Most people don’t realize this, but shelter is a basic human NEED. It is not a want. Very often when we think about survival, the focus is on food and water. Shelter is taken for granted because you plan on staying home… and home is actually shelter.
But what happens if there’s a health disaster and you wish to bug out in the wilderness? Now you’ll realize just how important shelter is.
Without it, you’ll be exposed to the weather - the sun, cold, rains, heat and so on. You’ll also be exposed to animals and insects. You absolutely must make plans to create a suitable shelter for yourself.
- What type of shelter?
We must be practical here. Most of us are nothing like Bear Grylls. We’re not going to enjoy being in a mud hut or some shelter made of sticks and debris. We won’t even know how to build one. Only very experienced outdoor survivalists are able to build shelters from raw material that they find in the wild.
Taking shelter in caves and under thick foliage is an option but it’s not a good one. Your best option is to bring your own tents. There are many collapsible tents that are portable. 2 tents are good enough for a family of 4 or 5.
Ideally, it’s best to get 2 or 3 tents rather than just one big one. If the big one gets damaged, you’ll be left with no shelter. So, diversify your risk.
Always learn to set up the tents quickly during times of peace. This will ensure that you can do it easily when you’re already stressed out.
- Choosing a location
Location of your shelter is very important. Choose a place that has shade and is out of sight (to prevent humans from spotting you). You don’t want your tent to be under direct sunlight. It’ll get hot and stuffy in the afternoon. If there are heavy rains, your tent will take a pounding too.
Avoid places that have heavy branches above. If the branch breaks, it’ll fall on you. Very dangerous.
Your campsite should be close to a water source so that you can always access water easily.
Another point to be aware of is whether you’re close to any animals. Wolf dens, snake pits, ant hills, wasp nests, bear dens, etc. are all places to keep far away from. Monitor the water source and see what animals show up.
Most animals don’t stray too far from their homes. It’s home, food, water and back to home for them. If you’re in their way, you might get attacked. So, stay clear.
Clear out all leaves, shrubs, branches around your tent. A circumference around your tent with a 2.5 to 3-meter radius that’s clear of all plants will be good. You can build a nice fire to keep you warm and keep the animals at bay. The smoke will also chase off insects and bugs.
It’s important to scout locations for bugging out well in advance. This will allow you to find a good spot that meets all your criteria. It’ll be very difficult to find a good spot during a crisis because you’ll be stressed out and time will be of the essence.
Pack all the items that you’ll need. Your tents, camping gear, knives, fishing rods and even a sewing kit to stitch up the tent if it gets a tear are all items that you should pack.
You may wish to camp out in your chosen site a couple of times just to get a feel of it. Bring your family too. Everyone needs to get used to the experience so that it’s not depressing when they’re forced to stay out in the wild.
Like Oscar Wilde once said, “Experience is one thing you can’t get for nothing.” Give bugging out a try and get used to it.