Learning how to make a shelter in the woods is a skill that everyone who is interested in survival should learn. Whether or not you enjoy camping having the ability to put up a shelter is something that could one day save your life and the lives of your family.
The reality is that many people who end up stranded outdoors weren't planning on spending the night in the wilderness. Maybe they were out on a hike and got lost, or maybe they made the mistake of wandering away from their car after it became disabled.
No matter what brought them to this point, they are now in a situation where they are going to be forced to spend the night outdoors, and there's a very good chance they are not nearly prepared enough to do so. Assuming that you don't have a tent, sleeping bag, or even a means of lighting a fire, putting up a shelter needs to be your top priority. A well-constructed shelter can help to keep you warm and dry which is essential in any survival situation. I go into some detail below on how to make a shelter, but if you are looking for more detailed instructions, I would recommend you look into The Lost Ways, which will provide you with a wealth of survival knowledge.
When you are putting up a shelter in a survival situation, you always want to expend as little energy as possible. You have to work under the assumption that you won't be rescued or find help for several days, so conserving calories is a must. So the first step you should take when getting ready to put up a shelter is to look for natural structures that can be used to form parts of it. For example, if you find a rock ledge or a series of trees that are growing together, then this can be the framework for your shelter. You also want to choose a place to shelter where you will be able to have a good vantage point if possible; this will allow you to see any potential rescuers searching for you. Finally, make sure that the place you choose to shelter at is dry, and that it is elevated if rain is a possibility.
My Final Thoughts
In survival, you need food, water, shelter, and fire. Anything beyond those four key things is a luxury. The truth is that in most survival situations you won't have access to food, water, or fire, and you won't be trapped in the wild long enough that they become necessities. But the one thing that you will need in any survival situation is a shelter. Without a shelter, you will be exposed to the elements, which can kill you far faster than you might think. If you are serious about survival then learning how to put up a shelter is a skill you must master.