If I’m stuck outside overnight in an area that looks like this…
You can bet I’ll be hoping that I stumble upon some super-sweet backcountry yurt such as this one, especially if it’s a cold and snowy winter eve:
However, I’d be happy to have my little three-season tent with me, as it’s proven to be a trusty backcountry companion.
Obviously, if you’ve planned a backcountry camping trip, you will want to carry a shelter with you, but if you’re like me, you won’t like to carry much weight. In that case, a tarp and pole shelter might work just fine:
But if you find yourself in one of those unplanned camping moments, don’t forget what makes a good shelter: insulation that keeps you warm and protected from the elements, and a dry space where you can sleep. You can do a lot with a tarp or emergency blanket when you’re in a wooded and can add natural resources such as branches, leaves, and pine needles to your shelter.
And sometimes if you look around carefully, you might find a natural shelter such as this rock cave where I stayed a night with some friends in New Zealand:
If you need to make a shelter in a survival situation, look for natural shelters first, and then you can use what you already have with you and in your surroundings to create a shelter that fits your needs.
Want to know more about survival shelters?
Read my article on the About.com Survival Skills website:
“Woodland Survival Shelters”
If you’re lost in a forest at night and it begins to snow, you might have to make the choice to bed down for the night, and you’ll need a shelter to help keep you warm. Survival shelters can protect you from the elements and help you retain vital heat in your body while you develop a plan for reaching safety…click here to continue reading…
Photos © Traci J. Macnamara.