What You Need to Build Survival Shelter

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What You Need to Build Survival Shelter

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.

Saw

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.

PockeTech 48 Inch High Limb Hand Chain Saw
PockeTech 48 Inch High Limb Hand Chain Saw

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.

Bahco 396-LAP Laplander Folding Saw
Bahco 396-LAP Laplander Folding Saw

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.

Hatchet

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.

Estwing Sportsman's Axe
Estwing Sportsman’s Axe

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.

Fiskars X11 Splitting Axe
Fiskars X11 Splitting Axe

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.

Entrenching Tool

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.

SOG Entrenching Tool
SOG Entrenching Tool

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.

Coleman Folding Shovel with Pick
Coleman Folding Shovel with Pick

Paracord

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.

The Friendly Swede Trilobite Extra Beefy 500 lb Paracord Survival Bracelet
The Friendly Swede Trilobite Extra Beefy 500 lb Paracord Survival Bracelet

Knife

Alternatively, you can use your hatchet, knife or the blade in your multitool to cut vines off trees and use them as rope.

Smith & Wesson Stainless Steel Fixed Blade Knife
Smith & Wesson Stainless Steel Fixed Blade Knife

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.

Smith & Wesson Stainless Steel Folding Knife with 3.1-in Clip Point Serrated Blade and Aluminum Handle
Smith & Wesson Stainless Steel Folding Knife with 3.1-in Clip Point Serrated Blade and Aluminum Handle

Thermal Blanket

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.

Premium Life Emergency Mylar Blanket
Premium Life Emergency Mylar Blanket

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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About Us

Gentleman Pirate Club aims to share valuable knowledge and tips on how you can prepare and survive emergencies and other dire situations. We think of different scenarios and show you the many ways you can survive them. We also believe in self-sufficiency as a way to prepare for whatever lies ahead. As our ship sails in these waters, we look for valuable treasures. When we spot one, we tell you where it is.

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