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How to Build a Desert Shelter

In the heat of the desert, it is important not to lose water through sweat. But you also need to protect yourself from low nighttime temperatures. This shelter serves both purposes.


  • Step 1: Dig a trench Dig a trench with your shovel, 15 to 24 inches deep, that you can comfortably lie in.
  • TIP: Locate the trench between sand dunes or rocks.
  • Step 2: Surround the trench with sand Place the sand you unearth around three sides of the trench.
  • Step 3: Prepare an entrance Remove additional sand from one end of the trench so you can get in and out easily.
  • Step 4: Cover yourself Cover yourself with a poncho or space blanket, secured to the sides of the trench with sand or rocks.
  • FACT: Many animals in the desert manage to survive the harsh climate by spending daytime underground or in the shade.

You Will Need

  • Shovel
  • Sand
  • Poncho or space blanket
  • Sand dunes or rocks (optional)

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