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Edible Berries Poisonous
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as food Edible
a primitive Shelter Obtaining Water
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Man made material
There are two things that need to be secured in every survival
- Food and water
from the elements - this would include a dwelling and clothing
This page is still under construction and if
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In this section we will be concentrating on building a shelter from
Manmade tarpaulins, fabrics and the ever popular Parachute. You may have to adapt
some to meet your situation but the principles describe in here should
prove to be valuable. If you are in transit you will want to expend
as little time and energy as possible yet still have adequate
First you must decide where to build and how long you expect to be in
this one location. Selecting a location is critical and just because you
have picked a spot it may not be the best location and you may have to accept
that you should consider building a second one. Now we are not talking
about a view. But other factor such as prevailing winds, pests, lack of
food sources. or the location may make discovery and rescue unlikely. On
the last note there is something you must consider. Relocating may put
you in a location that has already been searched and will not be searched
again in the future.
Choosing a site:
Below are some things to determine when choosing your site.
Exposure to the elements
Away from areas frequented by bears See "Bears
and other dangerous Animals"
The available building supplies
Inherent danger to rockslides, falling trees or similar.
Nearby source of water and food.
High ground to prevent flooding.
Level ground free of rock and debris
Secondly you need to consider the type of structure you are going to
build. Again this will be determined by several factors:
The amount of effort it will require.
The amount of time required.
Building materials available.
Your physical Condition or limitations
What tools are available (Climbing pole, levers etc)
What did you bring with you or were able to salvage.
This is such a wide field as there are so many man made
items that would suffice to make an shelter.
Of course if you have a tent then you only need to follow the
manufacturer's directions to set it up. You should of course prepare the
area where you are plan to pitch it. It is best to to build a raised
platform of stone free soil. By erecting the tent on the raised area the
rain will be able to run off and away from your floor. Use care to not
touch or have anything touching the walls or ceiling during a rain as
this breaks the surface tension of the water and will allow it to begin
Tarps, Ponchos and plastic sheet. ( we will refer to it as a tarp)
Single sided lean-to:
It takes only a short time and minimal equipment to build this
selecting the trees you will use, check
the wind direction. Ensure that the back of your lean-to will be into
Stake made from a branch
- Tie a rope or fasten a pole crossbeam between 2 trees about waist high.
- Optionally you can lay some poles down from the cross beam to help
support the tarp
- Wrap the material at least one full wrap around the crossbeam and
tie twine or laces around the ends.
- Stretch our the tarp to make it fairly taut then anchor the bottom
edge with soil and rocks or pin it with stakes. Use the barb on the
stake to hold down a branch on the tarp so you don't have to make
holes in it.
The above and following shelters are partially
built with manmade materials but in the event you don't have access
to this type of material then look at the
Two sided Lean-to:
To give you extra protection from the elements and if you have enough
material you may want to make a two side tarp lean-to. You could also do
a variation of the door from the Debris hut below to close in the ends.
If you have a fairly large tarp, plastic sheet parachute or similar and
can obtain three poles, make a tepee. It is quick and easy. It provides protection from the elements and can act as
a signaling device by enhancing a small amount of light from a fire or
candle. It is large enough to hold several people and their equipment
and to allow sleeping, cooking, and storing firewood.
You can make this tepee using parts of or a whole personnel main or
reserve parachute canopy. If using a standard personnel parachute, you
need three poles 3.5 to 4.5 meters long and about 5 centimeters in
To make this tepee (Figure 5-4)--
- Lay the poles on the ground and lash them together at one end.
- Stand the framework up and spread the poles to form a tripod.
- For more support, place additional poles against the tripod. Five
or six additional poles work best, but do not lash them to the
- Determine the wind direction and locate the entrance 90 degrees or
more from the mean wind direction.
- Lay out the parachute on the "backside" of the tripod
and locate the bridle loop (nylon web loop) at the top (apex) of the
- Place the bridle loop over the top of a free-standing pole. Then
place the pole back up against the tripod so that the canopy's apex
is at the same height as the lashing on the three poles.
- Wrap the canopy around one side of the tripod. The canopy should
be of double thickness, as you are wrapping an entire parachute. You
need only wrap half of the tripod, as the remainder of the canopy
will encircle the tripod in the opposite direction.
- Construct the entrance by wrapping the folded edges of the canopy
around two free-standing poles. You can then place the poles side by
side to close the tepee's entrance.
- Place all extra canopy underneath the tepee poles and inside to
create a floor for the shelter.
- Leave a 30- to 50-centimeter opening at the top for ventilation if
you intend to have a fire inside the tepee.
One-Pole Parachute Tepee
You need a 14-gore section (normally) of canopy, stakes, a stout
center pole, and inner core and needle to construct this tepee. You cut
the suspension lines except for 40- to 45-centimeter lengths at the
canopy's lower lateral band.
To make this tepee (Figure 5-5)--
- Select a shelter site and scribe a circle about 4 meters in
diameter on the ground.
- Stake the parachute material to the ground using the lines
remaining at the lower lateral band.
- After deciding where to place the shelter door, emplace a stake
and tie the first line (from the lower lateral band) securely to it.
- Stretch the parachute material taut to the next line, emplace a
stake on the scribed line, and tie the line to it.
- Continue the staking process until you have tied all the lines.
- Loosely attach the top of the parachute material to the center
pole with a suspension line you previously cut and, through trial
and error, determine the point at which the parachute material will
be pulled tight once the center pole is upright.
- Then securely attach the material to the pole.
- Using a suspension line (or inner core), sew the end gores
together leaving 1 or 1.2 meters for a door.
No-Pole Parachute Tepee
You use the same materials, except for the center pole, as for the
one-pole parachute tepee.
To make this tepee (Figure 5-6)--
- Tie a line to the top of parachute material with a previously cut
- Throw the line over a tree limb, and tie it to the tree trunk.
- Starting at the opposite side from the door, emplace a stake on
the scribed 3.5- to 4.3-meter circle.
- Tie the first line on the lower lateral band.
- Continue emplacing the stakes and tying the lines to them.
- After staking down the material, unfasten the line tied to the
tree trunk, tighten the tepee material by pulling on this line, and
tie it securely to the tree trunk.
See a listing of Tepee
A one-man shelter you can easily make using a parachute requires a
tree and three poles. One pole should be about 4.5 meters (14 ft) long and the
other two about 3 meters (10 ft) long.
To make this shelter (Figure 5-7)--
- Secure the 4.5-meter pole to the tree at about waist height.
- Lay the two 3-meter poles on the ground on either side of and in
the same direction as the 4.5-meter pole.
- Lay the folded canopy over the 4.5 meter pole so that about the
same amount of material hangs on both sides.
- Tuck the excess material under the 3-meter poles, and spread it on
the ground inside to serve as a floor.
- Stake down or put a spreader between the two 3-meter poles at the
shelter's entrance so they will not slide inward.
- Use any excess material to cover the entrance.
The parachute cloth makes this shelter wind resistant, and the
shelter is small enough that it is easily warmed. A candle, used
carefully, can keep the inside temperature comfortable. This shelter is
unsatisfactory, however, when snow is falling as even a light snowfall
will cave it in.
You can make a hammock using 6 to 8 gores of parachute canopy and two
trees about 4.5 meters apart (Figure 5-8).
Look at the
for ideas on
how to build a