Tree-Pit Snow Shelter

If you are in a cold, snow-covered area where evergreen trees grow and you have a digging tool, you can make a tree-pit shelter.

To make this shelter —

* Find a tree with bushy branches that provides overhead cover.
* Dig out the snow around the tree trunk until you reach the depth and diameter you desire or until you reach the ground.
* Pack the snow around the top and the inside of the hole to provide support.
* Find and cut other evergreen boughs. Place them over the top of the pit to give you additional overhead cover. Place evergreen boughs in the bottom of the pit for insulation.

Debris Hut

For warmth and ease of construction, this shelter is one of the best. When shelter is essential to survival, build this shelter.

To make a debris hut —

* Build it by making a tripod with two short stakes and a long ridgepole or by placing one end of a long ridgepole on top of a sturdy base.
* Secure the ridgepole (pole running the length of the shelter) using the tripod method or by anchoring it to a tree at about waist height.
* Prop large sticks along both sides of the ridgepole to create a wedge-shaped ribbing effect. Ensure the ribbing is wide enough to accommodate your body and steep enough to shed moisture.
* Place finer sticks and brush crosswise on the ribbing. These form a latticework that will keep the insulating material (grass, pine needles, leaves) from falling through the ribbing into the sleeping area.
* Add light, dry, if possible, soft debris over the ribbing until the insulating material is at least 1 meter thick — the thicker the better.
* Place a 30-centimeter layer of insulating material inside the shelter.
* At the entrance, pile insulating material that you can drag to you once inside the shelter to close the entrance or build a door.
* As a final step in constructing this shelter, add shingling material or branches on top of the debris layer to prevent the insulating material from blowing away in a storm.