What Shelter Is Best For Survival

Picture of Selco


I am Selco and I am from the Balkan region, and as some of you may know it was hell here from 92-95, anyway, for 1 whole year I lived and survived in a city WITHOUT: electricity, fuel, running water, food distribution, without any kind of organized law or government. The city was surrounded for 1 year and it actually was a real SHTF situation. Our allies were our enemies from one day to the next. Today I’m prepared and share my experience on this blog.

Survial Bootcamp

Get instant access to everything, learn at your own pace, 24 hours / 7 days a week.

Some of the links you’ll find here are affiliate links, which means we might earn a small commission if you make a purchase through them. But don’t worry! You won’t pay a single penny more!

What Shelter is best for survival?

1. Everything can be breaked, forced, overwhelmed

“Let them come, I will take down all of them”

Yep, eventually someone will come, and NO sometimes you can not take them down all. You need to accept fact that point of survival is to survive, not to die like hero in big gunfight. I prefer to be living sneaky person who is good at hiding, instead of dead brave hero.

No matter how much time and money you spent in making your shelter inpenetrable, everything can be broken and taken, it is just matter of time and enough force. We are talking here about ordinary people who do not have ex. rocket launch silo for shelter.

2. Your shelter can not look different than anything that surrounds it

No matter what kind of shelter we are talking about, be sure that it looks like anything else around it. What that means? There is no sense of doing things to your house in order to make it more secure and then to look very different from other houses in your neighbourhood.

If you want to improve your house security do it in way that nobody sees it from the outside. In other words if you are living in street where all of the houses are pretty much same in way of looking, same yards, lawns, fences etc. just look like everybody else.

This is like a swarm of fish who all look the same. Chances that you get picked out and eaten are smaller that way.

The first looted houses in your area show up, loot your own house and make it look like it was looted already. You do not want to be first house that looks abandoned and not last.


3. Improve your security the “invisible” way

Of course you need to improve your house security, but doing that with only high fences and alarm alone will not do the job.

Plan now in peaceful and “normal” times. If you have yard, plan and plant plants and trees. Go out with pen and paper, sit down and take some time. Think about planting some stuff in order to help you in some future time. Think about any possible scenario that can happen to you and your neighbourhood. Trees (big or fallen trees…) or some plants (garden) can hide some things, can be obstacles, can offer you some outpost for scouting things. Also some plants carefully planned can hide some emergency exit or entrance in/out out of your house.

Some things, usually bad things can happen (and things like that happened) by pure luck or bad luck, so sometimes just to have house that is not so clearly “visible” from street is great thing.

I mean lot of bad things happened just because something just looked interesting from the street, or something just caught attention.

Be sure to have things ready in your storage to reinforce your house. Things like steel bars, steel plates, plywood, bags (for sand bags). Look now around your living place and think what you could use for reinforcment when SHTF. For example I used steel covers from sewage openings to reinforce our house.

4. First make your self uninteresting

When you think how to make your home the perfect shelter, first think about how to remove any possible reason for somebody to check it, to attack it.

Today in this time be “usual”. Do not give anybody reason to pay you visit when SHTF. That means of course to hide that you are prepper and that you have interesting things inside your house when SHTF. People are acting on one way today, when SHTF yor first neighbor or your colleague from work may remember you that you mention few times that you have good storage and plenty food for any case. Keep low profile.

Think about any possible scenario that can happen in your area. Nuclear plant? Military base? Infectious diseases outbreak? Think in that terms and obtain some signs. Depending what scenario is gonna happen good thing is to have some original signs like: unexploded devices, infectious desease, or chemical hazard or similar.

5. To go in and out

To have one hidden enterance and exit is must have. In SHTF scenario people might not have food, but time to watch surroundings. Prepare for fact that you are not going to use your normal way in house, your door or gate. You must have one exit that is not visible from the outside of the house. Point is that you can go in and out of the house in order to do things, or to evacuate and that people on the street can not see you.

Think what is the best option for your house and for you. For example simple hole from one of the back rooms reinforced inside with bags and hidden outside with plants. For apartment one of the ideas to use windows and neighbourhood apartment to go out and in.

Reasons are multiple: People are gonna scout and check if your house is empty, how many of you are inside, what kind of things you are taking in and out, or simple evacuation.

