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storm_shelter_sheridan__in_003There will come a time when having the knowledge of building a shelter will save your life and the lives of your family.  Whether surviving lost in the wilderness or after a disaster when your home is destroyed, knowing how to build a safe and sturdy shelter to protect your family from the elements is vital for survival.

Shelters are crucial for survival, especially during adverse weather conditions.  Being exposed to the harsh elements of the weather will cause minor to severe injuries or can even kill you.  Therefore, having a shelter to protect you from the elements is crucial for survival.  If you cannot find a sturdy structure to shelter in, there are numerous ways to construct a safe and sturdy shelter. You can use a wide variety of materials that would be on hand after a disaster after you get the knowledge and skills to build a shelter.

When building your own shelter, you should start by finding a safe location. Avoid avalanche or rockslide areas, flash flood areas, and areas below the local water table.  Some of the basic types of shelters are:

  • Debris hut
  • Fallen tree shelter
  • Lean-to
  • Natural hollow shelter
  • One person shelter
  • Poncho tent
  • Snow cave
  • Swamp bed
  • Tree-pit snow shelter

One of the first steps of building any shelter is knowing a handful of basic “Hitches, Knots, and Lashes”.  Building a shelter is important, but knowing how to build a “strong and safe” one is crucial. You don’t need your shelter collapsing on top of you in the middle of the night during a cold rain storm and causing injuries. Some of the basics you should know for survival are:


  • Clove hitch
  • Half hitch
  • Mooring hitch
  • Taut-line hitch
  • Timber hitch
  • Two half hitches


  • Bowline
  • Figure Eight knot
  • Fisherman’s knot
  • Sheepshank
  • Sheet Bend
  • Square knot


  • Diagonal lashing
  • Shear lashing
  • Square lashing
  • Tripod lashing

You should be able to build a safe and strong shelter after a disaster after you have learned these basic hitches, knots, latches and shelter structures.

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