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John Roman

Jungle Shelter Building 101

Jungle Shelter Building 101

You’re probably not planning on getting lost in a jungle any time soon (if you are, we’d love to hear why…), but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared to build a shelter should this ever happen. Remember -- we’re all about being ready for anything.

If ever lost in a jungle, your number 1 priority should be to get back to civilization. You want to keep moving during the day and use nightfall to sleep. Stay on the lookout for streams and rivers, as large bodies of water will likely mean civilization. Look for animal tracks since animals find water much easier than we do, and continue walking in one direction to avoid walking in circles.

Jungle survival can lead to disorientation and the fear factor can begin to set in if you truly feel lost or hopeless… but that’s what we’re here to avoid.

While getting back to civilization is your top priority, having the proper shelter can make all the difference.

When it comes to shelter, your best bet is to create a lean-to shelter as it’s simple to set up and tear down. When your focus is on moving and not on staying put for too long, you don’t want to spend too much time setting up your shelter. A lean-to simply requires sticks or bamboo, leaves, and skill. It’s essentially leaning sticks and leaves against a tall tree, with the option of covering it with large leaves and debris. This type of shelter will defend you against weather and large animals.

Here are 6 things you need to know about building this shelter:

1. Avoid ant trails and animal tracks, as they’re likely to return on the same path.

2. Avoid sinking soil and areas likely to fill with water.

3. Choose high ground tucked away from swamps and dry river beds.

4. If you find a river or stream, make sure you’re located in an area of high ground that won’t flood should it rain.

5. Clear your area of bugs and debris.

6. In colder weather, add debris under your sleeping area, or even consider putting hot rocks under your “bed” to stay warm.

    So, who’s ready to take a trip to the Amazon this weekend?

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