Heck, can you blame them? With all the terrorist attacks, murders, and all the other terrifying stuff going on in the world right now it makes me want to curl up in a survival shelter and forget about the world, too.
However, despite the panic we all are in right now, it’s crucial to your survival to know as much as you can about where to place your bug out shelter before you go off and build one. After all, if you don’t know what you’re doing and you pick the wrong location, you could put yourself and your loved ones in some serious danger.
I want you to be as prepared as possible for when SHTF (after all, it could be any day now), so I’m going to share some tips with you about…
Choosing A Survival Shelter Location
1 – Shop Around Beforehand
Before the SHTF, it’s necessary to have an idea of where you’re off to – that way you can scope out the area and make sure it has enough natural resources to last you for a while.
Look for a nearby water supply, trees for firewood and building shelter, game you can hunt/trap, rocks for building a shelter/surrounding a fire, and covered areas to remain unseen in case of intruders.
Also look for grass and other soft materials that you can use to sleep on inside your shelter.
Temperature is also a crucial factor in determining where to set up camp, and this varies by region. If you’re in the woods, it’s often best to settle up on flat land, as water runs downhill (and you want to avoid puddling around your shelter).
However, if you’re in a hilly area, it’s often best to set up your shelter about 3/4 up a hill. This is because cold temperatures will often settle into a valley, and tops of mountains/hills often receive the most wind.
It’s also important when selecting a shelter location to choose one far away from the main roads and cities. After all, once SHTF it’s every man for himself, and you don’t want to be taking any chances trusting lots of people with your safety.
Also be sure to consider how you’re going to get there. Will you walk or drive? If you’re driving, how many miles is it to your spot and how many tanks of gas will you need?
Hint: if it’s more than one, forget it – your local gas station will be useless if the grid is down. Be sure to have at least three different routes of getting there in an emergency.
If you’re walking, are you strong enough to carry your bug out bag and survival gear with you for the entire journey? Consider all the factors of getting to your location beforehand so there’s no surprises.
It’s also important to keep an eye out for poison ivy and other poisonous plants around your campsite; if there are any, make sure they’re far away from where you’ve set up your shelter.
After all, you don’t want to go for a bathroom break in the middle of the night and bump into one of these on your way (or worse, accidentally use the leaves as T.P.).
Finally, consider your local weather and ensure your location (as well as your shelter) will be able to block you against rain, wind, and snow.
2 – Consider The Surrounding Trees
You may have trees surrounding you for firewood, but that doesn’t mean they’re safe to sleep under.
For instance, if you’ve set up camp underneath a tree with dead branches, you better move – otherwise those “widow makers” could come crashing down on your campsite (or worse, your head).
Large trees are typically ideal for setting up a shelter under, as they often provide lots of coverage and shade from the elements.
However, be on the look out for large roots around your campsite – you don’t want to make the mistake of starting a fire on top of a root, and setting the whole tree on fire!
Lastly, avoid setting up your shelter next to a fruit tree – these attract both insects and animals, and these critters may come crawling into your shelter looking for more bites. The fruit can also fall onto your shelter, causing potential damage and ruining your sleep.
3 – Figure Out How Your Shelter Will Be Situated
So you’ve gotten your location figured out; now it’s time to figure out what direction you’re going to have it facing in.
For example, consider the sun – is it shining straight into the opening of your shelter? If so, that may be an unwelcome awakening early in the morning (however, other people may enjoy this).
Also consider the wind – unless it’s warm outside and you could use a refreshing breeze, you won’t want the wind swooping into the opening of your shelter (especially if you’ve got a fire going right outside it). Make sure the wind is hitting the backside of your shelter.
Seeing as (like in most weather conditions) warmth is often the end goal, it’s important to plan accordingly. You can help block the wind (and save your fire) by building a wall of logs to keep your fire burning and your shelter warm.
Finally, nothing helps keep a shelter warm like a secure, tight-fitting door and insulation. Make sure to have these in place (and that you’ve sealed all the openings/cracks in the frame) before the wind and rain pick up so you can stay safe, warm, and dry through the night.
4 – Remember That Survival Gear Is Crucial To Your Success
It’s true that location is crucial to your success when building a shelter; however, your life is also very much dependent on the survival gear you take with you.
Check out our essential survival gear here.