Shelter is one of the three key elements of survival. Without it, you will not last long in a world that is incredibly hostile to human life. If you are considering a worst-case scenario, you should make sure to check your shelter options for both bug-out situations and for long-term survival.
Things To Consider
Before you consider your shelter, you should try to figure out your survival time frame. Far too many preppers think that the key to finding a safe place is the ability to defend one’s self from human predators. In real-world survival situations, though, your true enemies are going to be exposure, thirst and hunger. As such, the best shelters for preppers are going to help to keep you safe in the winter, dry in the rainy season and out of the way of the elements. A solid construction that can keep you out of nature’s grips is worth more than any number of booby-traps or tactical planning.
If you want to take preparation seriously, look at the way that people live throughout the world. Outside of so-called “first world” civilizations, people look for ways to take advantage of the land upon which they live. Places that are prone to flooding might build houses on stilts, whereas desert communities tend to build homes out of materials that reflect sunlight during the day and retain heat at night. As an individual looking to be self-sufficient, your goal should be to follow this example. The more that you can rely on nature, the better you can protect yourself.
Bug Out Shelters
Some shelters are quite suitable for short-term survival, while others are better for permanent habitation. The former shelter should be your “bug out” option – the place where you stop until things blow over or the place where you go on the way to a permanent new location. A good bug out shelter should provide you with shelter, a degree of safety and the ability to be abandoned at a moment’s notice – all qualities that can be provided by anything from a sturdily built tree house to a survival-rated tent. If you are looking for a new long-term home, though, you’ve got to be a bit more meticulous.
The most popular long-term products on the market are underground shelters and pre-fab shelters made from shipping containers. Both are easily defensible, of course, but only the former provides adequate elemental protection. A properly constructed bunker (such as the bomb shelters from the Cold War) will keep out almost any kind of weather – but at the cost of keeping you underground. You lose the ability to depend on things like sunlight, unfortunately making you more reliant on generators and other power sources for daily life.
If you’re looking for long-term safety, you’re better off having a cabin built in the woods – preferably in a temperate area in which you can grow a garden, hunt game and fish. This is the kind of place that should be your ultimate goal – isolated, yes, but in such a way that you can still allow yourself the luxury of depending on nature. While there are many threats that might cause you to going into prepper mode, it is important that you remember that nature is far more likely to bounce back than any human-made structure.
Needs v.s. Wants
If you wish to find the best shelter for preppers, try to take a moment and look at what you would reasonably need to survive. Balance your need for food, water and shelter with any thoughts of safety from attack – doing so will almost certainly allow you to create an existence that should be a bit more comfortable. Prepping for tomorrow means not just maintaining healthy paranoia or thinking about the short-term – it means taking the time to assess how you want to live in the future.