Knowing how to build a shelter during a survival situation can be critical. A survival shelter can mean the difference between life and death if you find yourself lost in the wilderness. A survival shelter can protect you from the elements and help you conserve energy. Let’s look at one such survival shelter, the debris hut.
How to Make a Debris Hut Shelter for Survival in the Wilderness
A simple debris hut should only take an hour or two to assemble. A debris hut will protect you by allowing you to sleep in relative comfort while blocking the chilling wind and protecting you from falling rain or snow.
A shelter is high on the list of needs when you are facing a survival emergency. The human body is not designed to face the elements as animals are. Humans survive by building shelters from the elements. Back home you have a nice cozy house or apartment. In the wild, you need shelter too if you want to survive an emergency in the wilderness. Exposure to extremes of heat or cold is hard on the body. This makes the skill of being able to build a debris hut valuable in an outdoor survival emergency.
To make a debris hut for shelter, start out with a fallen tree or pole that is about 1.5 to 2 times your height. This will become the center support beam for your shelter. Hold this main beam of the hut off the ground with a stump, forked tree, or rock. The main beam chosen for your hut must be somewhat sturdy. It should be supported about as high as you when you are seated.
Do your best to plan to place the door opening of your shelter opposite of the prevailing wind. This will shelter you from the cold wind and keep it from blowing directly into your shelter. The hut will also shelter your fire from the wind if you build the fire directly in front of the door. The fire can warm the hut by radiant warming. An extra benefit in extremely cold weather.
After you set the main beam gather up large limbs to place against the main beam as a framework. Place the large limbs at a 45-degree angle on each side of the main beam. Your debris hut should look similar to a low tent or triangle.
Progressively place smaller sticks and limbs over the larger framework limbs to create another layer to further weatherproof the shelter. Next gather and use dead grass, small sticks, fern, or leaves to make insulation for your shelter. Keep piling these on the sides of your survival shelter until you have a thick mat of debris that will help keep out wind, rain or snow.
The next step is to cover the insulation of the hut with small light branches. This will keep the insulation in place. You do not want the wind blowing your shelter and protection away. In winter climates, piling snow on the insulation layer can help to further insulate your shelter from the wind and cold. Creating a shelter that can keep you warm and reasonably comfortable will allow you to sleep and rest and conserve precious energy.
Body heat can be lost very quickly by laying directly on the bare ground. Place debris on the floor of the shelter. Select items that would be comfortable for you to sleep on such as leaves or dead grass. If all you can find are wet items you can dry them somewhat by placing them next to your fire and turning them occasionally to dry the leaves ot grass out. You want to avoid a cold wet bedding layer if possible. Comfort may seem a luxury if you are in a battle for survival, but inadequate rest can leave you tired. Exhaustion leads to a poor attitude and outlook. This can directly influence your chances of survival.
Keep extra insulation items and debris close to the opening to the shelter. This will allow you to drag it over to create a door for your hut when you get ready to sleep.
A debris hut shelter is a simple way to use the items you can find in the wilderness to protect yourself from the elements. Knowing how to properly make a shelter can help you to survive in a serious survival situation.