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Tuesday, November 24, 2009


In most survival situations, three priorities must be addressed before any other needs are met:

A: Finding or making shelter is the most important because it allows a person to stay protected from the elements.

B: Humans can live for about three days without water. The length of survival mostly depends upon climate conditions and physical exertion.

C: Food is essential for survival. In the winter especially so you have calories to burn, to maintain essential body heat.

These priorities may change depending upon environmental factors.

A shelter will protect one from potentially disastrous weather, help prevent hypothermia, and allow restful sleep. If possible it will need to be set up quickly. You don't want to spend all of you time working on a shelter and take away vital time from other survival steps.

A shelter should provide a somewhat comfortable place to sleep. To this end, it should account for the following:

Immovable rocks, animal nests, and other obstacles and hazards should be avoided.

Dry watercourses may be flat, sandy, and comfortable to sleep on, but they will flood in a storm.

Sunlight will provide warmth (which is not always welcome), and help one to wake up in the morning. However, sunny, open areas are vulnerable to wind.

Heat transfer: an excessively large or well-ventilated shelter will not retain warmth well.

Flashing (weatherproofing) to provide protection from elements.

A cave would be a very useful shelter because it is very resistant to rain water getting in and maintains a constant temperature. Unfortunately, caves can present additional problems such as ground water, dampness and wildlife. Bears also nest in caves, so before selecting a cave to stay in, you should check it for signs of in-habitance.

The simplest and most mobile shelter would be some type of tarp that can be moved easily and supported by make shift frame work or just rope. When this is not available or not suitable to the situation a simple shelter can be constructed using a lattice of branches propped up at an angle against the wind. Large leaves, such as ferns or fir branches, can then be added to create cover for rain and hail. Ferns can also be added on a shelter to provide insect repellent. Branches propped against a fallen tree make a simple and effective shelter, but animals such as ants and snakes may nest under the tree. With some practice, more advanced shelters such as a debris shelter can be constructed without modern tools or implements.

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Washington Preppers Network Est. Jan 17, 2009 All contributed articles owned and protected by their respective authors and protected by their copyright. Washington Preppers Network is a trademark protected by American Preppers Network Inc. All rights reserved. No content or articles may be reproduced without explicit written permission.