Creating a Dug Out Survival Shelter: A Step-by-Step Guide

Have you ever wondered how to build a dug out survival shelter? Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or simply curious about survival techniques, this step-by-step guide will provide you with the necessary knowledge to create a secure and reliable temporary refuge. From choosing the location to constructing the shelter, we will cover all the essential steps to help you create a dug out survival shelter that would ensure your safety in a variety of scenarios. Get ready to embark on a fascinating journey of learning and exploration as we delve into the world of survival skills.

Choosing a Location

Creating a Dug Out Survival Shelter: A Step-by-Step Guide

Considerations for location choice

When choosing a location for your dug out survival shelter, there are several important factors to consider. First and foremost, you want to find an area that is away from potential dangers such as flooding, rockslides, or falling trees. Look for higher ground that provides natural drainage and is not at risk of being submerged during heavy rain. Additionally, make sure the area is not prone to wild animal activity or insect infestations.

Another important consideration is accessibility. You want to choose a location that is easy to reach, especially in case of an emergency. Avoid remote areas that may be difficult to access quickly, especially during harsh weather conditions. Having the shelter within a reasonable distance from your home or main living area will also make it more convenient to stock and maintain.

Lastly, consider the surrounding terrain. Look for areas with natural cover, such as dense vegetation or rock formations, that can provide additional protection from the elements. Avoid steep slopes or areas prone to landslides. Ideally, the location should have a relatively flat or gently sloping terrain to make the construction process easier.

Finding a suitable area

To find a suitable area for your dug out survival shelter, take time to explore your property or nearby wilderness areas. Look for clearings or open spaces that meet the criteria mentioned earlier. It’s important to observe the area throughout different seasons to ensure it doesn’t become vulnerable to factors like flooding during a specific time of the year.

Consider speaking with local experts or outdoor enthusiasts who are familiar with the region. They may be able to provide valuable insights and recommendations for suitable locations based on their experiences and knowledge.

Once you have identified a potential area, spend some time assessing it in person. Look for signs of animal activity or natural hazards that may pose a threat to the safety of your shelter. Take note of the soil conditions, vegetation cover, and any other factors that may impact the construction and livability of your shelter.

By carefully considering these factors and selecting a suitable location, you can lay the foundation for a successful dug out survival shelter that meets your needs and ensures your safety and comfort in challenging situations.

Gathering Materials

Essential materials

Before starting the construction of your dug out survival shelter, it’s important to gather all the necessary materials. These materials will vary depending on the specific design and requirements of your shelter, but here are some essential items to consider:

  • Shovel: A sturdy shovel is crucial for digging the pit and excavating the shelter. Look for a shovel with a durable handle and a strong, sharp blade.
  • Logs or branches: These will be used for reinforcing the walls and creating a framework for the roof. Choose straight, sturdy logs or branches that are suitable for your shelter’s dimensions.
  • Insulation material: To regulate temperature and provide insulation, you’ll need materials such as leaves, grass, or moss to line the walls of your shelter.
  • Tarp or waterproof material: This will be used to cover the roof and provide protection from rain or snow. Choose a durable, waterproof material that is suitable for your climate.
  • Tools: Depending on your specific design, other tools such as a saw, hammer, nails, and rope may be required.

Optional materials

In addition to the essential materials, there are also optional items that can enhance the functionality and comfort of your dug out survival shelter. These may include:

  • Sleeping bags or blankets: Adding warmth and comfort to your shelter, especially during colder seasons.
  • Furniture: Simple furnishings such as a cot or folding chair can make your stay in the shelter more comfortable.
  • Lighting: Portable lanterns or flashlights can provide illumination during the night.
  • Storage containers: Sturdy containers to keep your supplies organized and protected.
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Consider your specific needs and priorities when deciding on optional materials. Keep in mind that every additional item will add weight and require more effort to transport and maintain, so choose wisely.

By gathering all the necessary materials and ensuring you have the optional items that fit your needs, you’ll be well-prepared to begin the construction of your dug out survival shelter.

