Natural shelters in survivalism – where can you stay overnight in the field?

Adventure hobbies/Survival
Chandler Lee
Natural shelters in survivalism – where can you stay overnight in the field?
It takes approx. 4 minutes to read this article

Excellent knowledge of the terrain during a survival trip is one of the key elements of preparation. What places might prove to be a friendly refuge for a quiet night in the wilderness?


The safest and most comfortable choice during the night. There are not many caves in Poland due to the lowland terrain. There are about 700 in the Western Tatras, about 200 in the Swietokrzyskie Mountains, less than 50 in the Pieniny Mountains, and about 800 in the Carpathians.

When planning a trip, it’s worth getting to know the terrain carefully, maybe you’ll be able to find a nice place to stay overnight. The cave provides shelter, which can be freely adapted to your individual needs.

The first element of adaptation is to light a campfire in a suitable place. With good cover, there is a good chance that the cave will retain the high temperature and create a pleasant place to sleep.

The second step is to secure the entrance. Upon first inspection, it may appear that the cave is not inhabited by an animal, but over time you may find that the occupant has only come out to hunt. It’s a good idea to block the entrance to the cave with branches, which should deter game for the night. Before spreading the bed you should also well insulate the ground. This will allow you to sleep through the night in comfort.

A hollow in the rock

Unfortunately, not on every survival expedition route you can find a comfortable and spacious cave to wait out the night. A hollow in the rock is not the most comfortable place to spend the night, but it may turn out to be the only solution on the route. In this case, it’s a good idea to use NRC film to create a base camp, which will protect you from the wind and keep you at a constant temperature.

In a hollow it may be difficult to assume a lying position, so it is worth preparing for a demanding night. However, if the athlete plans to return to climbing or a demanding mountain expedition the next day, he or she should look for a more comfortable place that will allow for a reasonably restful rest.

The thicket

There is not always a chance of discovering any place to hide, and there may not have been room for a tent in the survivalist’s equipment. If this is the case, it is a good idea to take advantage of the natural protection offered by the dense treetops.

In the summer, nights in the woods are not so cold that you cannot sleep under the open sky. A campfire can also help keep you warm. The dense trees protect you from the wind as well as possible rainfall.

In addition to the bonfire, you can isolate the ground and protect the nearby area with branches. This reduces the risk of wildlife. The large area and soft ground make it possible to spread out the bed and sleep in comfortable conditions, comparable to those that can be created in a cozy cave.

Fallen tree

At first glance, the branch of a fallen tree may not provide good protection. This type of location must be properly prepared and modified for overnight accommodations.

A fallen tree is one of the most common elements of the forest landscape, so finding a suitable one should not be as difficult as searching for a cave, for example. Before starting to build a suitable shelter, you should carefully check whether the branches and other elements of the tree are stable and do not threaten to collapse under the influence of a stronger gust of wind. It is also a good idea to check the direction of the wind, so that you can position yourself on the opposite side of the tree.

Near a fallen bough you can light a campfire and prepare your base. As with sleeping in a thicket, it’s worth securing the area with branches and insulating the ground. If the tree is located in a depression, remember that the temperature in the depression will be lower. In addition to using NRC film, you can protect the ground with a thick layer of leaves or mulch, and surround the bough itself with built in shelter walls.

Featured photo: Freepik

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