A Step by Step Guide to Building Lifesaving Structures for Every Climate and Wilderness Situation by Anthonio Akkermans
There are four basic human needs in survival. Water, food, fire and shelter. You can survive a few days without water, fire or food, but a lack of shelter can kill you within days, hours or even in some cases, minutes. That makes learning to create survival shelters right at the top of your list. Luckily you have access to The Complete Survival Shelters Handbook by Anthonio Akkermans.
Survival shelter building is not as glamorous as building a fire or hunting for food but it will provide you with many benefits that you may not have thought of and I learned quite a bit from this book.
The Benefits of Shelters
- Protects you from the elements
- Gives you a place to “call home” and a base to gather to
- Anchors you mentally. Can you really be “lost” if you have a home?
- It can attract potential rescuers by enlarging your footprint
- Easy to build with natural materials
Shelter starts with good clothing. Isn’t that the truth!
We are always encouraged to pack warm clothing in your bug out bags, but have you ever thought about actually needing to use those clothes in a survival situation? Will they keep you dry and warm when they need to? I’ll tell you, mine are completely inadequate. I learned that you need to create a base layer, mid layer, and outer layer to help prevent excessive heat loss when you are in the elements.
In this first chapter, Anthonio discusses the best clothing options for each layer and even discusses the kind of socks, and shoes or boots you may want to have for the best protection. He talks about the benefits of different kinds of sleeping equipment (mats and bags) and then helps you decide how to choose a place to shelter. Think – location, location, location.
” Shelter building in a survival setting is in a constant state of evolution…You may start with a simple lean-to, perhaps creating walls a day later or building a second on on yet another day. ”
Every Shelter Has Its Place
I must admit that when I received this book to review I thought it didn’t apply to me. What kind of shelter could I possibly build here in my yard?
When I lived in Oregon there was a real possibility of earthquakes and thus major damage to our home. We needed a way to shelter and protect ourselves if our home was damaged and not liveable.
Here in Texas, my yard is flat and there are no trees. I don’t need to worry about earthquakes, so that leaves out needing to know about shelter building – or so I thought. I learned that I could create a nice tarp shelter utilizing those fence sections and how to make grass mats from the materials I already have.
Anthonio has gathered information on a variety of shelters that you may find yourself in need of and teaches the principles behind shelter building. He’ll show you the principles at work, and you will be able to come up with any type of shelter at all. “Perfectly suited to the environment you find yourself in.”
If You Ever Wanted to Learn How to
- Make cord
- Make a hammer
- Build a natural shelter from debris
- Make a debris hut
- Make a lean-to from natural materials
- Create a stacked debris wall enclosure
- Make a round debris wall shelter
- Build a bent sapling shelter
- Go subterranean with your shelter
- Make a shelter in the snow
- Use a foil blanket to create a shelter
- Tie up a Basha / tarp shelter (and then use it to collect water)
- Put together a Scandinavian Lavvu (which looks something like a teepee)
- AND even make a Yurt (really! there are detailed plans)
Then you will find something useful to add to your survival skills, in The Complete Survival Shelters Handbook. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a yurt in my backyard!
Don’t Leave Out Modern Conveniences
If you are not the rough it type, there are still survival shelter ideas for your needs. Anthonio makes recommendations for lightweight hiking tents made from waterproof materials. Then he talks you through setting up a hammock tent, which is something I have never heard of but would like to try – it promises to be a comfortable sleeping experience – and the finer points of sleeping in a bivvy bag.
Who Is This Book for?
If you are someone that spends time outdoors and may find yourself in a survival situation, the principles discussed in this book are of vital importance. Being lost in the woods is never good, but having the ability to create a safe shelter until your rescue may mean the difference between life or death. Have the knowledge ahead of time.
Maybe you feel that you will need an alternative shelter after a disaster, but have no idea where to start. The Complete Survival Shelters Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Building Life-saving Structures for Every Climate and Wilderness Situation is your answer. If you live in an area that is susceptible to earthquakes I think it’s even a must for your preparations.
Born in the Netherlands, Anthonio Akkermans has studied wilderness skills since he was a child. While still a youngster himself, Anthonio established a youth group that allowed children and teenagers to come out into the woods and learn earth living skills once a week. He has contributed articles to various publications and published Bushcraft Skills and How to Survive in the Wild. He regularly teaches primitive skills in unique environments.
I received a review copy of this book in exchange for my review. The opinions expressed are entirely my own. There are affiliate links in this post. Thanks for supporting PreparednessMama in this way.