Survival shelter

Shelter for Camping & Survival

Shelter for either camping or in emergency survival situations needs to satisfy two main components – protection and comfort. Suitable shelter is necessary to provide shade, protection from wind and rain, and to ensure warmth. Appropriate shelter allows the ability to obtain the always necessary amount of quality sleep and rest. Inadequate shelter can result in simply an uncomfortable and restless sleep to serious risks to health and even death.

Preparing for a camping expedition and any resulting experience also provides for the opportunity to plan and prepare for emergency situations. However, in certain unexpected emergency situations, such as vehicle breakdown or getting lost in the bush, it may become necessary to form an emergency shelter utilising what ever is at hand and from what nature can provide. In certain emergency situations it will be imperative to stay dry and warm in cold environments, or inversely stay cool and shaded in hot environments.

Where to Set up Camp

Location of a camping or shelter site is often a fundamental consideration to maximise comfort and safety. Care needs to be applied in every situation unless of course your in a dedicated camp ground. Setting up camp close to water always seems favourable with ease of access, however consider the possibility of stagnant water producing a proliferation of mosquito’s and other biting insects.

Be very careful when camping close to rivers as some may be prone to rapid flooding, so look for any high water marks and consider weather forecasts where heavy rain is occurring upstream. Lower regions in valley basins are more prone to flooding, and may contain colder pockets of air, as cold air sinks, and thus prone to frosts and damp air. Even flat country in arid regions can become torrential flash floods within a short time frame so don’t camp in dry water courses.

Ideal locations are of course relatively flat with decent drainage and no accumulation of moisture. It may be possible to use the morphology of the land to locate yourself out of any winds, and certainly not on hilltops. And definitely do not camp under any large trees presenting the possibility of branches crushing anyone below. Large trees may also attract lighting if out in the open. Refer to our post on Camping Hazards for further information.