Survival: The 3 types of survival shelters

Survie : Les 3 types d'abris de survie - Phil Team

The three categories of shelters are: hasty, semi-permanent and permanent. Shelter is one of the essential elements of survival.

So, it makes sense to have a working knowledge of shelter categories. A person can die from environmental exposure in as little as three hours without shelter. 

Of course, this rule depends on environmental and health factors. Also, it is useful to remember that there are many types of shelters in each category. Therefore, it is beyond the scope of this article to discuss all styles of shelter construction.

Shelter Category #1: Early or Temporary Shelters

The most common type of wild shelter or emergency shelter is known as a quick shelter Or temporary shelter . This category of shelter has a fast construction. They also give temporary relief from environmental conditions. Debris shelters, wickiups, lean-tos, or one-person tents are examples of this category of shelters. The best early shelters make good use of available natural resources. Sometimes they combine both natural and manufactured materials such as leaves, branches, garbage bags and hiking poles. In the army, hasty shelters are nicknamed, hootchs, and feature the use of the military rain poncho.


The main advantage of this category of shelters is the relative ease of construction. They can be built in minutes to hours depending on what you are trying to build. Hasty shelters that are made well are effective at keeping precipitation out of you and your gear. They also deflect wind away from your body.

Another benefit of fast shelters is that they are effective in helping to maintain your core body temperature. Good shelter, whether natural or man-made, will help keep you warm or cool while keeping you dry. However, the critical point here is how to properly build a hasty shelter from natural materials.


There are a few drawbacks with this category of shelter. One problem with Quick Shelters is that they have limitations in their ability to protect you from exposure to environmental factors. Wind, rain, heat, and cold can still reach you through Rush Shelter, but not as much as if you were exposed. 

Additionally, hasty shelters require skill and experience to build them properly in various environments. For example, a famous survival television personality failed miserably at making an igloo shelter in the arctic with limited knowledge and no experience building them. 

Building shelters from natural materials can be problematic for those with little experience. In a survival situation, the inability to set up adequate shelter with natural resources under adverse conditions could be disastrous.

Factors Affecting Use

There are some underlying factors to consider when deciding what type of shelter to build in a hurry. These factors are time, terrain and available natural resources. For example, military personnel trained in sophisticated survival, evasion, and evasion techniques are on the move most of the time. Therefore, they will not build very elaborate shelters on the ground. They will build a shelter to spend the night and move the next day. On the other hand, someone on a multi-day trek may decide to pitch a Snugpak® Ionosphere™ tent to spend the night in, rather than building a hut out of debris.

Also, it is important to remember that some terrain does not provide enough natural resources to build adequate shelter for that category of shelter. Therefore, it is good to carry a reliably made one-person tent in the field as a backup if possible. kid, Kelty , MSR And Nemo are companies that offer tents suitable for packs.

Shelter Category #2: Semi-Permanent Shelters

The next category of shelters is semi-permanent . As their name suggests, these shelters are more permanent than hasty shelters. The classic example of a semi-permanent shelter would be the Native American tipi. 

Other examples in this category of shelter are the Bedouin family tent, or a large military tent, such as the US Army DRASH tents . The Tentipi Safir 5 Light tent is another example of a semi-permanent shelter. 

However, houses made of bamboo, mud or straw huts could be included in the category of semi-permanent shelters. Additionally, log cabins can be semi-permanent or permanent depending on their construction. Therefore, a semi-permanent shelter is a shelter that has no permanent anchoring to the ground by fixing to a foundation.


An advantage of semi-permanent shelters is that they offer better protection against the elements. They also offer better protection against large predatory animals, such as bears, wolves or cougars. Another advantage of semi-permanent shelters is that they are portable if necessary. The mobility of semi-permanent shelters is not as easy as a one-person tent. Nevertheless, they are mobile. Sustainment of Native American tribes came by following the vast herds of bison. Therefore, their family shelters had to move with them.


A significant disadvantage of this category of shelters is that they are susceptible to destruction by strong winds. High winds can topple these types of shelters because they don't have a permanent anchor to the ground. Another disadvantage is that they require more effort to move than a rush shelter. In the Middle East, Bedouin tribes have to move large rugs and blankets which are their tent covers. Dismantling an enclave of semi-permanent shelters and moving them takes a lot of energy.

Factors Affecting Use

Some factors to consider when building a semi-permanent shelter. First of all, what is the purpose of the shelter? If you're continually walking the terrain, building a semi-permanent shelter isn't the best use of time or resources. 

However, if you're looking to stake out a claim and establish a farm, then a semi-permanent shelter makes sense. Another factor to consider is location. Is there enough land and natural resources to build a semi-permanent shelter? If the location cannot provide you with enough food, water, and topsoil, your semi-permanent shelter may need to be moved.

Shelter Category #3: Permanent Shelters

Permanent shelters are the final category to consider. A person who builds a permanent shelter signals his intention to stay in one place for a long time. Permanent shelters can rest on a foundation of rock, brick or concrete. 

The dwelling is anchored to the foundation so that the building does not move, even in high winds. Permanent shelters take a considerable amount of time to build, especially with the use of masonry.

Also, it takes a higher level of skill and knowledge to build a permanent shelter. An example of a permanent shelter would be a suburban family residence. However, caves could be a kind of permanent habitation, even if a person does not build a cave, they just occupy it.


A significant advantage of a permanent shelter is that it is considerably more resistant to environmental factors, such as wind, rain or cold. Permanent shelters also offer better protection against predators. 

Another advantage of permanent shelters is that they offer a one-building solution for housing a family. Additionally, they provide social, emotional, and psychological stability to people due to the permanence they bring.


A disadvantage of a permanent shelter is that it is immobile in practice. Permanent shelters require a huge amount of time and resources to build. Generally, reasons of survival lead people to abandon their permanent shelters. 

The Anasazi peoples of the southwestern United States have abandoned their permanent shelters (see photo). Additionally, recent flooding from hurricanes and wildfires in California makes leaving permanent shelters for safety or survival a stark reality.

Factors Affecting Use

Consideration of some important factors should influence decisions about building a permanent shelter. 

The first factor is deciding whether living in a particular location is going to be permanent. Arable land, water, game, and other natural resources will dictate whether an area will support long-term settlement. 

Another factor is your personal experience and knowledge of building a permanent shelter. You may need to ask for help to build such a shelter. Is there support?

Final Thoughts

Shelter is one of the essential elements of survival. Every human being needs shelter to be able to survive in the long term. Our human experience incorporates all three categories of shelters for surviving in this world. Thus, it is essential to know these categories to help make decisions on the type of shelter to build. An outdoor emergency in the wilderness will not facilitate semi-permanent or permanent shelter. 

The main task of a person in these circumstances is to get out alive. So, becoming skilled at building hasty shelters from natural resources is one of those crucial tasks to master before heading out for a long trek outdoors.


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