This all does not mean that you have to now make hole in your wall. But good idea is to think about this now, and have plan where to make this thing when times are here, or to simply plant some trees and plants on correct place now. Or to check now on your neighbouring apartment and figure what is safest route, and what aparment probably gonna be empty. Point is to plan today and take right steps.

6. Have things ready and practice

Think today how you can collect water from roof, try it few times and see how it works because you gonna save time when need really comes. Rainwater is usally also good for your plants you keep so it might not be bad idea to collect some now.

Just try to collect water during the rain with some barels pipes putten in your drainage and filter it. Practice safest, most silent and quickest way.

Have things ready and think about anything possible scenario that can happen to you and your house. Keep in mind you are more vulnerable outside of house than inside, so if you have more inside of house you have to go out less.

Think and try some things today. If you never broke through wall with big hammer you might not have security googles to protect your eyes from flying stones.

7. Out of the sight house

Yes, but again you need to make it out of the sight. Eventually you gonna need to defend it. But as more as you delay that moment it is better for you. I am not finding too much use in term “distant house” from city, or far from the most frequented road in the city. In city everything is close, and to have house in real densly populated area in city can be better than to have it in more peaceful neighbourhood in city. It is matter of attraction again. It is more peaceful in “eye of the storm” then in more rich and nice city neighbourhood when SHTF. Especially if you make yourself not interesting.

A “ghetto” area in which families of gang members live can be more protected and safe than nice suburb that the gangs go in to hunt for resources.

8. Understand your priorities and understand your chances

Your priority is your life. So everything else comes after that. Do not think about your house like about something that cannot be left behind sometimes. If you find your self in situation that you must leave your house, just leave it. Come back again later if you can and continue. Have some place inside your house, safe and hidden where you can put valuable things and run.

I know what I speak about. If I could turn back time I should have left before I was trapped in city.

A guy who I knew left his house several times because people who searched it, and looked for valuable things. His urban survival shelter was just apartment but he had good scouting position right under the roof of his house where he could lay down and look out of small gap under the roof.

Whenever he saw them coming he run and hide in neighboring graveyard. Once he spent two days and nights there while guys drink his alcohol inside his house. He had small hidden chamber under his floor where he kept his small storage. After they left he just came back. He survived. He said he felt really safe in one of the family tombs where he hided. Later he made jokes that guy who saved his life is dead for almost 100 years.

He just did not had chance in fight with the guys who came to his place, but was smart enough to know it.


Shelter in urban environment is about low profile, many ways of hidden exit and entry and also being in the right area of your city. A good urban survival shelter does not have to be strongest fortress, it can be the one with the best overview and escape routes (like the guy who hided on the graveyard), the one that looks least desirable, the one that people do not see as shelter.

Flexible and creative way of thinking and looking like everyone else while thinking different can save your life in finding the right shelter, like in most survival things.

Survial Bootcamp

Get instant access to everything, learn at your own pace, 24 hours / 7 days a week.

37 Responses

  1. I recently watched the film “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”. Boring film, but I saw one useful idea from it. The main character, every time he left his house, he put a tiny wooden peg in the door frame. Every time he returns to his home, he looks to the peg. It isn’t something that you would normally notice. A tiny piece of wood. But, he sees it has fallen out, and knows that someone has opened his door. This can of course be something besides a piece of wood. A small paper. Maybe a pile of sawdust inside the door area for someone to step across. Anything. Better if it is very subtle, so no one pays attention. This way, you can know if you have someone sneaking into your shelter. Maybe they are going through your stuff while you are outside.

    1. That is the actual source of the phrase “I got you pegged”. It doesn’t refer to buggery but to detectives and spy types who would put a peg in the door, to tell if someone was coming and going.

  2. I totally understand the importance of making your house unattractive. Some years ago I decided my car was not going to become one of the crime statistics of stolen vehicles. I bought a car from the junkyard. It was old and beat up looking, but still solid…on the outside. Inside, I replaced everything with new: engine, braking system, electricals. To the thieves, my car was a junk they did not wish to take.

    1. Along those same lines, years ago we had people breaking into houses when you were at work. So I bought a $250 junker (still ran) and kept it in my driveway. By moving it around a few times a week it looked like someone was always home. Not only did our house not get robbed, but the neighbors close by probably benefitted by me being home too. (wink wink) Because they were never robbed either.

