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Shelter is one of the most basic human needs, to help ourselves keep dry and warm we have devoted a great deal of time and energy througout our history to developing and building shelters. Anyone who wishes to be prepared for what may come must consider what they will use to take shelter, these shelters can be permanent building, portable shelters, or something you find or build along your way.


Types of Shelter

Shelters come in many forms, these are a few of them.

Permanent Shelters

These are typically houses built specifically for living in, but could be any structure you take refuge in, whether man-made such as a building or natural such as a cave. Most bug-out locations will be permanent shelters.

In his earthship books, Mr. Reynolds claims the houses he designs/builds get by with around 12" of rainfall, no well, solar/battery power and (virtually) no fuel for heating. His approach is to build using stacked tires, each crammed full of dirt, then cement plaster over the wall.

Some of his designs have earth over the roof, for a thought provoking small earth sheltered home, see: For further info check Mike Reynolds site:

His three Earthship books are available free to read online:

Seminar on earthships by Mike Reynolds, two multi-hour sessions.

Garbage Warrior

Another high thermal mass design site is:

This site emphasizes dry stacked concrete block, with both sides then coated with a single layer of fiber reinforced, surface bonding cement ("structural stucco").

Portable Shelters

These are any shelter, whether pre-formed (i.e. a bivy sack or tent) or improvised (i.e. tepee or tarp) which can be taken down and transported with you.

Dome Tent.jpg

  • Bivy sacks - are quick and easy shelters for one, they are not as roomy or comfortable as tent or tarp, but they are small, light, and effective.
  • Tarps - can be used as shelters if the user has the skill necessary to implement it. A tarp can be used to form a lean-to, tepee or awning.
  • Tents - are popular choice for portable shelters as they are quick and easy to setup while providing high-quality shelter.

Car Living

Cars and other vehicles can be used for temporary or permanent shelter in certain situations. [1][2]

Improvised Shelters

Shelters that are created primarily out of local materials.

See Also



External Links

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