The Complete Survival Shelters Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Building Life-saving Structures for Every Climate and Wilderness Situation

You can survive a couple of weeks without food and a few days without water, but in some cases, you would be lucky to survive one night without shelter.

With structures ideally suited for any weather condition, this book presents emergency shelter designs built from a variety of elements, including 100 percent gathered items, a combination of natural and store-bought supplies and even durable construction materials.

The author offers helpful tips and techniques for mastering your shelter-building skills, as well as tutorials on how to make basic tools, bedding, mattresses and other items to increase shelter comfort.

Packed with easy-to-follow instructions and step-by-step photos, this all-encompassing primer teaches you how to construct a variety of lifesaving shelters, including:

• Rock Shelter
• Debris Hut
• Lean-To
• Bent Sapling Shelter
• Snow Cave
• Subterranean Shelter
• Scandinavian Lavvu
• Ger/Yurt
• Basha/Tarp Shelter

Community Review

  • There aren’t many things people need to survive — food, water, and shelter are all that come to mind. So, it stands to reason that it would be a good idea to be able to obtain all if needed. Having some knowledge of harvesting food and purifying water, I wanted to expand my horizons to how to construct shelter from natural materials without the use of tools. This book taught me exactly that (and more!), and I’m quite pleased with it. It goes into good detail on how to build shelters in all types of climates, and also provides a lot of background information as to why shelter is important, and where it should be located. The book contains a lot of pictures for every step of building, and the author is clearly passionate about this craft. Something not as important to me, but still helpful, came as a bonus! The book also includes sections on pre-made shelters, shelter made from bought materials, and even how to mentally prepare yourself for living in a handmade shelter. Nice and comprehensive!
  • I’ve read several prepper books, as it is a hobby of my dad’s that has become mine as well. I picked this one up solely because of its unique take on preparation- I have never seen a book that focuses on shelter quite like this one! It begins with a chapter on the basics which I found really helpful- from clothing and choosing shelter to making your own hammer. Then we got into the really good stuff: making a shelter with your bare hands. This includes shelter from debris to rock to snow. I love this chapter. It is packed with information that is easy to understand and fascinating. The book continues this trend of amazing information with modern materials and store-bought shelter, which I found just as engaging as the DIY shelter shapter Finally, the book ends with something that is all-too-often overlooked in the prepping community: mental preparedness. I loved this chapter and how it impressed how important this step is. Really great book- highly recommend it!
  • You’re stuck in the wilderness. What do you do? Find someplace warm before nightfall. Okay. How? Are you going to build it? Again, how? That’s where The Complete Survival Shelters Handbook comes in! This is a great guide to check out. You hope you never have to use the information, but if you have to, you definitely hope to remember at least the basics. Author Anthonio Akkermans covers the basics and more. He even describes how to make a hammer. A hammer! MacGyver meets Grizzly Adams FTW.
    There are so many ways to make a shelter. The best thing is to use nature. Debris can be your friend. Even snow. You can create a space for the night or build a home in the ground, Laura Ingram style. Build some furniture. You’re stuck out in the wilderness. Make yourself comfortable.
    Akkermans supplies plenty of pictures to help the reader get a better grasp on shelter building. Now, some of the techniques require stitching. I don’t think even pictures help if you’re not inclined to sew, but hey, it gives you options. I’m super down to make a lavvu (basically a teepee) but I think that may be too advanced for my first shelter. Akkermans gets into some carpentry too, so basically I can build a house now (in theory). I’m thinking about using some of these newly-taught on my next calling trip. Work up some bragging rights.
  • Great collection of debris shelter building and reasons for each type and the techniques for keeping you warm but not hot, bug free and waterproof.
  • Good book on natural material built shelters. Lots of pictures and the writeing is very easy and conversational. Good book for what it is.
  • This book starts out great, with a lot of great information and photos of natural survival shelters, some really cool, but it finishes a little weak, going over tents and hammocks. Good info, but could have done a few more build it yourself natural shelters.

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