  3. I lived in South East Asia where there is a lot of rain forest. Most of the people lived in terrace houses & has steel gate for their door & window but utmost all of it is bolted onto the door so by using a jimmy we can easily pry it off. I built all my grate flush with the door & window with the lock in the middle so it is utmost impossible to pry open. I have also goes trekking often. Since there are many bushes around, I carry a small ‘V’ tent take can be set up within minutes & when set amount the bushes, it can hardly be seen. I have a ladder that goes up the ceiling so in the event of SHTF, I would goes up the ceiling & used a binocular to observed what is going on for several hundred metre around my house so if the mob is too big I can easily slip away & set up a tent nearby hill that overlook my house. If the mob is manageable, I will defend my house.

  4. Nothing else paints a target on your urban home like barbed wire fencing, iron barred windows, and “Protected by Smith & Wesson,” posters. Might as well scream, “I’m a survivalist and have some pretty cool stuff in here!”

    1. Some things working only in peace time. So point is to consider the whole different situation when SHTF. While today signs about weapon in house, and high security do some job, when SHTF that will just attract people.When SHTF one simple plastic sign “mines” or “unexploded devices” or “quarantined area” can do much better job then lot of real weapon. Nobody saying of course that you do not have to be perfectly good armed. Just use your real weapon and security stuff when all other things(that make your place uninteresting) failed.
      Reason for this is simple, once when fight is started in most cases you will have to go to the end. It is you or them. Nobody will come to arrest the attacker, no sirens in distance, you are gonna waste resources if you survive…
      To have perfectly guarded and defended house should be surprise for attacker if everything else is failed and they attack, do not make perfectly guarded and defended house to be reason for them to attack.

      1. Another possibility are door handle marker cards or marks on the garage door door indicating that the house has been searched and only dead bodies remain. You would need to be familiar with the official police/military methodology in your area.

        1. In the US, there are standardized disaster markings and symbols used by all Federal, State and Local search and rescue teams and disaster response teams. Use the search term “disaster door markings” or “SAR Door Markings”. Hope this is useful.

  5. In my part of the world the wild blackberries make a very good natural ‘barb wire’ fence. They have almost covered the garage now. It looks like Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.
    I decided to plant thorny raspberries beside the house too.
    We also have invisible tripping fences. Caught three drunks already, and they are not taking my lawn chairs anymore!

      1. We have a small section of our yard that hasn’t been closed off with a proper fence or plants yet.

        We live in a college neighborhood that has to learn every year what the locals will and will not tolerate.

        I purchased one of those cheap little metal ‘decorative’ garden fences that you just push in the ground. They can be pulled up and put back for mowing.

        I found one that was green. It completely blends in with my grass.
        When the drunk college kids try to do their ‘steal the yard art’ or as in my case, take my lawn chairs if I leave them out – they start to run up fast and find themselves on the ground not even knowing what put them there!

        I haven’t actually seen any of them fall, but I have had to re straighten the fence and put it back up three times!
        You can also move it a little different each time or put it in a zig zag.
        Not a great permanent defense but I am having fun with it for now!

        1. We used to live in a college town, and this is just too good! I wish I knew of this earlier, it might of helped some friends out! This is a great idea to even use in a shtf to alert you of people trying to enter your yard on the sly! Great idea!

          1. At night a tightly strained strand of wire ( fencing wire) is almost impossible to see. You can have trip wires at ankle height, knee height and even neck height. if you hang some cans filled with pebbles on the wires.. they will be warning wires too. A cheap and effective way to make rapid approach to your house or camp more difficult.
            More useful in a rural setting. There are special tools you use for making fences tight, and there are wire “strainers” which wind up the wire and keep it tight.

  6. Urban hide and seek poses a myriad of problems that those of us who live “Out in the Country” do not face. Example: Where I live in the South we are blessed with an extremely high volume of trees and undergrowth that Urbanites see as unsightly. However, a Hunting “Deer Cam” is easily concealed, takes very good, high resolution photos that can be sent straight to your home computer/laptop and from what I understand about the Smart Phones can also receive these real time up to date photos of anyone or anything crossing within the range of the Cameras.

    The Trail Cams come in all kinds of colors and of course Camo Patterns. If one chooses a Trail Cam for the purpose of it acting as an electronic watchdog or perhaps to replace the typical security perimeter cameras, then make sure the Camo pattern matches and blends in to the environment.

