Recently some challenges have been threatening the fabric of our community: A massive increase in people using Black Rock City as a backdrop to promote businesses, reports of exclusivity on mutant vehicles and in theme camps, issues with Matter Out of Place (MOOP), and participants showing up not prepared to live in a harsh desert environment or expecting to simply consume what BRC has to offer.
Knowing how to create a simple shelter can also help improve your chances of survival if you are stranded in the wilderness with no way to get back to the main road within the day. Knowing how to find or create a shelter in a wilderness setting is yet another indispensable skill that any survivalist must possess. There are many survival training tips and methods to live in the wilderness but knowing how to build a shelter is one of the most important skills to have.
On average, we humans can go about three weeks without food, so this tends to be last on the wilderness survival priority list in most situations. As a wilderness survival guide, I encourage my students to connect with their hunter-gatherer ancestors. The reality is that the majority of our time on Earth, we humans have lived as hunter-gatherers. It is deep in our DNA.

As we work our way through this article we’re going to look deep into the fundamentals to understand why this particular survival shelter deserves attention. While prepping and survival studies become more popular as hobbies, focus has tended to stray toward “fancy” ways to do things while the less flashy methods have slipped by the wayside. We will take a step the opposite direction.
Hard-core doomers need not drain their airplane-liquor-bottle stash to envision the potential: Imagine New York after, say, an electromagnetic pulse attack that wipes out the power grid (like the kind North Korea recently threatened). The bridges and streets resemble a scene from the old John Carpenter movie “Escape From New York,” but the privileged few can soar across the Hudson to safety (or at least New Jersey). “From the time you push the button, you could be in the air in less than 30 seconds,” Mr. Mayman said.
Hard-core preppers, however, would never leave their survival up to a mouse click, which is why some sites suggest endless creative tweaks to the standard equipment. Graywolf Survival recommends a chain-saw blade stashed in an Altoids tin to harvest firewood. Survival Life touts feminine hygiene products, even for men, to soak up blood from wounds.

For the walls, look for trees that are seven to ten inches in diameter and cut them to fit the dimensions of your floor plan. To prepare the logs for the walls, flatten the top and bottom so that they sit flush and notch the ends to interlock them and form a sturdy corner – additionally, cutting a notch in the top log only will avoid pooling water in the joints while in wetter climates.
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