Shelter and warmth is absolutely vital for survival. In very cold weather, your chances of surviving more than three hours with no shelter are slim. For most disaster scenarios, sheltering at home should be your first choice. However, when you have to bug out, or if you are away from home when disaster strikes, there are various options for shelter. This prepper’s list of shelter and warmth covers different choices you have for shelter, as well as clothing for keeping warm and dry.
A good tarp can be used to make a variety of different types of shelter, but takes up very little space. Tarps are ideal for keeping in a bug out bag to use whenever shelter is needed. The DD 3×3 Tarp is our favourite tarp shelter as it’s tough, lightweight, waterproof and versatile.
If you want a little more protection, add a ground sheet too. This gives you a layer of waterproofing between you and the ground. We like the DD Magic Carpet ground sheet.
You may prefer a tent instead of a tarp shelter. A tent can give you a more enclosed shelter than a tarp, but might not be quite as small to fit in your bug out bag. A lightweight 1 person tent offers good protection from the elements though.
A bivvy bag is another alternative to a tent, or an additional layer of shelter under a tarp. There are two options when choosing a bivvy for your bug out bag. One option is a substantial bivvy, which provides good protection from the elements and is almost a mini tent. The other is a very lightweight emergency bivvy that doesn’t provide as much protection, but takes up very little space.
The Snugpak Stratosphere is a fairly substantial waterproof bivvy bag. It has two poles that cross over the head section to lift the bivvy bag up, creating a little more space inside.
The Tact Bivvy 2.0 is an extremely lightweight bivvy bag. It doesn’t offer as much protection as the Snugpak Stratosphere, but is smaller and lighter when packed. It is best used with a tarp to provide additional shelter.
Being able to keep warm is important, and a good sleeping bag makes this much easier. A sleeping bag takes up space, but it is worth it to be able to keep warm on a cold night. We recommend a four season sleeping bag so that you can keep warm in any season.
A great waterproof option for your bug out bag is a waterproof poncho. It takes up little space in your bag, and can also cover you and your bag when it’s raining. This one doubles up as a tarp too, so you can use it to provide shelter.
Warm clothing is a fairly obvious item on a prepper’s list for shelter warmth. You need warm clothing if you have to bug out in cold weather, or if you’re stranded away from home. Mae sure you have some spare warm clothing in your car in case you get stuck.
Down jackets are the best for retaining body heat. The down provides an excellent insulation layer, retaining your body heat inside. In wet or windy weather, they work best with a waterproof layer over the top to block wind and stop water getting in.
Thermal Underwear Or Base Layer
Thermal base layers give you an additional layer of insulation under your clothes. Wearing a thermal base layer under your clothes will keep you much warmer, and help you survive cold weather.
Preppers can never have too many socks. Good socks can help you stay warm, as well as keeping your feet comfortable if you have to travel on foot. Look for thermal socks for extra warmth.
In addition to this prepper’s list for shelter and warmth, we have prepper’s lists covering everything you need.