The human body can survive an amazing length of time without food and several days without water. However, without protection from the elements, particularly in a harsh environment, you will only survive for a short time.

If you want to survive in any environment you might find yourself confronted with, it is essential to have either sufficiently preplanned, prepositioned, carried or otherwise have access to suitable shelter.

Another option is that you have the knowledge, tools and skills needed to construct or find a survival shelter capable of providing you and your loved ones with appropriate protection as quickly as possible.

Remember that with few exceptions, it’s always better to have and not need than to need and not have. Because we believe in hoping for the best while preparing for the worst, we have amassed a full spectrum of shelter options that can offer you and your family the protection from the elements that you need when you need it.

5ive Star GI Spec. Woodland Ripstop Poncho


Perfect for the outdoorsman, this version of the venerable military poncho is the answer to a number of shelter needs. Use it as a rain garment or sleeping bag shell, or make a lean-to shelter for quick weather-resistant protection. Snap two together to create a two-person pup tent. It has multiple uses for rain protection as a waterproof ground cloth or a field-expedient sleeping bag when lined with a poncho liner. Metal edge grommets allow you to use it as a tarp and tie a poncho liner to it. Two-way side snaps also close the sides when it’s being worn as a poncho.


  • Size: 56×90 inches
  • Waterproof heavyweight ripstop material
  • Adjustable hood fits over helmets
  • Drawstring stuff  bag included

MSRP $37.95

Norwegian Army Emergency Survival Poncho


When opened to its full, 5×8-foot size, this poncho makes a quick water- and wind-proof shelter. When it’s stowed, it measures just 5.5×2.5×2.5 inches. It weighs only 7 ounces. The olive-green poncho comes in a durable plastic bag for protection between uses. This poncho is perfect to keep in your glove box, backpack or purse.


  • Size: 5×4 feet when used as a poncho
  • Includes attached hood
  • Strong enough for multiple uses
  • Can be used as a ground sheet or sleeping bag cover

MSRP $9.99

SOL Emergency Shelter Kit


Stay dry and warm in almost any weather with this ultra-light emergency shelter kit. It reflects 90 percent of your body heat back to you, providing optimal thermal protection when you need it the most. The Emergency Shelter Kit gives you plenty of material to make an expedient shelter in a variety of settings and includes everything needed to construct an emergency lean-to shelter.


  • Size: 5×8 feet
  • Can also be used as an emergency blanket
  • Includes four aluminum stakes
  • Reflective cord and tensioners are provided

MSRP $24.99

WildVenture Rain Fly Tent Tarp


Never let a cold night or morning dew ruin your adventure again. With WildVenture’s waterproof rain fly, you have everything you need to construct the perfect shelter for every outdoor overnighter. Use it as a stand-alone shelter or to add an extra layer of waterproof protection to your tent or hammock. Because it has 17 fixing points, you can pitch this tarp in multiple configurations. Its construction repels rain, snow and sand, creates an instant sunshade for protection from the midday heat and protects from blustery winds to keep you warm and cozy. This is one of the most lightweight, yet durable, tarps on the market.


  • Size: 9.8×9.3 feet
  • Made with 210T ripstop fabric
  • Utilizes 2000PU waterproof coating
  • Includes two sets of pegs and reflective guy lines

MSRP $70

Don’t Die in the Woods Survival Shelter


Featuring tear-resistant, extra-thick HeatFlex Mylar, 425-pound strength paracord and reinforced taped seams, this is a truly reusable survival tube tent built to withstand harsh weather conditions. This emergency tent is a balance of efficiency, durability, size and weight. It is designed for hiking, camping and outdoor adventures. It packs away ultra-light and compactly and sets up quickly, with room for two adults. NASA-designed Mylar is waterproof and reflects up to 90 percent of body heat for cold-, wet- or hot-weather survival and countless other uses year-round.


  • Tube measures 8×5 feet when flat
  • Weight: 9.5 ounces
  • Includes 20 feet of cord and storage bag
  • Reverses from silver to orange
  • Stores in pack or glove box

MSRP $28.50

Mountain Hardwear Trango 2 2-Person 4-Season Tent


Mountain Hardwear is known for making some of the best four-season tents, and its Trango 2 does not disappoint. Featuring guaranteed-watertight construction with fully taped fly, taped “bathtub floor” construction, welded corners and welded guy clip anchors, this tent is sure to keep you dry. Large, dry-entry vestibules with brow poles and snow flaps on the front vestibule seal out spindrift and provide ample headroom and space for gear storage. Two dual canopy-and-mesh doors make for easy entry and exit. It is made from tough ripstop nylon with reinforced seams. This is one piece of gear that is sure to provide years of dependable use.


