How to Build a Shelter in the Forest

If you get stuck in the woods, you'll need to know how to protect yourself from the elements.

You will need

  • Ingenuity
  • Forest debris
  • like branches
  • leaves
  • pine needles
  • and logs

Step 1 Find a depressing in the earth Look for a depression in the earth–a ditch, a gulley, or just a shallow place.

Step 2 Cover the depression Cover the depression with branches and logs, then climb beneath them to keep the wind off you.

Step 3 Make a lean-to No depression? Use fallen deadwood and branches to construct a lean-to or shack with an inclined roof, supported on one side by trees. Your objective is to create an area that’s out of the wind.

Step 4 Look for a fallen tree If you can’t find enough debris to build a structure, look for a fallen tree. If there’s one around, line it with branches and tuck yourself underneath it.

Step 5 Build a leaf hut Build a leaf hut (also known as a ‘debris’ hut). Simply make a huge pile of whatever you can find — leaves, bark, branches, pine needles — and then crawl into it.