Clearing the Site

Removing vegetation

Once you have chosen the location for your dug out survival shelter, the first step is to clear the site. Start by removing any vegetation that may hinder the construction process or pose a fire hazard. Clear away bushes, shrubs, and small trees within a reasonable distance around the shelter area. This will create a buffer space and minimize the risk of fire spreading to your shelter.

Be cautious when removing larger trees or vegetation, as they may require professional equipment or expertise. If there are any large or potentially hazardous trees in the vicinity, consider consulting with a professional or seeking assistance to safely remove them.

Digging the pit

After clearing the site, it’s time to dig the pit for your shelter. The size and depth of the pit will depend on your specific design and needs, but generally, a dug out survival shelter should be deep enough to provide ample headroom while sitting and lying down.

Using a shovel, start digging from the center of the pit and gradually expand outwards. Remove the excavated soil from the pit, and be sure to keep it in a designated pile nearby to prevent it from obstructing your workspace.

As you dig, make sure to create a slight slope towards the entrance of the shelter to ensure proper water drainage. It’s also important to smooth and level the floor of the pit once you have reached the desired depth.

By taking the time to clear the site and dig the pit carefully, you are laying the groundwork for a sturdy and functional dug out survival shelter.

Excavating the Shelter

Determining the size and shape

Before delving into the excavation process, it’s essential to determine the size and shape of your dug out survival shelter. Consider the number of people it needs to accommodate and the activities you plan to carry out inside the shelter. Additionally, take into account the available space and the specific dimensions of the pit you dug.

Once you have a clear idea of the desired size and shape, mark out the walls and corners of your shelter using stakes or markers. This will serve as a guide during excavation and prevent you from accidentally digging beyond the intended boundaries.

Digging the entrance and tunnel

With the pit marked and guidelines in place, it’s time to start digging the entrance and tunnel. The entrance should be wide enough for easy access but narrow enough to provide additional protection and insulation. Dig a tunnel that connects the entrance to the main living area of the shelter.

As you dig the entrance and tunnel, maintain a consistent slope that promotes proper drainage and prevents water from entering the shelter. Pay attention to the height of the tunnel, ensuring it allows for easy passage with enough headroom.

Creating living and storage areas

Once the entrance and tunnel are complete, it’s time to create the living and storage areas within the shelter. Use the shovel to carefully shape the walls and floor, creating a smooth and level surface. Consider creating separate sections within the shelter for sleeping, storage, and other activities, depending on your needs.

Take into account the insulation material you gathered earlier and line the walls with it. This will help regulate the temperature inside the shelter, provide some cushioning, and absorb excess moisture.

By carefully excavating the shelter and planning the layout, you can maximize space utilization and create a functional living environment within your dug out survival shelter.

Reinforcing the Walls

Lining the walls with logs or branches

To reinforce the walls of your dug out survival shelter, gather logs or branches that are straight and sturdy. Position them vertically along the walls, pressing them firmly into the soil to create a strong support structure. Ensure that the logs or branches are tightly packed together to prevent any gaps.

This lining will not only add stability to the walls but also act as anchors for the insulation material. Make sure to leave openings for air vents and windows if desired, as these will play a role in ventilation and natural light.

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Adding a layer of insulation

After lining the walls, it’s time to add a layer of insulation. Utilize the leaves, grass, or moss you gathered previously to cover the logs or branches. Distribute the insulation material evenly, pressing it firmly against the walls. This layer will help regulate the temperature inside the shelter by providing additional insulation and moisture absorption.

Ensure that the insulation extends from the floor to the ceiling, creating a continuous barrier. Pay extra attention to corners and crevices, making sure they are well-covered. Remember to leave openings for windows and air vents if necessary, as ventilation is crucial for a healthy and comfortable living space.

By reinforcing the walls with logs or branches and adding a layer of insulation, you are ensuring the structural integrity and thermal efficiency of your dug out survival shelter.

