Shelter before Fire

by Tom

I suggest that unless you are very good at building a quick fire from materials immediately at hand, concentrate on building a shelter first. Should something happen that you cannot start a fire and bad weather rolls in, you may find yourself wet and cold with no shelter.

Once the shelter is finished, you can build the fire and have the shelter available for a quick escape out of the weather. This is a judgement call as you may need the warmth to help treat hypothermia victims or have an opportunity to send a signal. However, if you are high and dry, build the shelter first then spend time on the fire.

Also, don't make the shelter too big, your body warmth is your heat source so you don't want too much air space to have to heat up. Keep it to 3 persons or less to a shelter, rotate into the middle so each gets advantage of having that warm envelop for a brief period of time.

Prepare to be a wilderness survivor.

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by: Rake

Well, that sounds to be a great idea and a practical one. Setting up a shelter before setting up other things like fire and all will be a good one. If anything like a harsh condition comes, it will be a hard thing to survive.

Which Came First , The Fire or The Shelter ?
by: Todd Owen - Denver

I agree with many of you, but I think each situation will dictate which is needed first. personally when I reach a site,I always gather my fire material first. I figure if I have a fire going, I can use the light from it to save on other powers sources such as my lamp batteries and flash lights.Again though, we never know what situation will arise that we need shelter first. I was hiking the back country a few years ago here in Colorado and the weather got cold pretty fast, the weather system the news guy gave was off and the snow hit my area and didn't move around as forecasted. Once I saw the snow coming in, shelter was my biggest concern, figured at least with shelter up I could use it to start protecting the fire wood I was going to get. So i guess we all are right in a sense. I wish you all the best and pray the skills and lessons we all take and bring to this site are never needed. Happy Survival to you all.

Knife not most important?
by: Nick Reagin

Your knife will be the most important tool in a survival situation because it is your ax, fillet knife, hammer, seperator of boughs-turned-walls and roof, stripper of bark for cordage, shovel, and most importantly but one thing I've never heard or seen anybody add, hope. We are humans and we use tools. This is why the knife is the most important item to carry because in the worst of situations if one has a knife one has hope.

I might be way off here but . . .
by: Ron

but it's fun to hash things about. Depending on the situation of course, I would say that if one is lost and not in imminent danger and still having enough time to build a couple of figure 4 traps (5 minutes each) then I would think that should be done first and then the shelter next. I agree about fire being last just because it tends to be the hardest thing to do, and extra hard if it's cold or wet out. Anyhow it's kinda hard to find rabbit trails and set traps if it's too dark, but then again I'm assuming that there is enough time to bang up a shelter as well before dark. With this approach there might be breakfast in the morning. Most critters come out at night where I live and that's the reason for trying to get the traps set before dark sets in. Though, if in the morning you can't light a fire would you eat that squirrle raw? yuck. But quite honestly, I may be wrong.

That's correct....shelter first
by: Winyan Staz

Well yes, deal with wounds etc first but after that comes shelter first and formost.
I just wanted to add that when you build your shelter you want to make sure that you add enough leaves, grass, ferns, dried mosses etc to end up with at least three inches MINIMUM between your body and the earth.
This is because the ground will suck the warmth right out of your body if you dont have enough insulation.
To be sure it is deep and dense enough...throw in the first layer and lay down on it and roll around a bit...then do that at least two more times.
Then, if you are lucky enough to have a it folded in half on the top of the debris..making sure the opening of the fold is to the outside.
Continue to cover that as deep as you possibly can inside the shelter..leave as little air space as possible.
Then when it is time to go to sleep you can reach your blanket and crawl inside...recovering where needed with debris.
If the outter layer of your shelter is also debris that try to make that also about as deep as your arm is long.

Order of Operations
by: mike knight

Shelter should be first, how right you are. Some will argue, but they are wrong. "Rule Of Three"
dictates behavior. Priorities are:
1. Are you hurt(bleeding, etc)
2. Shelter
3. fire
4. water
5. food
I would also like to add that if this is a situation where you will have to stay and await rescue, building a signal fire needs to be worked in probably just after shelter...maybe before water, but that needs to be based on situation and resources available

somewhere to rest
by: Shaykh Idris

Exactly so: fire can be very inappropriate in may situations, but a wind break or a lean-to are both, shelter & camouflage. Fire, like the knife, is much over-rated in real time survival. Shelter is where one may sleep; keep warm & dry, and avoid danger.

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