SHELTER : Part 1 of 3 – Introduction ; The Tarps

In this part of the website, we consider the most important types of shelter and how they offer the prepper and survivalist protection – from the elements and predators – as well as the opportunity to get some rest and sleep.

It is therefore convenient to discuss also other items that offer protection in a not so obvious manner, namely …. Sleeping bags and accessories such as emergency blankets.

[ Side note : ].

One of the first stages of survival in nature. All animals know it. It is not possible to survive without shelter.

Why build a shelter? Ask yourself the right questions before you start!

A shelter will protect you from bad weather: rain, cold, snow, etc. It will be different depending on the time you will have to spend there, the conditions for which you will have to survive (flight, area without sufficient food, waiting for help), the location (mountainous region, forest, desert …), tools and materials at your disposition.

Tent or shelter ?

Are you a real outdoors person and do you want to fully enjoy the nature around you? Then a shelter is the best choice for you when you need it.

However, the choice for a tent is not bad ! A tent is useful if, for example, you have no trees nearby to attach your shelter to, or if you prefer a safe,enclosed sleeping place.

Even in times of crisis it can happen that your own home is no longer safe place to stay and so you have to look for another place to stay. In an emergency, you can fall back on so-called survival tents. These offer advantages such as:

  • Small pack size
  • Easy to carry and set up
  • Easy to stow away again
  • a thermal protective cover

Refuge is your new God – As well as protecting you from the elements – rain, snow, dropping temperatures, high winds – and providing a place to store your equipment and supplies –  shelter should be your top priority for winter survival.

Your job is to calm down and stay alive, and you can’t do it homeless. The winter months are unforgiving, so build a shelter that can withstand Mother Nature’s worst.

In a wilderness setting, you can create a quick and sturdy shelter using what nature has provided. Look for tall trees, rocks, fallen branches, and natural land formations that you can use to your advantage.

Tree and bush shelters

The choice of location is very important

It should not be too far from a water source, but above all it should be on well-drained and high ground to prevent the shelter from being flooded. A flat site of about 4 m 2 and without too much root, to sleep well.

The ideal is to find a discreet place, already a little sheltered from the wind and the rain, for example under one or more trees, under an overhanging rock … and if possible surrounded by a lot of debris likely to be used for the construction of shelter (dead branches, dead trees, dead leaves, etc.).

Using trees and shrubs for shelter shouldn’t be your winter survival plan. It’s just not durable, comfortable, or suitable for long term survival. Also, you can’t start a fire under them, and you will need a fire at some point if you want to do that. However, when there is not enough time to build a proper shelter, it will do because it can keep you alive.

  1. Spruce trees are well suited to human shelters because they provide a sturdy and almost impenetrable forest cover. They usually have a thick bed of needles under them to lay the foundation for a comfortable bed. Additionally, the trunks of many types of mature trees can be large enough to provide a natural windbreak.
  2. If there is no spruce in your area, you can use any tree with good canopy and a thick trunk. Avoid trees that lean heavily to one side or have roots sticking out of the ground. Heavy snow could bring this giant down at any time.
  3. If the branches are too low for you to chop them down, trim them or cut off a little to make it a suitable area for your climb.
  4. In a pinch, you can slide under a thick branch or at the bottom of evergreen bushes. Watch out for the animals hidden in these places, however. Some will not be so willing to abandon their homes when you arrive.

To maximize the heat inside this type of shelter, try doing it on the smaller side and pile up debris on all sides of the shelter. Debris can act as insulation and prevent your body heat from escaping to make you live at night.


This is a large sheet of strong, flexible, water-resistant or waterproof material, often cloth such as canvas or polyester coated with polyurethane, or made of plastics such as polyethylene.

Tarp is short for tarpaulin , which means something like tarpaulin or tarpaulin. The verb to tarp means to cover .

A tarp belongs to a special edge area of ​​the tent category. In contrast to a tent, a tarp is not closed. The tarp is an airy canopy and protects against rain and direct sunlight.

There are many, many types of tarp …..

