If you’re planning to make or locate a survival shelter, make sure you choose a proper site. Devote some time to pick a place: a great site can protect you from weather conditions such as rain and wind.
Before starting to search or build a shelter, go through the following rules.
Away from Water
Early morning dew and generally fog stay for a longer time near a body of water because the water gets warm less rapidly compared to the surroundings, as a consequence the air is humid and the land is damp. Remember that wet terrain depletes your body heat easier than dry terrain.
Make sure that your shelter is far from any water sources that could flood. Search for drainage marks. If you can, go for a place somewhat above the adjacent area so that water flows away from your shelter.
Be aware of flash floods, unexpected and violent stream of water that transform a dry river bed into a furious torrent. Watch out for high water signs, including water marks on rocks or plants and flowers trapped by flowing water high in bushes or trees.
Another reason to stay away from water is to avoid pollute water with feces, food scraps and garbage. Also, if you place your camp near water, you’ll have mosquito problems.
In most cases, 50 meters from water is a safe distance to build a shelter.
Away from Hazard
Be cautious about lightning hazards. Despite the fact that you need to make your rescue signals on an exposed ridge, actually building a shelter on such ground is definitely a lightning risk.
Check dead branches or trees that could fall and damage your shelter. Also stay away from other hazards, such as places with potential rock, mud slides or avalanches. A good example of an avalanche area is a strip without trees on a mountain side. An instance of a rockfall area is a loose cone-shaped rocky debris pile at the base of a mountain.
Be sure that the area you finally choose is without any poisonous plants or insect nests, such as ant colony or wasp’s nests.
In The Margin
Search for a location on the edge of two distinct environments. Between a forest and a field is an ideal position. Thick forests are shady areas that shield the heat of the sun’s rays, even on warm days. If you choose the center of a field to place your shelter, you’ll miss natural wind protection.
To be able to build a good shelter, your chosen location should have an adequate amount of building material. If you have to transport the resources a long way, you are going to deplete more energy than you can afford.
Remember: a great location can enhance a survival shelter even if improperly built while an inadequate location diminish the quality of a wonderful shelter.