Makeshift Survival Shelters
Dr. John Woods 08.28.17
It can happen to anybody. You go hunting, hiking, camping, or just a day outdoors in the wilds and you get disoriented and lost. I been there, but lucky for me so far, I have never had to spend the night in the woods. It could happen and does more than we might think.
So, what if you find yourself lost or just out of time with the sun dying fast in the western sky. What are going to do? You might have a backpack if lucky with some supplies or survival gear if you have to stick it out overnight. There is a good lesson here to always carry some basic supplies even on short trips. Always have a way to start a fire, some water and food stuffs, and a good knife.
If you happen to have rope, paracord, or twine and a ground cover or tarp, you’re in luck. Tough vines can be used in a pinch to tie up a clothesline support for a cover. In this case tie off the cord between two small trees and drape the cover or tarp and stake down the sides or pile wood on the seamed edges. This has the makings for a temp shelter to help cover you.
Another option is to find a good log pole about ten feet in length. A cut one will provide a stiffer shelter pole. Find two trees close enough together to wedge one end of the pole into the “V”. Lash it down with cord or vines or tie the pole to another tree.
The other end can rest on the ground or be tied to another tree. Line the ground under the pole with evergreen boughs or another ground cover. Now use pine, or other evergreen boughs and stack them up against the pole. Cover it thick enough to provide protection from the elements. As possible, make a place for a nearby fire using rocks for a ring or a backdrop of green timber or logs. Build a fire carefully and don’t block your shelter entryway.
Worse comes to worse, you can build a fire for warmth and comfort, huddle under a coat or space blanket and just tough it out. Gather up enough wood supplies before it gets to dark thirty. Searching for firewood in the dark is no fun.
So, every time you head afield, carry along a few things to survive just in case. Carry them on your back or an ATV, but have the supplies.