Constructing the Roof

Building a framework

To construct the roof of your dug out survival shelter, you will need to build a sturdy framework. Begin by selecting straight and strong logs or branches that are suitable for your desired roof dimensions. Place them horizontally across the shelter, parallel to each other, and evenly spaced.

Secure the logs or branches in place by either lashing them together with rope or using nails or screws if you have the necessary equipment. Make sure the framework is stable and properly aligned before proceeding.

Creating a Dug Out Survival Shelter: A Step-by-Step Guide

Covering the roof

With the framework in place, it’s time to cover the roof. Use a tarp or waterproof material that is large enough to extend beyond the framework’s boundaries. Secure the material tightly over the framework, ensuring there are no gaps or loose areas that may compromise the roof’s waterproofing.

Take a moment to assess the overall appearance and functionality of the covered roof. Check for any weak spots or areas that may require additional reinforcement. Additionally, consider adding an extra layer of insulation over the roof to further enhance its thermal properties, using the same insulation material used for the walls.

By constructing a solid framework and covering the roof with a waterproof material, you are providing essential protection against the elements and creating a durable and reliable shelter for your survival needs.

Ventilation and Drainage

Creating air vents

Proper ventilation is crucial for maintaining a healthy and comfortable living environment inside your dug out survival shelter. Air vents help circulate fresh air, prevent condensation, and minimize odors and humidity buildup.

To create air vents, you can either leave gaps or openings in the walls that are covered with a mesh or install flexible tubing that leads to the surface. Aim to have at least two vents, positioned at different heights to promote air circulation.

Make sure the vents are protected from rain or snow by angling them downwards or covering them with a small roof-like structure. This will help prevent water from entering the shelter while still allowing air to flow freely.

Ensuring proper water drainage

Water drainage is another critical aspect to consider when designing your dug out survival shelter. Adequate drainage prevents water from collecting inside the shelter, reducing the risk of flooding and moisture-related issues.

Ensure that the floor of the shelter has a slight slope towards the entrance or designated drainage points. This will allow water to flow out naturally. If needed, dig small trenches or channels to guide the water away from the shelter.

Inspect the area around the shelter and ensure that the surrounding terrain naturally directs water away. Consider adding additional drainage systems like trenches or underground pipes if necessary.

By prioritizing ventilation and drainage, you are creating a safe and comfortable living environment within your dug out survival shelter, minimizing the risks of moisture-related issues and ensuring fresh air circulation.

Finishing Touches

Smoothing and leveling the floor

As you near the completion of your dug out survival shelter, take some time to smooth and level the floor. Use the shovel to remove any uneven patches or debris, creating a flat and even surface. This will enhance comfort and functionality within the shelter, minimizing trip hazards and optimizing space utilization.

Ensure that the floor is adequately packed and compacted to provide stability and prevent erosion. Consider covering the floor with a layer of insulation material for additional comfort and insulation.

Adding sleeping platforms

Creating dedicated sleeping platforms within your dug out survival shelter can greatly enhance your comfort and allow you to make the most efficient use of the available space. Utilize logs or branches to build sturdy elevated platforms or bunks. Ensure that they are wide enough to accommodate your sleeping gear and provide a comfortable sleeping surface.

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Position the sleeping platforms along the walls of the shelter, leaving sufficient space for movement and storage underneath. Double-check their stability and make any necessary adjustments to ensure safety while sleeping.

Installing simple furnishings

To make your stay in the shelter more comfortable, consider installing simple furnishings. A folding chair or small table can be beneficial for various activities. Secure these items to the walls or place them on stable surfaces to prevent them from becoming trip hazards.

Keep in mind that the furnishings should be minimal, compact, and lightweight to avoid clutter and optimize space utilization. Remember that the primary focus of your dug out survival shelter is functionality and essential needs.

By attending to these finishing touches, you are fine-tuning the details of your dug out survival shelter, optimizing comfort, and ensuring a more enjoyable experience during your stay.

