Best Shelters to Build in the Woods

Shelter is MUST in any survival situation. However, the area you are in will impact the kid of shelter that you can make. This article will focus on building a shelter in the woods in particular.

The woods offer many different solutions for building a shelter. Some shelters require hours of work and technical skill and others only require a tarp, a few yards of rope or parachute cord, and ten minutes.

The type of shelter you build depends on the tools you have and what you need to be sheltered from. Here are the best shelters you can build for protection in the woods with minimal supplies.

A survival shelter built by leaning sticks and logs against a tree

Tarp Shelter

If you have a tarp and rope, you can build a simple tent. Just tie the rope tight between two trees, throw the tarp over the rope, and put heavy rocks on the corners of the tarp to keep it in a tight “A” shape. This shelter is easy to set up and effective against the rain. With this type of shelter, make sure that you have the back of your trp facing the direction of the prevailing wind to keep your shelter more protected.

Debris Shelter

A rope and tarp definitely make protection from the rain much easier, but you can make a shelter without them. A basic debris shelter can be built with nothing but the woods and landscape around you.

To build a debris shelter, lean large branches securely against the trunk of a tree in a circular pattern. If you have rope, weave it through these branches to create a kind of netting to add stability and keep debris from falling through. Then, lay smaller branches on top of the large supports, add twigs, leaves, or even pine needles. It’s not the prettiest shelter out there, but it should keep you dry if you have enough layers.

Snow Cave

If it’s snowing heavily, you’re in luck! Snow is an excellent insulator against the cold. To build a snow cave, start by digging a hole in the snow. Then, pile up snow around you. Snow will act as a natural insulator. Make sure that you dig out the door facing away from the wind for maximum protection. Snow caves are a lot more work than using the tarp, but it will be a great shelter. But we recommend that you don’t cook inside your snow cave due to several deaths attributed to carbon monoxide poisoning in snow caves.

Round Lodge

Another type of shelter that’s great for building in the woods is a round lodge. This shelter is part teepee and part wicki-up. This design has been used across centuries by many different cultures. Basically, you need to collect branches and stand them up in a circular pattern. If you need more support, try digging some of your branches into the ground. Remember to leave a space open for the entrance. And add leaves or smaller branches for extra insulation.

For more tips on how to survive in the wild, check out Prepper’s Base.