1. Cold-Weather Debris Hut
This shelter may be the most familiar to those acquainted with primitive survival. The most basic setup for one of these only requires the two longer sides with the front left open. They are only meant to keep you out of the rain, shield you from the wind and provide shade. This particular one is dubbed “cold-weather” because it has a front, it’s well insulated from the bottom and has an entrance that can be plugged. I am particularly proud of door plug here. I’m sure it has been done before, but I had to discover this for myself. It is – by far – the simplest and easiest means to completely insulate yourself from the elements in debris hut. *This one is very doable in my area, and unless you’re caught in a downpour, it should keep you fairly dry and importantly, keep the mosquitoes away. This one is very well camouflaged with the earth if you decide to do an above-ground structure. Even if you are in the Deep South, cold weather injuries can still happen.
2. Open Shed with Reed-Thatched Roof
This structure may be the most unique out of all five. Technically speaking, the structure is formed by stacking the logs in a particular way and it is held together by nothing but gravity. Full disclosure: I decided to tie the junctions with paracord simply because just sliding one of the beams out, any one of them, will cause the entire thing to come down. It is unlikely to happen, I just didn’t want to have to worry about it. For this very reason, I will say: DO NOT try this at home!
3. Long-Term Survival Hut, Rammed-Earth Walls, Debris Roof
This a tiny little thing, you can only sleep in it curled-up. Many people expect the outer walls to be “daubed” but it was designed as rammed-earth-wall shelter. The debris roof – because of the way the leaves are stacked – actually sheds the water to the edge of the walls. I only get a little bit of leakage in one section where the wall ended up being only about 4-inches wide. And no, it does NOT turn into a pool in heavy rain because it was built on a slight mound. *There is a lot of chopping and some batoning to be done on this structure, and it would behoove you to carry a knife capable of that job. One I recommend is the Becker BK-2 knife. I’ve used it to chop fallen trees in making a quick survival shelter when I was on the river and noticed a storm coming in.
4. Adobe Cabin with Cedar Bark Roof
This was my first major bushcraft build. The walls are a mixture of muck, clay and sand with a good chunk of pine needles in the mix. The roof consists of two distinct shingled cedar bark layers. This was the most amount of work out of the five shelters represented in this video, but it was well worth it because it got me through the winter!
5. Insulated Scout Pit
A scout pit can serve to different functions. It is actually a long-term shelter that keep you hidden from prying eyes. These can be built on route from A to B if the journey requires an overnight stay in hostile territory. It can also serve as cache site for various supplies in case of a catastrophe. Once the landscape has a chance to settle back to what it was before, you can stand right on this thing and not know it’s there. Is it waterproof? – you might ask. It depends on the amount of rain, I guess. So far, it has only seen seasonally-appropriate fall precipitation and the inside stayed dry. That much rain just gets absorbed by the soil on top without leaking through. *Building a scout pit should be valuable knowledge for AP readers based on the political environment we are looking at in the US. Do you think something like this would be useful if you are living in South Africa, Mexico or Venezuela? When building this type of structure, try to be mindful of the disturbed earth surrounding it. I can’t predict who you’re going to be hiding from if you find yourself inside one of these, but let me just say that the US is full of fighting men who got good at noticing disturbed earth in Iraq and Afghanistan in order to spot IEDs, especially the “command wire” variety. If you don’t take care to really make this look right, it could be picked out in an instant.
Originally written by “Aspiring Caveman”. The Gray Man’s words are italicized.