Ensuring Safety

Securing the shelter from intruders

Ensuring the safety of your dug out survival shelter is paramount. While the shelter itself provides some level of protection, additional measures can be taken to secure it from potential intruders.

Consider reinforcing the entrance with logs or branches to create a barrier and deter unauthorized access. Installing a simple latch or lock mechanism can further enhance security.

If possible, camouflage the entrance and surrounding areas to make the shelter less noticeable. Utilize natural materials like branches, leaves, or rocks to blend it with the environment.

Lastly, prioritize situational awareness. Being vigilant, maintaining proper noise discipline, and securing the immediate vicinity of the shelter contribute to your overall safety.

Addressing fire safety

Fire safety is another important aspect to consider when using a dug out survival shelter. The enclosed space can present challenges in terms of ventilation and the potential risk of fire hazards.

Avoid open flames inside the shelter, as they can quickly deplete oxygen and produce hazardous gases. Instead, use battery-powered lights, lanterns, or other safe alternatives for illumination.

Create a designated area outside the shelter for cooking, preferably using a portable stove or stove with proper ventilation. Clear the area around the cooking space from any flammable materials and exercise caution when using any heat sources.

Additionally, be mindful of any flammable materials or chemicals that you may store inside the shelter. Properly secure and store them in designated containers away from ignition sources.

By taking precautions and following fire safety protocols, you can minimize the risk of fire incidents and ensure a safe and secure environment within your dug out survival shelter.

Stocking the Shelter

Essential supplies

When stocking your dug out survival shelter, it’s important to include essential supplies that can sustain you during an emergency situation. These supplies should cover basic needs such as food, water, and medical requirements.

Ensure you have an ample supply of non-perishable food items that are easy to store and require minimal preparation. Canned goods, freeze-dried meals, and energy bars are excellent options. Stock enough water for at least three days, considering both drinking and hygiene needs.

Include a basic first aid kit with bandages, disinfectants, painkillers, and any necessary prescription medications. Consider any specific medical needs you or your group may have and ensure you have the required supplies.

Long-term food storage

In addition to the immediate essential supplies, it’s wise to consider long-term food storage options for extended stays in your dug out survival shelter. This can include items like bulk grains, dehydrated foods, and seeds for sprouting.

Invest in proper food storage containers that are airtight and moisture-resistant to keep your provisions fresh and protected. Educate yourself on proper food storage techniques, rotation, and preservation to ensure the longevity of your supplies.

Consider supplementing your food storage with a small portable stove or cooking equipment suitable for your shelter’s environment. This will allow you to prepare meals and maintain a sense of normalcy during prolonged stays.

Emergency tools and equipment

Alongside food and medical supplies, it’s crucial to stock your dug out survival shelter with emergency tools and equipment that can aid in various situations.

A basic toolkit with essential tools like a multi-tool, a knife, a hand saw, and a hammer will be useful for repairs and adjustments. Additionally, include items like a flashlight with spare batteries, a whistle for signaling, a portable radio for communication, and a rain poncho or waterproof clothing.

Consider including personal protective equipment like gloves, masks, and goggles for added protection. Prepare for potential emergencies by storing extra batteries, matches, and a fire extinguisher.

By carefully selecting and stocking essential supplies, long-term food storage options, and emergency tools and equipment, you are equipping your dug out survival shelter with the necessary resources to sustain and support you during challenging times.

In conclusion, building a dug out survival shelter is a rewarding and important step towards ensuring your safety and well-being during emergencies. By carefully considering the location, gathering the necessary materials, clearing the site, excavating the shelter, reinforcing the walls, constructing the roof, ensuring ventilation and drainage, adding finishing touches, and addressing safety measures, you can create a reliable and comfortable shelter that meets your needs. Remember to stock your shelter with essential supplies, consider long-term food storage options, and include emergency tools and equipment for added preparedness. With proper planning and execution, your dug out survival shelter will serve as a reliable sanctuary in times of turmoil.