The New Survivalist
Disaster Preparedness and Self-Reliance

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Chapter 7:
Shelter

Survival Shelter

Hopefully you will never be forced to leave your home. Your chances of survival will be much greater if you can remain in the safety of your own private shelter. But if for some reason you are ever forced to leave your home you will need to take as many supplies as you can reasonably carry. If the weather is cold you will need plenty of warm clothing in your bug out bag. You may also want to take a lightweight tent and sleeping bags. If you can avoid seeking refuge in a government-run shelter you will probably be better off.
Even if you are not forced to leave your home you will need to prepare for power outages. You can start now by making your home more energy efficient. Locate areas where your house loses energy and correct them. Consider how comfortable your home will be during hot weather when you are without air conditioning. Perhaps you can improve your landscaping—planting trees to provide shade during the hot months and protection from frigid winds during the cold months.
Consider how you can close off portions of your home during an emergency to save on energy usage. If you are reduced to heating with kerosene, a wood-burning stove or a propane camping stove, it will be much more practical to heat just one or two rooms of your house, rather than trying to keep the whole house warm. Trying to heat rooms which are not in use will result in an unnecessary loss of crucial energy supplies.

If your family enjoys camping, you probably already own a lot of the survival equipment that you will need, including portable propane stoves, lanterns and heaters. If you are not a camper, I certainly recommend that you consider the hobby. At least once a year take a camping trip to a nice natural location, such as a state park. But don't go with the intention of hooking up to the campsite's electrical, water and sewage systems. Leave your television at home! Primitive camping will teach you many survival skills. Learn how to build a campfire (using only matches, newspapers and twigs to start it.) Learn to cook on your campfire, as well as on your portable propane camping stove. Stay in a tent—not in an air-conditioned trailer or RV! Learn what it is like to have to carry your water from the source to your campsite, and how to wash your dishes, with water heated on your stove or campfire, without the convenience of an automatic dishwasher.

Tent

Camping is a lot of fun! Part of that fun comes from the adventure of living temporarily in more primitive conditions. The lessons you will learn will be priceless! Do it regularly. You will learn what you really need to get by in times of emergency, and eventually you will accumulate everything that you will need to be more self-sufficient in an emergency.

campsite

Camping regularly will also help you keep your emergency equipment in topnotch condition. When a disaster strikes, not only will you have many of the items that you will need to make your life easier, you will also be experienced in how to use them under primitive conditions. But even more importantly, you and your family will have the confidence that comes with knowing how to get by "off the grid."

Action Step 13: Shelter Check Lists

Turn to the page in you Action Planner where you have begun your "Get" and "Do" lists for shelter and begin making your lists. On your "Do" list include home improvements to make your house more energy efficient. The camping check list below will help you with your "Get" list. This is the check list that we use every time we make a camping trip, to insure that we don't forget something.

Printer Friendly List Printer Friendly List

Camping Check List:

    Shelter
  1. [  ] Tent
  2. [  ] Tarpaulins (can be used over tent for extra protection from rain)
  3. [  ] Tent stakes with extras for tarpaulin
  4. [  ] Grommet kit
  5. [  ] Tent repair kit
  6. [  ] Nylon cords
  7. [  ] Axe hammer (to drive stakes)
  8. [  ] Duct tape
  9. [  ] Sleeping mats or cots
  10. [  ] Sleeping bags
  11. [  ] Extra blankets
  12. [  ] Pillows
  13. [  ] Body warmer packs (chemical hand warmers)
    Meals
  14. [  ] Food
  15. [  ] Coffee/Tea
  16. [  ] Coffee/Tea pots, filters, etc.
  17. [  ] Grill for campfire
  18. [  ] Grill scraper
  19. [  ] Cooking utensils - spatula, tongs, etc.
  20. [  ] Ice chest with ice
  21. [  ] Cooking oil or spray
  22. [  ] Salt/Pepper/Condiments
  23. [  ] Knife
  24. [  ] Pots and Pans
  25. [  ] Pot for heating/boiling water
  26. [  ] Plates
  27. [  ] Cups
  28. [  ] Eating Utensils
  29. [  ] Can opener
    Water
  30. [  ] Drinking water (one gallon per person per day)
  31. [  ] Water jug for hauling water for washing
  32. [  ] Water purification tablets or water filter
  33. [  ] Canteen or water bottles
    Clothing

