How to build a simple shelter?
As the sun goes down, you should give up your activities and start looking for a shelter. In the mountains, it gets dark faster than on the plains, and it is difficult to prepare a place to rest in conditions of limited visibility.
Lack of a shelter in the face of wind, rain and low temperatures can lead to hypothermia, i.e. a drop in body temperature below 35 degrees Celsius. This condition leads directly to death.
The psychological aspect should also be mentioned. The lack of a substitute for a home, such as a shelter or other makeshift shelter for a lost person, results in a deterioration of mood, a drop in morale, and in extreme cases a nervous breakdown that prevents rational conduct.
Features of the optimal place for the construction of a shelter
- Wind protection (e.g. the leeward side of hills, natural shelters such as shrubs, trees),
- no threats (e.g. floodplains, avalanche areas, dead trees, insect nests),
- level ground, with dimensions that enable the construction of a shelter (height x 1.5).
An ideal place to camp in the mountains is on a flat piece of land, about 30 meters above the valley floor, on the southern slope. This location will ensure the highest possible thermal comfort.
There are two basic types of shelters:
- natural (caves, rock depressions, empty tree trunks),
- improvised (huts).
Natural shelters allow you to save time and take care of the next activities necessary for survival. However, they cannot be counted on in every situation.
Instructions for making a simple hut
1. At the beginning, it is necessary to deal with insulation from the ground, which will ensure thermal comfort and convenience. It can be a mattress made of leaves, grasses or dry moss. Green spruce branches, available both in summer and winter, are perfect for this role.
2. Once the appropriate-sized mattress is ready, the skeleton of the shelter can be built. The main structural element is usually a long stick, several meters high, tied to a tree at a height of about a meter, with the other end dropping to the ground. Perpendicular to it, smaller branches should be placed at an angle of 45 degrees, thus creating a skeleton for the roofing of the single-pitched roof. Remember to build the shelter in such a way that its roof falls in the direction from which the wind blows.
3. The roof covering is made of materials that are easy to find nearby. It can be leaves, bark from fallen tree trunks, moss, spruce branches. The covering should be supplemented in the manner of tiles, i.e. from the ground to the top of the shelter. This design will provide protection against rain and wind. It will also allow you to reflect and accumulate heat inside the shelter, if a fire is lit from the side of the entrance.
Author: Kajetan Adventurer Wilczyński