To build a dugout shelter, you will need to dig a trench about 8 to 10 feet long (depending on your height) and about 3 feet deep. Try not to dig it in a wet area.
Lay logs or large branches over the trench, and try to cover it completely, but leave an extra 3 feet or so at the end completely uncovered. Lay leaves and debris over the logs, try to coat it in a 1.5 to 2 foot layer (the more the better), or lay down a tarp (if you have one) instead, although this minimizes insulation.
After the debris, add ferns and/or tree boughs over the shelter. Finish it off by covering it with the dirt you excavated from the trench. Add additional dirt if you like. The gap at the end can serve as an entrance/exit, and is also a strategic place to put a fireplace, but make sure it isn't blocking your access.
Remember when building to be versatile and flexible with your design! Simply lay down in the covered trench, gazing up, with a warm fire behind you, and you are ready to spend the night!
Start to prepare your trip before you head for the trails!