Planning for shelter is important. But here’s the problem. Heavy shelter wont work. For instance, I have a 6 man Coleman WeatherMaster tent. But am I planning on carrying that with me in a bug out scenario?
Better choices for survival shelter would be lightweight material, or natural elements. In this article I want to share two ideas that you might never have thought about.
MAN-MADE CHEAP SHELTERS
LA has many homeless people. A product was developed out of this problem. It’s called the EDAR (Everyone Deserves a Roof). EDAR is a combination tent and cot. It is an outstanding success and it works great. But of course, EDAR is just the start for cheap portable shelters.
Go to Google and type in “6 Unconventional Outdoor Shelters”. What you’ll discover are different tarp and tent ideas. They include combinations of synthetics, canvas, stakes and cordage.
Another idea is the tube tent. Just run some cordage under the middle of a tarp and you have an instant A-frame. If you want a premade tube tent, Amazon has some aluminum coated tubes that will even provide you with insulation.
Want to go super cheap? Check out some extra large construction garbage bags. Cut the ends off and tape the bags together end to end. But if you don’t have a tarp, plastic or trash-bags then go natural.
NATURAL MATERIALS FOR SHELTER
Here is an idea that plays off of the use of natural elements like trees, branches and leaves. Take two stripped down branches. One will be 3-4′. The other will be 8-10′ long. Dig a hole just small enough to mount the short branch in the ground, sticking straight up out of the ground. Next lean the large branch on the shorter one. You’ll have a triangle with one vertical side. Now start placing branches with leaves on the angled branch. Do this for both sides. What you’ll end up with is a nice lean to shelter that you can crawl into.
Want to take that idea a step further? Then consider your location, your roof, the walls and adding layers of protection to your shelter. For instance, maybe a cave would work better. As a matter of fact, caves, crevices, overhangs, thickets, hollow logs or boulders will work. Any of these can provide an adequate shelter and give you insulation, wind proofing, and concealment.
HOMEWORK: PRACTICE MAKING SHELTER
Now lets step things up even further. Take a hike with friends and make a shelter while on the hike. Bring a tent with you in case the project doesn’t turn out as you expected.
Give yourself the time to practice while you aren’t under a lot of pressure to perform. And even if it doesn’t work the first time, remember, practice makes perfect. After just a few times, you’ll be an old hand at making cheap and portable survival shelter.