Picture this. Your ship is caught in the middle of a violent storm and capsizes. You wake up on a deserted island with the wreckage and a few crates from the ship washed up on shore. Some of the crates contain food and drinking water so you’re good for the time being. But if given the choice, what else would you want to be in the crates? What would you want to salvage from the wreckage? A box full of gear and tools would be great, especially the ones you can use to build a survival shelter.
It’s highly unlikely that power tools such as a drill, circular saw, and grinder would wash up on shore. Besides, all the seawater and lack of sockets in the island would render them useless.
Since this is a hypothetical situation, let’s not include hand tools as well. We’ll focus on survival gear. Go ahead and make a wish list of items you’d want with you to help you build a survival shelter and possibly even a boat to leave the island.
In building the ultimate survival shelter, you need to make do with what you have. You think of all the wood you can salvage from the wreckage but their all wet and you can’t wait another minute without a shelter. Fortunately, the island is full of trees and vegetation. Even luckier, there’s a pocket chainsaw in one of the crates.
Cut down some trees and use the wood for your shelter. Since you’re not building a log cabin, you can use the pocket chainsaw to cut off branches from large trees or logs. These large branches will make up the frame of your survival shelter.
A proper shelter doesn’t let you sleep on the cold ground. The frame will be used to lift your “bed” off the ground. You’ll need four long branches and four shorter ones. Arrange them into a small box-like structure similar to how a log cabin is made. Add at least two more short branches on the first layer to act as support beams for your bed.
You need to clear the logs of its branches and other pointy protrusions. It’s easier to use hatchet for this task. You can also use a hatchet to chop down thin long branches, about 1/2 inch in diameter, to place on top of the cross beams. Use the hatchet once more to gather fresh evergreen pine boughs or live branch tips for your “mattress.” Arrange your bedding in a herringbone pattern.
For the roof, you need more branches. Chop down around ten saplings about 8 feet long each. They should be thin enough to be bent but strong enough not to break.
Later on, you’ll need to start a fire to keep you warm even if you have your survival shelter. The hatchet is a great tool for chopping and splitting wood for your fire. You can split wood into small thin pieces to make tinder and kindling.
Another great thing about the hatchet is that it makes for a great weapon against human and non-human threats in case there are some on the island.
Back to your survival shelter, you need to wedge the saplings in the bed frame so you can shape them into arches for your roof. If that’s not enough to secure the saplings, you can stick them in the ground. Luckily, you find an entrenching tool in the wreckage. Use your folding shovel to dig holes to stick your samplings.
You’ll need to do more digging to survive. Dig deep enough and you can make a trap for wild animals you can feast on later. You can also use it to dig a hole for your waste.
You’re lucky if a box of nails or spikes wash up on shore but they’d probably be rusty by the time you start making you’re survival shelter. It’s a good thing then that you have your trusty paracord bracelet with you. Use the paracord to tie the branches together to secure the roof frame of your survival shelter.
Alternatively, you can use your hatchet, knife or the blade in your multitool to cut vines off trees and use them as rope.
A knife will be a great addition to your limited set of survival gear. Aside from being useful in building your shelter, it can also be used for hunting and self-defense, among other things.
Finally, use the thermal or Mylar blankets you miraculously found half-buried in the sand to cover the structure and complete your survival shelter. Line them on the top and back of your shelter to complete your new home. Add another emergency blanket to cover the opening when it gets dark or when it rains.
When you’re stranded in the wilderness or lost in some godforsaken place, the first things you need to procure are food, water and shelter. A little know-how and the right tools will make it easier to build your survival shelter. It may be nothing like the Trump Tower but it will serve its purpose and help keep you alive long enough to be rescued.
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