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How to Find a Good Spot for an Outdoor Shelter

Learn how to find a good spot to build an outdoor shelter from NYC Outward Bound's Marko Yurachek in this wilderness survival skills Howcast video.


If you are faced with the situation where you might have to spend the night outside; you've been hiking, you get turned around, you can't find your way back, you can't get back, you need to spend the night where you're at. Some of the things you want to look for are natural shelter, things that going to keep you warm, things that are going to keep you off the ground, and enough material that you can build a shelter. Here, we're in upstate New York. There's a lot of resources to be had. Some of the things you want to look for are a nice canopy over your head if there's a light rain or drizzle, that's going to stop a lot of the water before it even gets to your shelter.

If you have all the leaves on the ground here, you're going to make a nice pile of leaves to protect you against any moisture that gets through and also to insulate you from any cold. Another nice feature of this particular location is that we have kind of a cliff band behind us. The rock itself will provide protection from the wind. It will provide protection from rain coming from that direction. If you have a little bit of overhang, you can put a fire at that base of the rock. That's going to give you a surface behind to reflect heat back onto you. So the rock itself is going to be a really nice resource for building your shelter. So you have all the things you need to build a nice, warm, cozy shelter for the night right here in this location.

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