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Monday, September 6, 2010

Choosing A Survival Shelter Location

Bachalpsee in the morning, Bernese AlpsImage via WikipediaChoosing A Survival Shelter Location

A valuable outdoor survival skill is knowing how to build a shelter.  It is important for your survival to know the proper techniques to make a shelter that will allow for adequate sleep and rest while providing protection from the elements.

The climate of the environment plays a significant role on the need for a shelter.  Many individuals can only survive a matter of several hours without adequate protection from severe weather conditions.  Extreme heat and cold are very dangerous situations to face without the proper shelter and protection for the body.

The first step to choosing a shelter is to select the location.  The location of your survival shelter must be as safe as possible.  Try to create a shelter that is easily visible.  This will help the search and rescue teams find you quickly and easily. 

Choose ground that is as flat as possible.  The ground should be dry and free of loose rocks and dead trees.  Such hazards may fall on you or destroy the shelter.  Whenever possible, you should make a shelter near water, but avoid becoming too close, for this will bring you trouble with insects and flooding.

If your survival gear contains an extra poncho or blanket, your task of making a shelter is significantly easier.  If not, you will need to use the items in the environment to create a shelter for protection from the elements. 

The natural environment may have made a shelter for you.  Survival does not mean reinventing the wheel.  If a cave, or low limbs are available, use this as part of your survival shelter.  Do not over-complicate the issue at hand. 

If nature hasn't provided a shelter for you, make your own shelter that can accommodate you while you sleep and rest.  The survival shelter should only be large enough to sleep comfortably.  In cold climates, you will need to heat this area, so bigger does not always mean better.

It will take some time to make a shelter that will provide a level of comfort and protection.  Do not wait until you are tired and it is dark to begin choosing your shelter for the night.  Think about your shelter before jumping in and building.

Whenever possible, let the shelter opening face away from the prevailing wind.  This will ensure that you are more comfortable in the cool of the night.  Protection from the wind, rain, and sun is key to feeling well enough to continue.

Selecting or making a shelter is crucial to your survival.  Think about making your shelter early in the process, not after you have become tired and worn down.  Use what items you have with you and the environment to your advantage.  Nature may have provided a shelter for you if you take a good look around. 

A good shelter will allow you to rest and sleep, so you can carry on until help arrives.  Adequate sleep and rest will keep your positive attitude and energy high, thus greatly improving the odds of survival in an outdoor emergency situation.

See you on the trail,
--Greg  

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