primary concerns to staying alive should be a shelter. Without adequate shelter and protection, survival will be near impossible. Shelter is a must need thing for anyone stranded without help.

Needed Materials

Before you start to build your shelter, you will need to find the appropriate materials in order to construct your temporary home. First, you will need to find a ridgepole that is slightly longer than you would be with your arms stretched over your head. A long, thick branch will work fine. Try to find one that is as straight as possible. Next, you will need to find something for one end of the ridgepole to rest on. This could be a boulder, stump, or a fork in a tree. Then, you'll need to find smaller branches that vary in size. The longest should be no more than three or four feet and the shortest should be no less than a foot. You will also need to find twigs or brush. Make sure you have plenty of these materials because they will be used to cover your entire shelter. Finally, find as many dried leaves, ferns, or grass as possible.




Constructing your Shelter

Now that you have all your needed materials, it is time to construct your shelter.


  1. Place one end of the long ridgepole on your prop that you are using, whether it is the boulder, stump, or fork in the tree.
  2. The smaller branches that you have found will be used as ribbing. Lean them on the side of the ridgepole and leave an opening at the end, near the prop.
  3. Crawl inside feet first and make sure the shelter isn't too big nor too small.
  4. Pile the dried leaves, ferns, or grass on top of the shelter. This will be your insulation.
  5. Make this layer at least one to two feet thick
  6. Cover the ground inside of your shelter with dry leaves a couple inches high.
Here are some pictures to help you build your shelter:


Final Tips

  • Don't build your shelter near any running water, such as a river
  • Build your shelter at least six feet from any fire you have constructed
  • Don't build your shelter in high altitudes as the temperature may drop dramatically at night
  • Don't build your shelter near any dead branches as these could fall
  • If possible, try to build your shelter with the opening facing away from the wind
  • Try to avoid building your shelter on a hill
Now that you have finished your shelter, you will be safe from the elements while you are waiting for help to arrive.
Nate Robillard