How to build an emergency
shelter in the wild

Before you ever need to improvise an emergency shelter in the wilderness, make sure you practice building different types of shelters so you will be prepared when and if an emergency arises. Knowing how to build a wilderness shelter can be a key to survival, especially in harsh conditions.

The type of survival shelter you build will depend very much on the equipment you carry with you, and upon the terrain and climate you are in. However, there are general guidelines which can be applied to any wilderness survival situation. Knowing techniques for making simple good survival shelters is an important part of your survival skill-set.

Fun and rewarding

Building wilderness survival shelters can be quite fun and rewarding. Spending a night under the stars in your own built shelter provides an amazing experience. It is also fun and rewarding to share tips and advice with other people.

What wilderness shelter type can you build? Contribute with your knowledge and let others learn from your experience. Do you first want to read what other visitors have said? Either scroll to the bottom or click here

Tell others your survival shelter tips

Ready to share your survival shelter building skills? Before your shelter tip page is published I will review it and make sure it applies to the submission guidelines for the Wilderness Survival Skills website.

Thank you in advance for sharing.

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Unless you've built a Teepee, it's usually impossible to build a fire inside your shelter. Ring your campfire with grapefruit sized rocks. You can't take …

Shelter before Fire 
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 …

Survival Shelter Building Skills 
When you add your material to sleep on. Put it in about 1 foot or so thick. Then get inside your shelter and lay around on your material to mash it down …

Warm pocket shelter 
We all have seen the emergency blankets that are for sale at the local store. Well I can tell you from experience they don't work to keep you warm but …

Lean To Shelter 
Lean to shelter: Elevated Bed Waterproof roof Fire pit as heating source Tools: Gerber Machete Axe Saw Winchester Buck Knife Days Of Work: …

Dugout Shelter 
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 …

I camp every chance I get so this series of articles is based on tried methods and equipment. Sometimes I camp for a week to ten days at a time so this …

Pocket shelter with a heater 
We all have 30-gallon lawn and leaf trash bags in our kitchens or garages. Well get one of these trash bags and put it in your survival kit along with …

Pine tree shelter 
It amazes me that all the so-called survival specialists over look the already made shelter - the pine tree! Many already have your bedding piled up for …

Shelter close to water 
Any shelter should be close to water, insects or not. If you are even within hiking distance, you're going to have insects. Im sure of this because I'm …

Kookoomyer's Lean to  
This was my first ever shelter made completely out of things found in nature (bamboo, palmettos and vines.) My previous failed attempts had been in part …

Wilderness Shelter 
Dig under large trees near the root dig until you can get in side the root. If the tree is dead chip out the bottom to gain headroom. Start to prepare …

Canopy shelter 
For making a shelter, you don't need anything beside a knife, faith, hope, and god. If you are near any trees with pine needles or lots of leaves, break …

Debris shelter 
Find a strong sturdy branch about a foot taller then your height. ARCH it on a tree ,rock or anything strong and durable than place smaller branches on …

Indian tipi 
A Native American way of shelter was something called a wikiup or a tipi. The tipi was excellent source of warmth due to its rounded structure. In …

Military Poncho Liner-MY WOOGIE Not rated yet
When I was 15 ( now 38 ) my Uncle was gonna toss out this 'blanket'that he had used in the military years earlier while in Vietnam. I have to tell you …

Tents and shelters Not rated yet
I have used a custom BAKER LEANTO that I had Panther Primitives make for me with a lot of enjoyment and success. It was scaled down to have an 8'9" length, …

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survival training
A wilderness survival course will provide you with the practical experience necessary to handle many kinds of problems that could arise in the wilderness.

first aid
It's essential that you have some basic principles of wilderness first aid and know how to apply them, even under stress.

survival shelter
Building a survival shelter is an absolute priority if you face a survival situation in harsh or unpredictable weather.

Selecting appropriate gear is important to have a safe wilderness trip.

A "pocket survival kit" should be small enough to easily fit into a shirt or a coat pocket.

The Wilderness Survival Blog keeps you up-to-date with all additions and changes to this web site.

emergency shelter

rescue shelter

outdoor shelter