Choosing the Right Survival Shelters

To create a successful and comprehensive emergency plan and survival kit, you have to think ahead and consider everything. There is more to a survival plan than extra water and batteries. You need to also consider what you need to have to survive outside of your home for a potentially extended amount of time.

Survival shelters are as varied as the people that build and live in them. Some shelters are so simple you can keep all of the supplies in a small bag; others are more complicated than huge, underground luxury homes. Whatever kind of survival shelter you use, there are some factors to consider.

How Many People

Planning a survival shelter for a family of three is a bit less complicated than a family of fifteen. While you, your spouse, and your child might be able to cozy up in a tent or under a tarp, it’s pretty unlikely that your whole extended family could fit in there with you. This is something to keep in mind when you are choosing a survival shelter.

How Long Are You Planning For

How long you plan for is up to you. Most survival manuals and experts recommend planning for 72 hours to two weeks at the very least to allow time for rescue after a disastrous event. Some people prefer to build or purchase a survival shelter that they could live in for an extended period of time. So this is something to think about as well, because a simple tent or tarp might only last you so long.

Portable or Built In

As mentioned before, survival shelters come in many forms. Would you prefer to be able to take your shelter on the road with you, or would you prefer it to be built underground where you will remain stationary?

Location

If you are planning to build a stationary shelter, deciding on the location matters as well. You might decide to build a shelter right on your home property, or you might choose a secluded area so that you are hidden from any potential wanderers or other dangers.

Comforts of Life

What you want or need inside your survival shelter will help to determine the type or size of shelter will be best for you. Some people only want the very basics, with enough space for everyone to be inside safely with a small stockpile of supplies. Others prefer to go all out, with bedrooms, kitchens, and bathrooms.

Types of Survival Shelters

1. The most basic

Tarp: A relatively basic structure can be built with a tarp and some rope. It might not be fancy, but it will provide some cover from the wind and rain and can travel with you just about anywhere.

Tent: A decent tent will protect you quite a bit more than just a tarp, and can also be taken down and put back up easily, and carried with you if you find yourself on the move.

2. Intermediate options

Storm shelter: Storm shelters can be above ground or below ground, and can be installed just about anywhere on your property without being too expensive. Most of these shelters are going to be pretty basic, with a sitting room for a few people and a small area for supplies. These shelters are usually for short-term shelter, but could potentially sustain you for a few days if you have enough supplies.

Small bunker: Whether near your home or in a secret location, bunkers can be built underground and provide a few more comforts than a basic storm shelter. Some bunkers can be built with bathroom facilities and more than one room.

3. Home away from home

Some bunkers go all out, really providing you with a home away from home. These bunkers can range from small apartments, to large living facilities where quite a few people can live comfortably. These bunkers can even be built with all of the amenities you are used to in your daily life, including plumbing, electricity, and even cable and internet hookups.

Choosing the right survival shelter for you depends on the factors listed as well as your own preferences. Sometimes decisions are made based on budget and timing. Do your research before deciding on which survival shelter will be best for you, and remember to cover all of your bases so that you are ready if an emergency strikes.

What Items Should Be in My Car Emergency Survival Kit

Everyone who owns a car should carry a car survival kit with them at all times. This is especially true for anyone who will be driving in remote areas. Even if you are simply planning a short drive across town, it is wise to have your survival kit with you in case of an accident or emergency. You never want to use it, but who knows when you may need it.

It can be easy to make your own survival kit at home or simply purchase one that is available on the market. Sometimes, it is necessary to add a couple of items to your personal survival kit even if the kit has been purchased from the store. Match the kit to suit your individual needs and location.

Don’t just buy a survival kit and toss it in the trunk of the car. Take a few moments to look over the items in the survival kit. The items in the kit are useless unless you properly know how to use them. Become familiar with the items before you really need them. An item that you can’t use effectively is not going to prolong your life in an emergency.

Always have a flashlight and batteries in the survival kit. An extra outfit is a good idea to keep on hand. Waterproof matches and candles are also an excellent idea. Keep a small can in your survival kit to use for melting snow. This will provide you drinking water. Road flares, jumper cables, and a small shovel are valuable tools to use. Keep a small stash of tools handy, such as a hammer, screwdriver, and adjustable wrench.

A pocket knife or survival knife can be one of the most versatile items to keep with you at all times in your pocket. Again, learn to use all of the features in this particular tool.

Keep a small supply of dried foods, energy bars, and bottled water in the vehicle. These will provide valuable nourishment to prolong survival until you can get the help you need.

Traveling in cold weather can be extremely dangerous. Always keep an extra blanket in the car with you at all times. Spare hats and gloves can help keep you warm and dry in an emergency. A bag of kitty litter can be helpful during snowy months. This item can help you to get the traction you need on the snow and ice.

Consider keeping a crank-style cell phone charger in your car emergency survival kit. This item may make it possible to charge your cell phone and call for help in the event of an emergency.