  • Sleeps two adults
  • Main cabin is 92×64 inches
  • Pack size: 24×8 inches
  • Weight: 9 pounds, 10 ounces

MSRP $700
URL www.MountainHardwear. com

ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 3-Person Tent


The Tasmanian 3 is a four-season tent loaded with features. It uses 7000-series aluminum poles (one continuous pole system with hubs that reach end to end, as well as an additional pole that goes across the tent to help stabilize it in strong winds). It also features a full-coverage fly and has a door and vestibule on each end. The Tasmanian has 43.5 square feet of tent space. Fifty-four inches at the apex leaves plenty of space for three people and their gear to fit safely from the elements.


  • Sleeps three adults
  • Main cabin is 92×79 inches
  • Pack size: 20×7 inches
  • Weight: 9 pounds, 14 ounces

MSRP $399.99
URL www.AlpsMountaineering. com

Marmot Lair 8-Person Extreme Cold Weather Tent


The Marmot Lair is a dome-base camp tent meant to hold up to the most extreme Himalayan weather. Its 165 square feet of floor space offer plenty of room to spread out. Plenty of external guy points hold up to heavy winds and snows, and there are more than enough internal guy points to set up a drying rack for your wet gear. The seam-taped, full-coverage, vented fly provides ample ventilation and protects the tent—and you—from the elements. The poled vestibule allows you to remove and store snowy gear while keeping the interior dry.


  • Removable 70 Denier nylon floor
  • Canopy and fly made with 40 Denier ripstop nylon
  • Overall size: 96x156x156 inches
  • Pack size: 24×30 inches
  • Weight: 24 pounds

MSRP $2,250

ENO SubLink Hammock Shelter System


The SubLink Hammock Shelter System is a kit you can assemble to your needs. The base setup includes the Sub6 Hammock, Guardian SL Bug Net, new Helios Suspension System, FastFly Sil Rain Tarp and lightweight stakes. The hammock features 70D high-tenacity, breathable, quick-drying nylon taffeta. The tarp features 15D silicone-impregnated ripstop nylon for excellent water protection and a lighter weight. A mini ridge line and cord locks create a snug, yet effective, insect-free haven. All items in this system come packed in SubLink’s fleece lined carry case (which converts into a pillow).


  • Capacity: 300 pounds
  • Hammock size: 8.75×3.92 feet
  • Complete kit weight: 39 ounces
  • Includes six aluminum 6-inch tent stakes

MSRP $249.95
URL www.EaglesNestOutfi ttersinc. com

Napier Backroadz Truck Tent Model 19


The Backroadz Truck Tent 19 series was created for those who want to sleep up off the ground. Quick and easy assembly puts the ultimate camp shelter in the back of your open-bed pickup, offering a spacious interior. The tent’s exclusive, fully enclosed floor works great at keeping you clean and dry from the elements. The two large windows offer plenty of ventilation, and the full rain fly provides weather protection. Keep this tent stored behind the seat, always at the ready. (May vary from photo.)


  • Quick and easy single-person setup
  • Includes straps to secure tent and fly to truck
  • Sleeps two comfortably
  • Polyester walls and roof; polyethylene floor
  • Multiple sizes available for U.S. and import pickups

MSRP $199.99

Timberleaf Off -Road Teardrop Camping Trailer


This is a custom-built, hand-crafted, teardrop-shaped camper that is able to be pulled to remote and rugged outposts— while carrying a virtual household of conveniences. It is small and light enough to be pulled by any car with a trailer hitch. With its tough Timbren “axle-less” suspension, insulated walls and a full galley, this trailer is quite a few steps above “roughing it.” It is intended to run on any paved, dirt or rocky road that takes you away from trouble.


  • Overall length: 14 feet
  • Mattress size: 57×80 inches
  • Cabin clear height: 36 inches
  • Dry weight: 1,500 pounds
  • Two opposing doors and windows
  • Many features can be customized

MSRP Prices vary with build

Life Pod Shelters 4-Person Underground Tornado Storm Shelter


The FP-4 Life Pod underground shelter is the perfect solution for up to four occupants. The design provides plenty of headroom and storage, making short-term stays as pleasant as possible. This fi berglass shelter is easy to install, clean and maintain and integrates yacht-quality materials, design, strength and durability. The FP-4 was designed by engineering professionals and was subjected to rigorous physical testing to ensure it meets or exceeds FEMA 320 and ICC 500 building codes.


  • LED lighting and motion-activated lighting
  • Marine-grade, UV-stable gel coat will not leak, corrode or rust
  • Aluminum ladder with nonslip rungs
  • Size: 78x66x56 inches
  • Weight: 523 pounds

MSRP $3,809


Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the Prepper Fall, 2018 print issue of American Survival Guide.

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