To set up a tarp, you will need a number of items in addition to the tarp itself :

  • Trekking poles, branches, professional poles or several tripods .
  • Paracord, cord or the like for tensioning. (NB: Paracord is less static and has to be re-tensioned repeatedly in rain or damp weather).
  • Herrings (you have the option to carve some yourself)
  • Possibly carabiners.

Location for your Tarp

When choosing a location, first make sure that you feel comfortable with your final choice. It is also important that the lying surface is as flat as possible and free of sharp objects .

Then look upwards ! If you see rotten, dead branches or the like above you, take them down so as to prevent ‘surprises’ later, especially at nightfall.

Also, be careful not to set up camp near game roads and deer pass. Otherwise you won’t have a quiet night.

Ideally, it’s wise to experiment with your tarp yourself. This is how you can discover which types you prefer and how to assemble it quickly.


Unigear Hammock Rain Fly Waterproof Tent Tarp
Unigear Hammock Rain Fly Waterproof Tent Tarp, UV Protection and PU 3000mm Waterproof, Lightweight for Camping, Backpacking and Outdoor Adventure.

- A compact and good entry-level version.
- It is waterproof with eyelets + 6 pegs + 6 ropes.
- MULTIPLE USES: The rain fly can be widely used as survival tarp, hammock shelter, outdoor kitchen cover, simple tent, tent footprint, ground sheet and instant shade. Come with 6 stakes and 6 ropes, you can set up different shapes easily.

NAME of TARP DD Tarp 3x3 - Olive Green Tarp Aqua Quest Defender Tarp
INTRODUCTION. The DD Tarp 3x3 is an incredibly versatile tarp with 19 attachment points allowing it to be easily manipulated into many different types of shelter. Measuring 3m x 3m and constructed with 190T polyester with PU 3,000m waterproof coating it is stormproof. A taped central seam adds to the tarp’s impermeability. Key to the tarp’s versatility are four pegs and guy lines and the three attachment points running in a line down the centre of the tarp. Suspended on a ridge-line between two trees this item can be used as an A-Frame tarp or in a diamond shape in an easy to erect basic set-up.` The Aqua Quest Defender Tarp offers you a 100% waterproof tarp in various sizes, protecting small and more crowded groups from extreme weather. With a hydrostatic resistance of 20,000 mm, The Defender can guarantee not a single drop of water will get through your tarp.
SPECS./ FEATURES - Extremely versatile tarp / basha / shelter - Dimensions: 3m x 3m - Weight: 790g - Material: 190T polyester with PU 3,000m waterproof coating - 19 attachment points, 16 round the outside and three in the centre - Four pegs and guy lines - Available in Jet Black, Coyote Brown, Olive - - - Green and Multi cam Camouflage colour. - 100% WATERPROOF : The Aqua Quest Defender Tarp will keep you completely dry, even in extreme weather conditions - EXTREMELY DURABLE - The Defender has proven itself to be incredibly durable and resistant to the forces of nature, even after prolonged use. - COMPACT - With a practical pack sack and a pack size of 30 x 16 x 8 cm, the Defender is an incredibly strong tarp that is still easy to pack - VERSATILITY : With 21 reinforced loops made of webbing material (including 7 loops along the ridge line) and tent pole inserts in all four corners, you have all the angles covered. Set it up in practically any situation - you don't need trees to set it up
PROS - A sturdy, wind tolerant awning*, water impermeable, that gives you many different setting angles. - It is very well made out of PU coated Polyester and all the seams are taped so you don't get any seam ingress. * = a rooflike cover extending over or in front of a place which acts as a shelter. - 100% Waterproof - Durable - Extremely versatile - Compact - Includes lifetime warranty
CONS. Setting it up a bit time-consuming, not least for the inexperienced prepper or survivalist. - Costly but does represent value-for-money. - Some customer feedback sggests it is heavier than advertized.

You can access more information from your amazon country website by CLICKING the appropiate link in the table below :


This concludes PART 1 of this ‘SHELTER’ menu. In Part 2, we’ll discuss Tents, including their obvious importance, the vast choices available and how to use them in order to keep all your emergency supplies and equipment bone dry whilst at the same time making their owner as comfortable as possible.

CLICK HERE to go to PART 2




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