Survival Shelters

Survival Shelters 101

Planning and building Survival Shelters as part of your preparedness strategy can seem daunting. Primarily because there is no one size fits all survival shelter scenario. Even if you feel you have made the most comprehensive survival plans its impossible to predict absolutely every disaster or emergency situation that could occur.

That being said possessing a basic understanding of different types of shelter and whats involved is the best way to start thinking about your specific concerns and preparedness strategies.

The object of this article is to provide a beginner’s guide to survival shelters so as to get your creative juices flowing if you’re planning to embark on your own survival shelter project.

The Main Survival Shelter factors you should consider?

Some survival shelters are very basic consisting of basic kit bags with the addition of a tent or tarp. At the other end of the spectrum, there are preppers who have access to luxury below ground doomsday apartments that cost millions.

The factors mentioned below are important because they will give you a better idea of what you will need to focus and decide upon. This will help you understand the scale of your survival shelter project in terms of man-hours, materials, and budget.

Who is the survival shelter for?

Whether you’re planning a basic shelter or a full-on survival bunker you firstly need to consider how many people you want to provide shelter for. Do you need a shelter just for you alone or are you wanting to protect your family and friends?

How long will you need the Survival Shelter for?

How long you will need to stay in any shelter will depend on the scenario you are planning. The minimum time period that survival experts recommend is anywhere between 72 hours and two weeks. This could, of course, be a lot longer if the survival scenario you are planning for is more extreme. For example, nuclear fallout.

Choosing the Right type of Survival Shelters

As I have already mentioned survival shelters vary in their design and purpose. Do you want your shelter to be portable or one that is fixed in its location? If you’re a belt and braces prepper you may want to prepare for both.

Where should the Survival Shelter be located?

Deciding on the location of a permanently fixed shelter is very important. Again the answer to this question depends on your own specific requirements. Do you want a fixed shelter at your home address? Or are you planning to bug out and have access to a hidden secluded location that will protect yours from unwanted attention that can occur in a lawless situation?

Basic or Luxurious?

In addition to deciding on the number of people, your shelter is designed for. You need to consider the facilities your shelter will include and what you want to kit it out with. Some preppers believe that only the basics are needed. Others want a few more home comforts including sleeping, dining and bathroom areas often including a fully functional kitchen.

The answer to the above will of course very much depend upon the budget you have available for your project.

Different types of Survival Shelters

Short term basic Survival Shelters

Tents – Nowadays you can buy one person tents and family size tents which are of good quality. They are easy to construct in a short time period. Tents are an ideal low-cost option that can provide short-term shelter. They are ready to grab and go as soon as you need them. You probably already have one at home already and if you don’t you should think about getting one.

Tarpaulin (Tarp) – Throw a Tarp and some rope into your survival bugout bag and you will have the components needed to put up a very basic shelter. Whilst it won’t provide any degree of luxury it will provide protection from the wind and rain and is extremely portable taking up minimal space in your survival kit.

Storm shelter – a storm shelter can be positioned below ground and also above ground.  They are designed for short-term stays to protect you from extreme weather conditions for a few days until its safe.

Longer Term Survival Shelters

Small bunker – Have you have ever watched the TV Series “Doomsday Preppers” if you have you may have already seen various types of bunkers they have featured. Bunkers are usually built underground and provide long-term protection and more home comforts than a basic survival shelter.

A great example of a more affordable bunker project is the growing trend to use old shipping containers for this purpose.

Luxury Bunkers – there are bunkers and then there are BUNKERS. Luxury bunkers provide most if not all of the home comforts you would ever want in a survival situation. These bunkers range from small apartments to large living facilities. They come fully loaded with home comforts, fixtures, and fittings including plumbing, electricity and more. Think of them as a luxury home in a secure survival location.


Deciding on the type of survival scenario and survival shelter type you are preparing for is the very first step. It’s extremely important to fully research your options so you know whats involved. There are plenty of articles available online to help you do this.

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