The winter season is when people are advised to stay indoors and keep warm to protect themselves from the harsh cold weather to survive the intense outdoor conditions.
Being out in winter is risky, and things can quickly go from bad to worst when you are accidentally caught out in the cold without adequate covering.
The best way to protect against cold and reduce hypothermia is to build shelters for warmth and protection from the winter elements. The winter shelters must be well built to function properly and keep you warm through winter.
This article presents information on winter shelters, building emergency winter shelters in the easiest and fastest way possible, and considering when building a winter shelter.
How To Build An Emergency Winter Shelter
There are different types of winter shelters, and they include:
- Tree well
- Snow trench
- Snow cave
- A Lean-to
- Leaf hut
What are the qualities of a good winter shelter?
- Protects from the wind and other winter elements.
- Easy to build.
- Possess adequate ventilation to avoid suffocation.
- It should be large enough to provide comfort but small enough so it can be easily heated up
There are certain factors that you must duly consider when building or scouting a winter shelter. They include:
During winter, every object has poor contrast. The aim is to build a winter shelter that can be spotted, and this can be achieved by setting up visible signals outside the shelter.
The campsite should be away from animal kills and insect nests to avoid interaction with wild animals.
The area should also be free from avalanche signs and flash floodings to avoid the risks of being sealed or washed away in the snow.
The location should have easy access in and out and a clear view of the sky for easy and visible danger signals.
The proximity of your campsite should not be too close to water to avoid being swept away by the possible rising of the water. Or being found by predators coming for the water.
Setting up camp should be done with daylight, and you should have at least an hour before dark to gather all the food, building, and fire materials needed.
It is also advisable to position the doors and windows of your shelter adjacent to the wind to protect you from the cold.
Expert Tips and Steps to Building One
- It is important to promptly assess your environment for building materials and supplies needed to complete the shelter in time.
- Scrape off the snow from the ground. Avoid using your bare hands to avoid too much heat loss.
- Pad the scrapped ground with dry leaves or any dry material available in the environment. The aim is to have your shelter very high above the ground to keep warm when sleeping.
- Gather enough wood and poles for fire and building purposes.
- Drive wooden poles into the ground around the bed area to form a pyramid. Now, place other wooden poles where the other poles intersect to form the spine of the shelter and tie them together very firmly.
- With the aid of dry leaves, cover up the building structure to have a thick layer. You can also lace the shelter with snow to reduce heat loss because snow is a good insulator
- Create a small opening for the window.
- Make a fire and park your food and needed clothing in, and close the shelter when it has been heated enough.
The above conditions for setting up a winter shelter also apply to natural shelters like caves, trenches, igloos, and quinzhees.
Knowing the right qualities and things to consider helps guide when building a winter shelter to ensure a quality winter shelter.
In the absence of any of these materials, you can opt for a close substitute with similar effects. It is important to note that the most defining quality of an emergency winter shelter is the camper’s warmth.
Still, these shelters must be well-positioned to avoid risks of hazards and animal attacks.
Winter shelters are designed to protect from the harsh weather elements of the winter season.
So, when next you find yourself out in the winter, whether you are stranded or out camping and have a tent, always remember the requirements of a good winter shelter.
The steps involved in building one, because it can go a long way to help ensure your survival in the harsh winter weather.