Outdoor Survival: How to Create an “Outdoor Survival Shelter”

Learn the basics of creating a one person debris hut as a survival shelter for outdoor camping adventures and survivalist training.

A debris hut is one of the easiest types of survival shelters to make when you are camping. The reason for this is that aside from a few simple tools you are able to take all of your building materials for survival from the surrounding area. Creating a debris hut is also something you can do in a relatively short period so that you can have safe shelter if you unexpectedly have to set up camp due to inclement weather.

How to Make a Debris Hut for One Person

To make an efficient shelter as a part of your survival training, you will need to have a long sturdy branch. Typically, if you are creating an outdoor survival shelter for just one person you will want to locate a piece of wood that is approximately 1.5 times your height. This allows for ample coverage at either end of the shelter, but also makes getting in and out of the survival shelter easier than if you made your debris hut 2 times your length. You will also be using your own body heat for warmth so the closer the shelter to your size, the better. You may be fortunate in finding a fallen branch, but it is more likely you will need to cut the branch with a survival knife to create the main support beam for your survival shelter.

Creating a Stable Foundation for Your Debris Hut

Once you have collected the main branch, you will need to support it. Be certain to set the branch at a height approximately two to three inches above the top of your head when you are sitting. You can prop the branch between two trees, or use natural formations such as rock outcroppings. You want this branch to be secure so that you can prop shorter branches, dead leaves, branches from evergreen trees and other insulating materials against and over it. Once your foundation is in place, then you can begin the real work of building your outdoor survivalshelter. Use materials such as dead leaves, tree branches, grasses, and ferns to create a thick covering for your debris shelter. Ideally you want to create a 3 foot covering of material laid in a cross hatch pattern to create a sturdy shelter that will prevent wind and rain from entering your space. Firm up the final layer using your survival knife to cut evergreen branches to hold the debris in place.

Creating a Floor and a Door for Your Survival Shelter

In order to stay warm and dry, you will also need to create a floor for your survival shelter. Typically pine and grasses make a good insulating floor, along with dried leaves and ferns. A one foot deep layer of debris will typically be sufficient, but you want to ensure that the material you use is dry as your body heat and the tight confines of the shelter will not allow for excess air movement and drying. You will also need a door for your survival shelter. You can leave both ends open or close one of them off with cross hatched debris. However, to truly secure your environment you will want to use larger evergreen branches by cutting them with your survival knife so they can be easily moved to both cover the opening to your shelter, as well as camouflage the entry. Now you are ready for any outdoor adventure!

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