The rule of threes states that one can live up to 3 minutes without air, 3 hours without shelter, 3 days without water and 3 weeks without fire. Needless to say that making shelter is of utmost importance whether you’re bugging out through the woods or just wandering around and trying to stay under the radar in a city ruled by gang members.
Let me tell you about different types of shelter you can have with your in your bug-out bag or build for yourself out into the wild.
Lean-To Shelters Made of Branches
This is the poster-boy of emergency shelters and you can see it on the left. You will need either a fallen tree branch or something to lean into the main branch.
After that, all you have to do is place branches and twigs of various sizes left and right of the main one. To isolate the makeshift shelter even better, use moss or dry leaves.
Last but not least, you’re gonna need to make an opening to allow yourself and the heat from the nearby open fire to get in.
Tip: make sure the entrance is not directly facing the dominant direction of the wind or you’re gonna have a bad time…
Tip #2: If you can’f find anything to lean the main branch from, you can use paracord and/or duct tape to secure it from the adjacent smaller branches. Click here and watch this video for more info.
Water is one of your most urgent needs in a survival situation. You can’ t live long without it, especially in hot areas where you lose water rapidly through perspiration. Even in cold areas, you need a minimum of 2 liters of water each day to maintain efficiency.
There are easy ways and not so easy ways to filter water…
If you have a LifeStraw, for instance, you don’t really have to do anything except to sip in the water.
Probably the most complicated (and unsafe) way of filtering water is to make your own filter using an empty bottle which you fill with filtering agents in a certain order. Charcoal, sand, small rocks and even a cotton cloth can be used.
You can use charcoal from your camp fire and a bandanna or something similar to put at the top of the filter to remove big particles first. You should also place a second cotton cloth or a coffee filter at the bottom of the filter to be the very last thing the water passes through before reaching the second container. Click here and watch this video for more info.
How to Start and Maintain a Fire
Creating and maintaining fire is one of the most important survival skills that you need to learn. Being able to get a fire going and maintaining it can mean the difference between life and death in a survival situation. Fire can be very useful in a survival situation, you can use it to boil water for drinking, cooking, provide heat and even use it as a signal for help. Another important use of fire when surviving outdoors is it can serve as a weapon to drive away wild predatory animals providing you a sense of security and comfort.
Starting a fire outdoors can be very difficult, most of the time you will be forced to use wet wood which only makes it even more difficult. Without the right knowledge on how to start a fire without the use of matches, lighters, or paper can be life threatening as you will be forced to survive in harsh cold conditions. Here’s a quick 3 step guide on how to start a fire outdoors. Click here and watch this video for more info.
1. Prepare your materials
Fuel or tinder is the most important material to successfully create a fire. There are a lot of materials that can be used as fuel or tinder even when surviving outdoors. Frayed pieces of clothing and lint from your pockets can be used as tinder. Another great option for fire starters would be Q-tips cotton ends, small scraps of papers, and fluff from wool clothing. There are also a lot of materials that can be used as tinder but are usually overlooked like insect repellent, chap-stick, deodorant stick, petroleum jelly, carmex, alcohol prep pads, and even snack chips. You can use any of the materials mentioned above as efficient tinder or fuel to successfully create a fire.
2. Building a Fire
Keeping the fire burning can be very difficult, before you start a firealways make sure to have these fire following materials ready: a bark, plenty of small twigs, and different types of flammable items or materials that you can get. All tinder or fuel that you gathered should be placed in an area of ground that is cleared and away from the fire. The next thing you need to do is make sure that your fire is contained to avoid accidents and injury. Create a barrier by surrounding the burn area with a non flammable ring made of rocks, bricks, blocks, scrap metal and other non flammable materials. By creating a barrier you will be able to accomplish these three most important factors in creating and maintaining a fire:
- Containing the fire.
- Depending on the materials that you use, the barrier that you created around the fire will become heated and retains this heat for a long period of time. You can then use these materials to keep you warm, heat up water, and even cook and heat up food.
- Having a barrier around the fire will help maintain it by protecting the fire from being blown out by a gust of wind. In a survival environment where making a fire is difficult the smallest breeze can waste all your hard work and even deplete your resources very fast. When making a barrier just make sure that it is wide enough to let oxygen get into the fire and keeping unwanted breeze or wind out.
3. Putting it all Together to make a Fire
After gathering all the fuel and tinder you need and creating a fire place put the tinder at the center of it and place the twigs and small amount of fuel in the tinder. Remember not to bury the tinder. Place the fuel in a tee-pee above the tinder lying loose to allow oxygen to flow through. Using a fire starter like a flint and steel, matches, or lighter ignite the tinder and place more fuel as the fire grows. Make sure that you have stacked a lot of fuel as fire will consume large amounts of fuel very quickly, by doing this you can save time and save yourself the trouble of trying to find more fuel in the darkness as your fire is about to go out.
Damp wood can also be stacked for fuel, just place it around the rock circle or barrier and let it dry out from the heat of the fire. Keep in mind that the more fuel you add the bigger and hotter the fire will grow so you need to consider how long you need to keep the fire burning for your meals or to simply heat yourself. Keeping the fire going to finish all the things you need to do and not creating a large fire than what is necessary will help you save on fuel.
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