  34. [  ] Sun glasses
  35. [  ] Clothing as appropriate for season
  36. [  ] Underwear
  37. [  ] Swimsuits and swim gear
  38. [  ] Clothes line
  39. [  ] Socks
  40. [  ] Poncho
  41. [  ] Sweater
  42. [  ] Walking shoes
  43. [  ] Handkerchiefs
  44. [  ] Gloves
  45. [  ] Hat
  46. [  ] Body warmer packs (chemical hand warmers)
    Energy
  47. [  ] Propane
  48. [  ] "T" adapters, hoses, wrench, etc.
  49. [  ] Camp stove
  50. [  ] Grill
  51. [  ] Lantern
  52. [  ] Extra mantles for lantern
  53. [  ] Heater
  54. [  ] Firewood
  55. [  ] Fireplace poker
  56. [  ] Matches
  57. [  ] Newspaper
  58. [  ] Flashlight with batteries
  59. [  ] Radio with batteries
  60. [  ] 12-volt inverter
  61. [  ] 12-volt emergency battery backup (for jump starting)
  62. [  ] Solar battery charger
  63. [  ] Cell phone charger
    First Aid

  64. [  ] First Aid kit
  65. [  ] Tweezers
  66. [  ] Scissors
  67. [  ] Sunscreen
  68. [  ] Lip balm with sunscreen
  69. [  ] Inset repellent
  70. [  ] Snake bite kit
    Cleanup

  71. [  ] Dish soap
  72. [  ] Dish scrubber
  73. [  ] Dish pan
  74. [  ] Dish towel
  75. [  ] Garbage bags
  76. [  ] Personal toilet items, toothbrush, etc.
  77. [  ] Soap
  78. [  ] Shampoo
  79. [  ] Towels
  80. [  ] Wash cloth
  81. [  ] Beach Towels
    Other

  82. [  ] Backpacks
  83. [  ] Folding Chairs
  84. [  ] Books, playing cards or other entertainment
  85. [  ] Cash
  86. [  ] Maps
  87. [  ] Address book
  88. [  ] Towelettes
  89. [  ] Compass
  90. [  ] Pocket knife
  91. [  ] Knife sharpener
  92. [  ] Waterproof matches
  93. [  ] Vitamins
  94. [  ] Emergency flasher
  95. [  ] Waterproof matches
  96. [  ] Binoculars
  97. [  ] Small and large plastic bags
  98. [  ] Notebook & pen
  99. [  ] Fishing kit
  100. [  ] Rechargeable batteries
  101. [  ] Butane lighters
  102. [  ] Space Blanket
  103. [  ] Marshmallows

Building a Campfire

You should be able to light a campfire with only one or two matches without using lighter fluid or gasoline. They key is proper planning and preparation, using the materials that are easier to ignite to start the materials that are more difficult to ignite. First, select a suitable location where there is little danger of creating a wildfire. Avoid starting a fire when conditions are very dry and windy. Begin by collecting the materials that you will need to start your fire. Place newspapers, dead leaves, or other easily-ignitable dry material on the bottom. If you are using newspaper it must be crumpled so that air can easily get to it. On top of the newspaper place dry twigs and small sticks. Then place larger sticks on top of the smaller sticks, leaving plenty of spaces for air. This is easily accomplished by placing the larger sticks in a teepee formation over the newspaper and smaller sticks (as in the photograph below.) Use one match, or hold two matches together, and light the newspaper first. The newspaper will ignite the twigs, which will ignite the smaller sticks, which will ignite the larger ones.

building a camp fire step 1

Once the larger sticks are burning well you can add larger and larger pieces, until your fire is finally ready for the largest long-burning logs.

building a camp fire step 2

building a campfire step 3
building a camp fire step 4

author at camp fire

A fire place poker is helpful for moving the logs around to improve the flow of air and keep the fire going strongly.

Continue to Chapter 8: Energy

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Continue to Chapter 8: Energy

 

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