No one ever wants to use a car emergency survival kit, but it can save your life. Check your kit often to make sure all items are in place. Replace any items that have been used or removed. Consider practicing a mock emergency to refresh your memory on how to use some of the items in the kit. Taking the time to adequately prepare for an emergency can help you to survive in a serious situation.

Are You Prepared For A Natural Disaster

With the various types of natural disasters that have taken place in recent years, many people have started to realize that they may not be prepared for such events to take place. While no one wants to think it can happen to them, we have all seen the footage of Hurricane Katrina and it was a reality that this type of natural disaster is something that does happen to real people. Even the fires spreading out of control in California remind us of the types of natural disasters that can take place.

It is important to pay close attention to the warnings that hopefully will be broadcast on TV and the internet if a natural disaster is possible. It is unbelievable the number of people that ignore this information. If you are asked to evacuate the area do so as quickly and calmly as you can. Rescue efforts may not be available for those that remain behind. It is a good idea to have a battery powered radio that you can carry with you to continue listening to the instructions as you are traveling.

You should have an emergency supply kit on hand at all times just in case you do happen to be in a location where a natural disaster happens. Bottled water and canned foods can be stored for long periods of time. You want enough for each family member for at least five days.

Should you have to remain on your own for a few days until rescue teams can reach you these items will help you to survive. The food in your refrigerator can spoil if the power goes down which is common after a natural disaster. Make sure you keep medications on hand for those that need them on a regular basis.

If you have small children in the home make sure you have the necessary supplies on hand for them. Stocking up on personal items such as diapers, toilet paper, and toothpaste can help you to stay healthy during a natural disaster. Since you may be without power for several days you will want to have lanterns and flashlights readily available.

A small first aid kit with essential items can be useful because you never know when someone will be injured as a result of a natural disaster. Do your best to clean the injury and prevent infection until proper medical care can be received for the individual. Many people worry about their pets during a natural disaster but you may not be able to keep them with you during that time. If possible though store food for them as well so that you won’t be sharing the food you stored for your family with them.

A natural disaster can be very scary for everyone, but especially for children. Make sure that everyone is able to get plenty of rest and that children are allowed to openly share their feelings. Too many parents think it is best not to tell them what is going on but that tends to make them more afraid as they definitely know something is taking place around them.

Hopefully you will never have to experience a natural disaster but it is wise to be prepared. Having the essential items in place that your will need can make the difference between your survival after the event takes place. It is a good idea to practice emergency procedures for natural disasters with your family as well.

Survival Tips For Backpackers

Why survival tips for backpackers? Certainly backpacking may never become a matter of wilderness survival for you, especially if you are careful in your planning. Still, getting lost or twisting an ankle far from any road is always a possibility. In any case, learning a few new things from time to time is a great way to make your trips safer and more interesting. With that in mind, here are a few random survival tricks and skills based on my own experience.

A Few Survival Tips To Remember

You can make snow-block shelters without tools when the conditions are right. I have made trench-shelters of 2 x 3 foot snow-blocks with no tools. I stomped rectangles in the heavily-crusted snow and lifted up the resulting blocks. Stacking them on either side of a trench in the snow, and then across the top for a roof, I was able to make a shelter in twenty minutes.

Syrup is made in late winter and early spring from both maple and birch trees, but it is too much effort to in a wilderness survival situation. However, you can get a couple hundred calories per day by just drinking maple or birch sap. Collecting it can be as easy as snapping off the ends of twigs and putting something underneath to catch the dripping sap. I’ve collected a quart per day for several days from one cut branch.

How about a survival tip that makes for a delicious meal? Crayfish turn red just like a lobster when they are boiled, and you get a little chunk of meat from the tail of each. Lifting rocks to find them is much more efficient than baiting them. They swim backwards, so reach from behind them to catch them.

Porcupine can be killed with a stick. They will not die easy, but they are slow, so you’ll have plenty of time. Dress them from their underside, where there are no quills. They taste good when roasted over a fire. The mountain man tradition was to never kill them unless it was an emergency, because as long as they’re around, there is easy food for survival situations.

For quick ropes and lashings in the desert, peel yucca leaves into strips and braid them together, overlapping the ends. It took thirty minutes for me to make a rope like this that four of us couldn’t break (two on each end).

I have cooked in containers made of birch bark. There are two methods. One is to drop fire-heated rocks into the liquid to bring it to a boil. The other is to use the pot directly over the flame. If the flame doesn’t go above the level of the liquid, the pot birch bark pot won’t burn, because the heat is conducted away quickly by the liquid inside.

Just stuffing your light jacket full of dried grass can effectively make it into a winter coat. It is even better (less itchy) if you have another jacket (like your raincoat), so you can put the grass or leaves between the two. Usually it will be more efficient to look for ways to modify what you already have than to try to make survival clothing.

There are hundreds of little tricks that can make wilderness travel interesting and safer. Even if you aren’t interested in practicing survival techniques, why not at least read a few survival tips now and then. Someday you may remember something that can save your life.