As enjoyable as camping or just being out in nature can be, no one gets excited about an unscheduled night in a storm shelter. In the event of such an unfortunate circumstance, one must be prepared to handle the elements and be able to take advantage of the resources that are available.
An outdoor storm shelter or hillside shelter can make the difference between brutal, prolonged exposure to the elements and having a protected place to stay through the night. While it’s not the ideal accommodations for anyone, it can provide the necessary protection to get you through the night, allowing you to regroup in the morning and make it through any storm.
A storm or survival shelter is also a smart thing to have set up if you own a large plot of property, especially if it’s in a wooded area.
Before starting construction of your shelter, choose a spot that is level, flat and which has some natural attributes that make it a good spot for building a shelter. Perhaps it is nestled near some large trees or a concave rock formation? Choosing the best spot possible in your location will just make your work all that much easier as you proceed with constructing your shelter.
If your ideal location is not level and not very clear, excavators or an excavator service could provide the assistance you need in prepping the location for your shelter. If your chosen shelter location is near a hillside and requires any large-scale digging or dirt removal, the use of an excavator can make your work much easier. While this is not an option for an impromptu shelter set up for a one-time use by a hiker, for a more permanent shelter, excavators can help prepare the spot for the best quality survival shelter possible.
Once you have the location chosen and you begin to build your shelter, here are some things to keep in mind:
Size: More Can Be Less
One of the most common mistakes in building a storm shelter is building it too large. A larger shelter does not stay as warm inside as a smaller one. Also, it is more difficult to create a durable, stable roof for a larger structure. The basic framework of your shelter will involve large and medium sized tree branches arranged into a hut-like structure with walls and a roof. Fill it in with as many full, leafy branches as you can find.
Use Adequate Insulation and Filler for the Sides, Roof and Floor
Whether you are in a warm or cold environment, an adequate amount of insulating material should fill the structure’s walls as high up as gravity will allow. Use soil, bark, grasses, roots, leaves, plants and small twigs to pack your structure’s walls as solidly as possible. Create an insulating carpet on the floor of leaves, moss and pine needles.
Heat Source: Yes or No?
If you would like to be able light a fire inside of your shelter, make sure there is adequate ventilation, including an opening in the roof to allow smoke to exit the structure.
A storm or survival shelter can make all the difference in surviving an unplanned night in the woods. Using these simple guidelines can help you to build the best shelter possible for your circumstances.
Jessica is interested in construction and architecture. She enjoys spending her time camping and being outdoors.