    I hunt on currently Public lands and even though the continued use of Trail Cams is not legal, I encounter several with each hunting adventure. I used to collect them and turn them in to the local Game and Fish Cop at his request and he then in turn would try to locate the owners and was successful in about 98% of the time. He would first call the owner and tell them that he had the device, remind them that it was against the rules but, if they would come and get the camera(s) there would be NO summons issued. If he couldn’t raise the owner via telephone, he would send a delivery acceptance letter to the address with the same notations as he did with the phone contacts.

    The reason I appeared to stray off course is that, as the Game and Fish Cop and I were testing the units that went unclaimed, we found several that had a very strong motion detector sensor. In other words we found several of the higher end units could detect and photograph for several multiples of ten yard increments.The Officer and I were good friends off the job and strong allies on the job so, we were comfortable discussing matters such as home defense, perimeter defense and so forth.

    I need to clarify something for just a moment, during hunting season, as I would come across the Cameras, I would take notes on their location and 30 days after the seasons ended, I would go back in per the rule allowances and if the cameras were still there, I could leagally take them without having to turn them in. But, Officer Ron and I said that we would not just take the units but we would make reasonable efforts to contact the owners and then after another 30 days in the “Found/Confiscated” room, they were to be either sold at auction, destroyed, or donated to hunting education programs or they could be logged in to Division/regional HQ.

    We donated the vast majority of the Cameras to the education programs for young hunters. Others we destroyed because of damaged lenses or broken cases etc. We only logged in to Dept. Inventory about a dozen or so per year.

    During this process and upon discovering the range in distance clarity as well as the capabilities of real time streaming to the owners’ home computers and Smart Phones, Sgt. Ron and I hit on an idea. We worked up a plan to utilize those trail cams for home perimeter defense. Both he and I lived way back off the main road with him living a couple miles from ANY major roadway so these were perfect places to try out our plans. So we took our ideas from paper to real time trials.

    By placing the cameras at staggered intervals along the driveway and animal trails that were easily identified, we wound up covering all the natural approaches from very near the roadway all the way to within 50 yards of his home. He then had a computer geek friend of his come out and link the cameras that were capable of sending to live or real time pics to the computers so that sitting at his computer desk Sgt. Ron could see several hundred yards in an about 300degree Arc.(approximate that is) with the ones at my home taking far fewer cams but getting good clear surveilance shots a good solid 180degrees on one side of my home and in the neighborhood of 150degrees on the other side.

    After we got all the cameras installed, we went to each other’s property and took photos of where the cameras were situated in an attempt to find weak spots or “tells” where someone not knowing about the cameras could spot the cams. To our amazement only 4 cameras needed some extra work in order to better conceal or re-position for better clarity. The beauty of all this testing that my friend Ofc/Sgt. Ron and I conducted was that, it would take quite a bit fewer cams than we used between the two of us. But the best thing of all was that they were ALL wireless and the newer ones used tremendously less energy to keep a vigil of our properties and added to that of course was that we could turn the cameras on and off from our computers and we could take snap shots if we saw anything worth capturing on disc.

    1. Another manual device that can lower your profile is a military/swat style periscope. Some, like the Swatscope, have adjustable power. And if you have to run, you can take it with you.

  7. Being from Native American stock on both sides of my parents lineage, I have a very strong affinity to the land and shelters to us come as easy as breathing. This is because we know it takes very little to make a good sound structure that can weather the Storms and environmental extreme swings.

    I taught my oldest Son to always get his house up first and formeost whenever he was out and either decided to have an impromptu sleep over in the wild or was caught out due to darkness or weather. Some folks and Boy Scouts especially will argue that Fire is the First responsibility of the individual who finds himself having to spend the night or more away from home.

    My thinking and applying what I have learned from my Ancestors and present Peers, dictates to me that it makes more sense to get your shelter up first. Then a very small fire that can be maintained either inside the shelter or close to the opening with a reflector shield to bounce the heat back in to the shelter. My Son demonstrated this concept and skill at a Leadership Training Conference held in early Spring of 2011. It was strictly primitive and would be judged and everyone would be graded on a pass fail system.

    The Conference had scheduled check in to be 2 hours before Dusk Dark and then it would be first come first served for check in and registration. My Son and his advisor/Second arrived a half hour earlier than check in time so they found their designated area. My Son I will call Son spotted where he was going to build his home. for the weekend. They were allowed to bring with them a Tent no larger than a two man size and a sleeping bag. Son got out of the car carrying two wool blankets and his axe and paracord.

