How To Build A Safe Shelter


how to build a safe shelter
how to build a safe shelter
Photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash

As previously stated, one of the most important requirements for living off-grid is shelter. Most preppers will know how to build a temporary shelter out of materials found on the forest floor, but what if the disaster or crisis devolves into chaos? Would you know how to build a more permanent home for you and your family?


You must understand how to construct your survival cabin. Let’s face it, when SHTF, most of us will flee to the woods. There’s a reason for this. The forest contains one of the most valuable resources required to construct a long-term shelter: wood. This type of survival shelter will take time and effort, so it’s critical that you learn the basics right away rather than learning through trial and error and wasting resources.

Select Your Site – Learn about the location you intend to visit now. What is the distance, how long will it take you to get there, and how will you get there? Choose a location that you can reach on foot or with one tank of gas. Once you’ve identified a few locations that are easily accessible, you’ll need to ensure that they are sufficiently remote from major roads and cities.


You’ll need a location near a water source, with plenty of trees for both shelter and firewood, and an abundance of animals to trap. Ideally, you’ll also need some softer materials to make a sleeping area; for now, grass will suffice.


Shelter building process

Choosing Logs and Preparing the Site – The majority of trees can be used to construct a survival shelter. Although hardwoods such as walnut, poplar, or oak are more durable, they are more difficult to work with. Choose Pine, Cedar, or Spruce instead. If you don’t have another choice, just build with whatever trees grow in your area.

The trees you select should be long enough to create the length of your shelter, or double if large enough to get two lengths out of each tree. To provide adequate insulation, they should be around 10 inches in diameter. Trees must also be as straight as possible.


Raising the Walls – The first step in raising your walls is to install the four sill logs. These four logs should be the largest in diameter, straightest, and longest. You must first take two of them. Make a notch (hole) at each end of two sill logs with your axe

Place your log in the location where it will eventually sit to make this type of reverse-saddle-notch’ (on top of two of the horizontal posts that are buried into the group). Mark the location of the log with your knife. Make a V shape on the underside of the log with your axe until the notch is large enough to fit snugly around the horizontal post. This should be done at both ends of two sill logs.

Windows and Doors – You can use your axe to carve out openings for your doors and windows. When you’ve reached the desired height for your window or door, begin cutting and removing logs one by one to make room for a door.

Raising the Roof – The shelter is almost finished, but this is the most difficult and time-consuming stage of construction. You’ll need some brute strength for this. You will now draw two triangles on two opposite walls to form your gable walls. Continue to build the logs, gradually shortening them using the same notching method. When you’re halfway up, notch the two purlin logs so that they connect the two gable walls, one on each side of the triangular shape you’re making.

Continue building the two gable walls until you reach the tip of the triangle, and then connect the gable walls with the large ridge log. Depending on the size of the logs and how much help you have, this can be extremely difficult work.


The need for a structure of this quality and stability is uncommon, but as previously stated, it is better to plan for all possibilities than to find yourself in a situation where you need a permanent structure but don’t know how to build one.
The beauty of this structure is that trees can be found in almost every part of the world, they are one of the most dependable building materials, and if you learn this simple technique, you will be able to build yourself a shelter wherever you are.

Hal Lewis

Hal Lewis and his wife Nancy spend most of their time working on their homestead, from rain water collectors to solar panels and battery stations, they’re doing it all. While they’re not disconnected from the rest of the world, the two of them prepare for come-what-may. Hal has spent twenty years in and out of different jobs that have all helped with homesteading, and to save you time, he’s here to show you everything you need to know to get started. It’s a tough road ahead, but with tips, tricks, and buying advice for materials and prepping necessities, he’s got you covered.

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