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How To Make a Shelter

Updated: Jan 16, 2022

Knowing how to make a shelter is the most important skill to know, even more so than filtering water and finding food. If you ever find yourself in an emergency situation, one of the first things you should do is make a place to sleep and to keep your utilities safe. In today's episode of how to survive I will be teaching you how to make simple shelters.


One of the main components to making a shelter is finding where to put it. The best place for your temporary home is on dry, flat land. You should be conscious that your structure is not near a body of water or under a cliff where rocks can fall.

*If you can not find a flat area, and you feel it may rain, dig a trench around your shelter.


Listed below are five different methods of making a shelter, some require certain materials and some do not. I added a few materials that aren't needed at all, but can come in handy.

  1. A tarp

  2. A shovel

  3. A machete

  4. A knife

  5. Ax

  6. Saw

  7. Cordage

  8. Flashlight (in case you are building in the dark)



The first method is the tarp method. All you have to do is tie both ends of the tarp to two trees and you are done.

This is the simplest way to build but not the most secure and it has no protection against animals or falling branches.


The second method is also using tarp. Start by getting some cordage and tying it to two trees, then put your tarp over it and keep it down with some rocks.

The method is easy to build and good with rain, but can be easily broken by branches and has no protection from animals.


The tipi method only requires a trap, and the other things you need you find in the forest. For this one, get some larger logs and stand three together as your structure. Then continue adding smaller branches, but do not forget to leave an entrance. When you are done with your tipi, wrap your tarp all around it.

This method takes a little while longer but can withstand more. The top does have a small hole which can allow rain in, but you can cover it with another tarp. If it is not raining, you can widen the hole and put a fire inside your shelter.


An A-frame bush shelter looks like the letter A without the line through the middle. Get a log and probe it up between two trees. Then add smaller branches and stand them up on both sides making the A shape. You can then add leaves, bushes or smaller branches to cover it.

This is great for camouflage and can withstand rain and branches.


The Debris tipi shelter is probably the most known since a lot of kids have made them.

Find a large branch and lay it upon a stub or a tree. Get smaller branches and lay them all along the big branch on both sides. You can then add coverings like bushes, but they might blow away.

This method is great for camouflage.

Thank you for reading this weeks episode of How To Survive! Next weeks article will be about food! Stay tuned.

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