    When his Advisor whom I will call J saw him walk down to the spot Son had picked out with only the blankets and his woods tools, J told him that he could bunk with him. Son just smiled and said, “No thank you, I don’t want to get cold and wet tonight.” J couldn’t believe what my Son had just said because the weekend was supposed to be clear and mild.

    During Check in J was telling the other advisors that Son had not brought anything with him except for the blankets and tools. The Advisors in turn told their weekend companions about Son’s lunacy. They decided to “just be available” in case they were needed. The very moment Son was checked it , he jogged back to his pre designated camp site which was on a small plateau at the top of a huge hill. His second chose a spot slightly down the side of the hill on the opposite end of the little plateau.

    My Son, then built the frame work of a niced sized lodge and used the paracord to do most of the lashing. He used honey suckle vines that he had spotted about a half mile from the campsite. He then set about building his lodge and the moment he got the roof frame work done he gathered up his fire wood and brought it up to within a couple feet of the entrance and covered the pile up with branches of evergreen boughs. J was busily working on his fire ring and getting a fire started all the while his tent and sleeping bag and his blankets and rain fly were still neatly wrapped in the bundle he came in with.

    He stopped to take a break to come over to Son’s campsite and offered advice that he really needed to get a fire going before it got too dark to see how to gather the wood. Son just smiled and said that he had it under control. With that J walked off telling him that he knew better than to pass up the fire to start building a structure that was NOT going to keep him dry nor warm. About the time J had walked the 35 yards to his camp site, the Sky opened up and it started raining buckets. J yelled that it wasn’t supposed to rain and was madly scrambling to get his tent unwrapped and then the winds picked up and before J could do anything, the rains doused his fire and the wind had caught his tent and had deposited it about 50 feet off the ground up in another tree.

    J, by now was soaked to the bone, his sleeping bag was sucking up the water like a sponge and all he could do at that moment was look up at his tent. He made some remark that his weekend was now a bust and he might as well go home. My Son having seen the whole episode as he was putting the last of the boughs on his lodge, pulled out a length of paracord and made an impromptu monkey’s fist knot with a small stone about the size of a quarter inside the knot. He made about 3 or 4 tosses before it landed on the tent and the stone/string just slid off the tent. J at this point was completely depressed and unsure of what to do. He said to Son that the Monkey’s knot was a good idea but the rain was making his tent too slippery for the knot to hold. Son just tossed the stone back up and and with a couple of quick wrist moves he had spun the tent’s cordage around and around his paracord and with a quick jerk the Tent came floating back to the ground. He then helped J get his tent up and his sleeping bag placed inside although it was soaked all the way through. J turned around and realized that his fire was now, not only out but the ring had acted as a dyke and held the water so that he now had a nice little mudhole about ankle deep where the firewood was just a few moments earlier just getting started.

    Son asked J if he needed him to help him with the fire and J replied that he could handle it and that Son should get moving on his shelter and pray that it didn’t take on much water during the night. My Son just pointed over to where his lodge was standing and J instantly saw the tell tale sign of a working fire with its smoke rising lazily out of the smoke hole. He then asked if my Son would mind him looking at the set up. As he knelt down with the rain pouring off his back and down in to his boots, he saw that the inside of the structure my Son had built in about 30 minutes was not only hold a fire, it was boiling water and heating up the lodge rapidly. He said then that he had never seen anything like that in his 30 years of Scouting.

    My Son invited him in and while he could not stand up completely straight he could move about easily. He noticed that my son was busily digging a trench about the width of his blankets and about a foot deep. With his asking my son about what he was witnessing, Son began to lift out red hot stones and placed them in to the trench and once the bottom of the trench was totally covered with the hot rocks, he covered them up with the soil he had just excavated and with the stones filling in a goodly portion of the hole, there was enough dirt to build up an earthen platform. Son went about tamping down the loose soil on the mound. He then asked J if he had eaten yet. J turned to face my Son and asked him what he had to eat and Son told him that he had killed a pair of wood ducks and had skinned them out right after he had his lodge up.

