How to Build Shelter

by Free Traveler on August 19, 2012

a fort skeleton in albaniaIf you want to travel around the world for free, it is a good idea to learn how to build shelter. Shelter provides you with protection from the elements. In the cold, a shelter can help insulate you and keep you dry. This will reduce the chances of hypothermia. In the heat, a shelter helps keep you out of the sun and lowers the risk of dehydration and heat stroke. In the following guide you will learn how to build and find a few common types of shelters that may one day save your life.

The first kind of shelter is featured in the picture above. It is remarkably load bearing and sturdy, and ideal in a high wind environment. It is essentially modeled after the design of a simple traditional tent. It consists of a base of five poles, branches, or pieces of bamboo to create. To secure the base structure, use any rope like material you can find. If you’re near a city, try searching through the dumpsters for actual rope, or twine. If you’re in the wilderness, thin tree branches or long tough weeds will work best. After the base of the structure is complete, you must then build the walls. If the base seems weak at first, don’t worry. As you add weight to the walls, the shelter will gain strength. The shelter walls can be made wind and  water proof through a combination of more vertical rods, intertwined with dense foliage. Although this tent is very strong and offers unrivaled protection from the elements, it requires a lot of time and energy to build. Additionally, it requires finding and gathering the proper material.

The next type of design is similar but smaller and simpler, thus requiring less time to build. This design is better if you’re in a survival situation, where energy is precious and shelter is a matter of life or death. To build this shelter all you need to do is find one long branch and prop it up diagonally against a tree. Then adorn the walls with any branches or sticks you can find. Though it will be small, it will take half the time to build than the former shelter.

Finally, if you need shelter and are too tired or just too lazy to build one, you should try and seek out natural shelters. In the wilderness, caves are the obvious choice but are often hard to find. If there are no caves in sight, another option is to simply prop yourself at the base of a large tree. If you’re near a city, finding shelter will prove much easier. Although smelly, the dumpster can make a warm and cozy home for the night. Additionally, you can also sleep in public places such as 24 hour McDonalds, or train or bus stations. Finally, most cities have homeless shelters that will take you in, no questions asked, no matter what nationality you are. The easiest way to find one is to ask other homeless people or even the police.

Finding shelter is essential to your comfort and even survival while on the road. It is not only important for your physical well being but also for your mental health. Therefore, in order to keep your spirits up and protect your body, you should try and either build a shelter or seek one out.  If you have the time and energy you may want to build a fort like those listed above. If not, definitely give the homeless shelter a try because breakfast is usually included. Good luck and sheltered travels.