In a survival situation, the tools you have with you can be the difference between life and death. If you’re stranded in harsh conditions, a protective shelter will be right at the top of your needs. Whether you are an outdoor adventurer, a prepper, or simply equipping your emergency preparedness kit, the best survival shelter is a must-have item. It protects against the elements keeping you warm, dry, and alive until further help arrives.

The best thing about wilderness shelters is that they’re lightweight and pack up small. An emergency shelter will easily fit in a car glove box, hiking pack, bugout bag, or disaster kit, and it’s convenient to carry one on all of your outdoor adventures. In this article, we’ll look at the 10 best survival shelters, and explain how to select the right one for your needs and how to build an effective shelter if you’re ever stranded and need one.  

How To Choose A Survival Shelter – Buying Guide



When choosing the best emergency shelter, the most important thing to consider is the material. If you plan to go hiking or backpacking in the wilderness or will be camping in the winter, you shouldn’t settle for anything less than Mylar. Aluminum-based materials are the middle level, while polyethylene is the lightest type of fabric survival shelters are made of.


Rain and moisture are your biggest enemy when stranded in harsh conditions. For this reason, a waterproof survival shelter is a must-have, and all of the outdoor survival shelters on this list are waterproof. The best emergency shelters for winter also have a thermal lining capable of reflecting and preserving 90% of your body heat.


As you can predict, some of the more expensive emergency shelters are also more durable. Polyethylene is the least durable material, and Mylar is the most resilient and durable. Other factors to pay attention to when assessing durability include the toughness of the seams and the reviews other users have left.


Q: How Do I Make Sure I Get The Protection I Need?


The best way to get the insulation and weather protection you need is to use a waterproof emergency outdoor shelter. An A-frame shelter with the ceiling at a 45º angle provides reliable rain protection. To keep out wind, be sure to position the entrances of your outdoor shelter at 90° to the prevailing wind.  When sheltering in cold conditions, an outdoor emergency shelter with a thermal interior that will preserve your body heat is ideal.   

Q: How Do I Store And Use My Survival Shelter?


All of the best wilderness shelters come packed in a stuff sack you can use to store and carry them around in. While you’re not camping, you can keep your wilderness shelter in a storage closet or shed.

Using your outdoor shelter for survival is fairly straightforward. Simply run a rope through the middle of the shelter and tie each end to trees or rocks. Additionally, the best wilderness survival shelters are versatile survival items with a variety of uses from survival shelters to water collectors.

Q: How Do You Build A Waterproof Shelter?


Building a waterproof shelter starts with selecting the right location to set up the shelter. Avoid low lying areas where water is likely to pool and open areas where gusts of wind can drive rain into your survival tent. The best way to ensure your shelter will be waterproof is to create an A-frame shelter with the ceiling at a 45º angle. This will promote the shedding of rain. Also, be sure to position the entrances at 90° to the prevailing wind. If you don’t have a waterproof survival shelter, tarp, or sheet with you, you can pile the ceiling with three inches of leaves.

Q: How Do You Heat A Survival Shelter?


While the easiest way to warm your shelter would be to build a fire inside the shelter, this can be a hazard if your shelter is made of flammable materials and doesn’t have an outlet for smoke. A safe way to heat your tent using a campfire is to build the fire outside the shelter and then create a fire screen to direct the heat to the entrance of your shelter. You can also light a fire outside, heat some rocks for an hour, dig a hole inside the shelter, and bury the hot rocks. This will keep your shelter warm for hours.

Q: How Do You Build A Shelter?


To build an A-frame survival shelter or space blanket survival shelter, you will need a survival shelter, tarp, or plastic sheet and rope. To build the shelter, lay the shelter/tarp/sheet flat on the ground then run the rope through the middle. Tie each end of the rope to trees, rocks, or any sturdy object that’s 3-4 feet off the ground. Alternatively, you can tie the rope between two trees or rocks and drape your survival shelter, tarp, or sheet over the rope. To secure the shelter, weight the edges or corners with rocks or logs. 

Globo Surf Overview

If stranded in a harsh environment, you can’t survive three hours without a shelter to keep you dry and warm. This is how important a survival shelter is in an emergency. With our reviews and guide to selecting and building an emergency shelter, we hope that we managed to empower you with the knowledge you need to choose the best survival tent for your needs.

More Backpacking/Hiking Reviews:

Have you been camping or hiking during winter or extreme conditions, requiring the use of a wilderness shelter? Do you just take one along on any camping trip or do you actually use one on a regular basis? Which a-frame shelter have you tried out so far and where do you plan to take it next? Share your thoughts and experiences with our other readers below! We’re always happy to hear from you.

Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!