    To make a long long story shortened, My Son was not only the talk of the weekend but he was asked to explain “where, how and what he had learned how to do what he had done. He smiling at them said, “My dad taught me to get my house up first and then the fire, not the other way round” He went on to explain that if he had a house in which to stay dry, He could then build his fire inside his house if necessary. He was asked every question imaginable and enough so that he had to literally tell them that he was tired and wanted to go to bed because it was well after midnight of the first night. His truly primitive shelter is still standing to this day and has had many many people sleep in it during Scouting excursions to the area. The most amazing thing is that, while he built his lodge almost on the very top of the hill, if one was not looking for it with some understanding about where it was situated, it would be likely that people would just walk right by it. Such has been the case on several occasions according to the owner of the property where these Scouting camps are held 12 months of the year. The property owner was so impressed with what he heard and then saw with his own eyes, he asked that the Boy Scouts and other visitors not tear down the lodge.

    Now the vines that my son had used to do some of the lashings have actually taken root and have now totally covered the lodge which has added to it’s water tightness and over all structural integrity.

    1. Great story. It is good to hear of young people who have been taught properly, who have respect for the old ways and the people who teach them. Thank you for sharing that.

  8. A thought here…..

    When TSHTF, it might be a good idea to hang some fish hooks from trees or other structures using mono-filament line. Place them at just about eye-level. Or possibly between 4-5 feet from the ground.

    These would be darn near impossible to see, even in the daylight, and would be definitely impossible to see at night.

    These would serve two functions:

    1. Physical deterrent. A fish hook in the face is going to deter just about anyone and prove very discouraging to their nefarious plans.

    2. Early warning system. A fish hook in the face will very likely produce a very vocal response on the part of the victim. At the very least, they are going to make a lot of noise trying to get themselves free of it.

    Placing the hooks at head level will largely eliminate the possibility of injuring an innocent animal. And it goes without saying that this would also pose an inherent risk to the person setting the traps should they forget where they have been placed.

    This is not something that should be done prior to a “without rule of law” situation, but should only be used when the social fabric of your community has completely unraveled.

    1. Walt,

      I’ve actually run into this during my LEO days. Normally, we never used sidewalks or driveways……but on one particular raid, the ground was absolutely soaked (standing water) and would have made more noise…..so we decided to use the sidewalk…….the occupants were totally surprised….and so were we when we started working the perimeter……..fishing line strung ~1′ off the ground (criss-crossed), some with fishing hooks (treble)……..we were grateful for our decision

  9. I have never built a permanent shelter outdoors to plan to live in long term, but in our area (desert scrub with thick thorny growth), the people who lived in this area before A/C was available built their homes on elevated decks, to help keep themselves cool. Their windows were tall to allow heated air to flow out – some even had open ridge vents as a mater of course. In this day and age of A/C, most homes aren’t designed for free flowing air.

    If you want to build to hide in the wild areas – avoid structures with straight horizontal lines. There aren’t many natural shapes like that in nature and they gain the attention of human eyes, and cast shadows that tell of something of interest may be here. Shapes in nature are more round or angular (ever see a square hill or tree?).

    I’ve been studying the sandbag ‘igloo’s designed by Nadir Khalili, which are stacked sandbags designed in igloo like shapes, then plastered for waterproofing. The process is completely DIY if you like, keeping privacy of its whereabouts known to you. No heavy equipment needed to purchase or rent (thought a bulldozed hill of dirt would probably speed things along considerably).

    The website is named Cal Earth, it is worth considering if your shelter will be built in the rurals where privacy and materials are available.

    A sun shade or ramada is well worth adding as well, out here, you have a lot if you can stay under the shade. Steel cattle panels (15′ x 5’) can be shaped into ‘hoop houses’ if you like, almost made for a quick ‘yurt’ frame. The footprint would be small – that is good!

    Just a few ideas – this was a great post btw.

  10. I was in a group similar to boy scouts and girl scouts (but combined).
    We had one campout that was in late fall. The boys (9-12 yo) had to construct natural shelters, but the girls got the dome tents.
    We were surprised with an over night 3 ft (1 m) wet & heavy snowstorm. In the morning almost all of the tent had caved in and everything inside the tents were wet. The boys were all dry for the days that we were stuck up in the mountains.
    While teaching wilderness survival at a camp in central Oregan I had the kids make shelters. One group found a very large tree that was dead and used the 2-3 inch thick bark (over lapping) for roofing material. It never got wet!

