A Prepper’s Guide on How to Build a Long Term Survival Shelter

Learn four steps to follow if you want to build a long-term survival shelter when the situation gets nasty. The process is so simple that anyone can pull it off provided he or she has the right information. You too can do it. Use this resource to build a suitable shelter to meet your needs and requirements.

Knowing how to build a long-term survival shelter is perhaps the most basic survival strategies a prepper should hone. A long-term survival shelter is vital if your retreat or home is compromised due to an extended period of collapse. In such cases, a low-quality family tent or a poncho shelter will only serve you for so long. 

Such shelter should be able to protect you and your loved ones from the direct effects of the elements. It should also be strong enough to resist wild animals. While you need to have some survival skills, you need not be a professional to build a long-term survival shelter. Here you can also read about Permanent Shelter in the Wilderness click here.

You can learn and master the necessary skills by reading this tutorial. It aims to provide you with reliable information to help you build a dependable shelter for long-term survival in case SHTF. Even more beautiful is that you can build it using natural resources you obtain from the environment.

The Necessary Tools and Equipment

•    Axe

•    Hatchet

•    Shovel

•    Large knife

•    Multi-tool

•    Paracord

•    Lighter

•    Tarp

•    Heavy duty gloves

•    Bivvy Sack

The raw materials for building this survival structure are available in the woods. The listed tools and equipment should aid you in building it. Ensure you put safety first by using gloves and other safety gear. You do not want any tool to fail when you need it most. Therefore, ensure you check the condition of the tools before you pack them. You may include all the tools you need but remember to keep things light.

Steps To Follow To Build a Long-Term Shelter

Step 1: Find a Prime Spot for the Shelter

You cannot afford to be injudicious when it comes to picking the spot for building your long-term shelter. The spot should be in a location that will let you sleep and rest peacefully. The no-go zones include muddy, swampy or bumpy grounds.

It’s a brilliant idea to build it close to a water source. However, it would be a terrible idea to establish it right next to a water source. This is because the water level could suddenly rise and flood your shelter in a matter of seconds.

Also, avoid locating the shelter directly under a stiff cliff or in a lower ground. The aim is to protect the shelter from landslides or surface runoff following a heavy downpour. While it may be nice to situate the shelter on a raised or higher ground, such areas are in the direct pathway of strong winds.

The best ground for building a long shelter is a flat area surrounded by proximity terrains. It is easier to build a shelter on such ground. Besides, you will start a fire with much ease. In case you fail to find a flat spot then you can dig trenches or try to flatten the ground as you possibly can.

Step 2: Determine Your Needs and Preferences

A survival shelter does not have to be comfortable. However, it should be able to offer you adequate protection from the elements as well as other influences from the environment. The first consideration should be the capacity. How many people are going to use the shelter?

You also need to consider how much time you will spend in the shelter. The prevailing temperature of the area is as important just as the overall weather of the area. The kind of shelter you build also depends on whether you will start a fire within the shelter or outside. Failure to take care of these issues could predispose you to the complications of extreme temperatures.

Step 3: Draw a Design for Your Long-Term Shelter

Talking of long-term survival shelters, you have to choose from a pull of designs. Each of the designs possesses unique qualities to suit different situations and well as needs. The answers to questions posed in step two above should guide you on the design to choose. Here are some common long-term survival shelter designs:

•    Lean-To Design  

This design is extremely simple to build. It also provides lots of space. All you need are tall standing trees, branches, and limbs. Select two tall trees that are approximately 6 to 8 feet apart. Collect some straight and strong branches.

Using a paracord, tie a long branch across the two trees forming a reversed U-shaped frame. You can then arrange smaller branches and limbs along the frame to the bottom and securing them with additional paracord. Cover the gaps in the shelter with additional branches, leaves, bushes, and appropriate debris.

•    A Wicki-Up Design

Building a Wicki-up shelter is a little bit more involving than building a lean-to shelter. To build it, you will need a lot more branches to form a frame. The size of the frame will determine the overall size of the resultant shelter. Once you make the frame, use additional branches, bushes, leaves, and debris to cover gaps.

Find a few dozens of long branches and bind them together to construct a funnel frame. Set the funnel upside down and cover it with similar vegetations. The result is a well-ventilated shelter that will protect you from elements. If the cover you use consists of fresh and wet vegetation then you can start a fire within.

•    Snow Cave Shelter Design

This shelter design is ideal for survival during winter. A snow cave will offer you perfect shelter from cold weather and freezing winds. To build this kind of shelter, select a spot with a very deep snow bank. Use your shovel to scoop snow in order to dig a tunnel into the side of the snow bank.

Dig up enough space within the snow bank to fit your needs. Ensure the top of the sleeping compartment is a few inches away from the snow surface above. This is to prevent the roof from collapsing due to weight. Poke a few holes within the surface to act as ventilators.

Step 4: Finish Building Your Shelter

You have now learned how to make the three different types. The type you choose is entirely your prerogative. Once you have your shelter, slide the supplies you need to have a resting and sleeping place. Ensure there is enough room for everyone who will be responsible in the wilderness.

If the ground you have chosen is not flat or has poor drainage then you can dig trenches around to prevent your shelter from being flooded by surface runoff. You also need to ensure the cover is thick enough to provide you with good insulation from the elements.

Final Thoughts  

That is how to build a long-term survival shelter. It is simple as that. As you can see, it does not require any special skills or professional training to pull off. Do not try to make something complex because a survival shelter does not have to be as comfortable as your house. The good thing now is that you know what to do in case you find yourself in a dire situation that interrupts your normal life.

Ted Thomas

Hi there, I'm Ted Thomas, an ardent adventure writer. I write for readers with a genuine interest in enjoying the great outdoors. By sharing my experiences camping, hunting and fishing, I hope to inspire others to fully explore the depths of their passion.

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