Types of Shelter

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People often think of shelters as something which you hop in and more often than not, your situation will dictate the need to be fully enclosed, but shelter can come in other forms too, depending on what you need to be sheltered from, In some situations a rock or tree may be all you need to shelter yourself from the wind or rain. The idea is to assess what you need your shelter to do for you and then taking into account what materials or natural features are available to you will help you to determine what shelter is best for your situation. There is no sense in wasting precious time and energy constructing a shelter from the wind when you can sit behind a rock and be just as comfortable.

Drainage and Ventilation

Whether your shelter is natural or constructed you should always consider drainage and ventilation. If your shelter is at or below ground level, you should dig a drainage gutter around it to prevent your shelter getting wet or flooded if it rains. You should always allow enough ventilation to ensure a constant supply of fresh oxygen and to allow smoke and fumes to escape if you plan to have a small fire in or very near to your shelter. In cold weather shelters, remember that cold air sinks so always dig a cold well/gutter so that the cold air sinks below you and is allowed to escape. Remembering these simple tips will ensure that your shelter is as comfortable as it can be.

Using Boughs

Whether naturally occurring or you have to give it a little help, the Bough Shelter can be very effective and comfortable. If the main branch is severed all the way through, you will need to secure it by lashing it with some sort of cordage. If the foliage is a little sparse, you can thicken it up by leaning some more branches along the sides. Lay a thick layer of foliage on the bottom as required for comfort and insulation. Conifer trees like pine, spruce or Fir, make excellent Bough Shelters.



Shelters for specific regions can be found in each section of the ‘Climate and Terrain’ category
Arctic and Alpine Shelters
Arid and Desert Shelters



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