  11. A quick comment on dome tents. Light and easy to carry… not that easy to put up.. practise.. but I would almost always put a cheap plastic tarp over them if you expect rain (or snow). The tarp is WATERPROOF, it also protects your tent from UV damage, and from overheating in the sun…and adds insulation in the cold.
    In a SHTF situation a CAMMO pattern tarp is obviously a good idea. Peg the tarp out well.. you need extra pegs and ropes for this. You might even have extra poles to hold the tarp up in front of your doors. The tarp is your roof.. and the tent is your sleeping room under it.
    You could also consider building a “natural” shelter over a small tent.. both to protect it and hide it.

    1. Very good thought on extending your tent’s life – but I would recommend switching out the plastic tarp for the heavier (and far more expensive) canvas tarp. The plastics make an awful amount of noise in windy conditions (like sleeping in a potato chip factory), and the sound carries a bit, though not too far, in the woods. A heavier material is far more muted.

      Another benefit of tarp cover – better light masking. Lit interiors of tents make it glow, a tarp covers that. Also – adding bug netting around the perimeter would help keep flying pests out.

  12. Very good post. I have been away but now I’m catching up again.

    I’m probably the only reader from Portugal, btw. Buying, carrying, or even storing guns is not allowed here, and most stores won’t even ship camo net, wire, helmets or any other supplies. Same thing with guns applies to several medications, such as antibiotics.

    If SHTF, this place is toast.

    1. I think I would be looking for an opportunity to find better pastures.
      Even though I am mourning the loss of my country, I particularly feel for those who are already living under tyranny. My prayers to you and your countrymen.

  13. Thank you.

    For family and professional reasons, I cannot move abroad. I guess it’s going to be a bunker-down doctrine…

    Suggestion to Selco: on the wiki, maybe we could have an anonymous “members per country” table?

  14. I also thought of a use for those above ground swimming pools that are no longer watertight. They are often thrown away when this occurs. The pool could be inverted (use bottom for roof) and using steel ‘cattle panel’ walls configured into circle, could make a good outdoor sleeping quarters / living area for winter use. Think of it as a short yurt.

    10 foot diameter interior works out to approximately 78 sq. feet of interior floor space. Easier to keep warm. You would likely have to prop up the interior roof to keep it from collapsing with snow or rain. A few 2x4s for columns and lumber joists would work. If you made this support higher in center, you create a pitched roof, helping it drain.

    For insulation (and camoflauge), the sides could have piled debris along the perimeter, leaving room for an entry that conceals any light from within from view.

    Just doing some brainstorming early this morning.

  15. Good article. Some interesting comments. As I see it, everyone of you are going to get used to doing things they don’t even show on the worst of the worst tv shows or you won’t make it. Most of that prepper crap is just that.

    I.ve read about bug out packs, vehicles, trailers. Foolishness, pure foolishness. Where are you going to go? A strange area that you don’t know where shortcuts, hideouts or stores that may have things you will need in six months. Who else is going there? What about those already there?

    Stay where you are. Use the dead for camo. Break out your own windows day one. Kick in your door. Open your secret storage area door and mess it up a little. Leave some stuff and a bit of a mess. Build a backyard swimming pool, get the neighbors to help and your buds from work, serve beer and ribs as you mess the place up. Have a big CONEX box (steel storage box) with ACME POOLS stenciled on the side and always, always padlocked when the crowds are over. Spread the rumor you are bankrupt about half way through. Winch the box into the ground and cover. The little hole you cut in the side of the box should line up with the tunnel that opens in the crawlspace of your house. Anything you need for vents or drains around the box can be easily explained as “Code” requirements to insure proper compaction of the ground. T%he louder you complain about building departments, permits, and building inspectors, the more people will believe you.

    So when the mob comes callin’, you and yours can be safe in you underground bunker that has no visible entrance and the mob will think someone has already been there and you fought as long as you could and you all died. BTW, don’t tell ANYONE or come D-Day, you may find a linde at your spot.

  16. I love the advise and the stories! I’ve been looking at Cal Earth for a year or so, an I think the shelters are beautiful and functional. So many great tips..Thanks, Judith

Leave a Reply


Related Articles

Prepping What Food To Store

What food can be foraged?

Explore the bounty of nature with me as I delve into what food can be foraged, from wild berries to edible plants and mushrooms. Join the adventure!

Read More

Join our Mailing list!

Get the latest on survival, exclusive deals and course updates.