A shelter can protect you from the sun, insects, wind rain, snow, and hot or cold temperatures. It can give you a feeling of well-being. It can help you maintain your will to survive. 

In some areas,your need for shelter may take precedence over your need for food and possibly even your need for water.For example, prolonged exposure to cold can cause excessive fatigue and weakness (exhaustion). An exhausted person may develop a "passive" outlook, thereby losing the will to survive. 


When you are in a survival situation and realize that shelter is a high priority, start looking for shelter as soon as possible. When you consider these requisites, however, you cannot ignore your tactical situation or your safety. You must also remember the problems that could arise in your environment.

In some areas, the season of the year has a strong bearing on the site you select. Ideal sites for a shelter differ in winter and summer. During cold winter months you will want a site that will protect you from the cold and wind, but will have a source of fuel and water. During summer months in the same area you will want a source of water, but you will want the site to be almost insect free.

The most common error in making a shelter is to make it too large. A shelter must be large enough to protect you. It must also be small enough to contain your body heat, especially in cold climates.