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Clyde

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How to Make Shelter in the Desert​

Written by: Isaac & Carmen Gutierrez

We never know if we are traveling in the desert and get in a situation being stuck out in the desert. What can we do if you are in the desert and we have no shelter? Weather in the desert is very harsh and hostile. During the day temperature can reach in the 100sF or get into the very freezing point during the night. So a shelter is part of an essential thing to do if we are stranded in the desert. There are two method to build a shelter in the desert let us learn how.

When you need a shelter in the desert and a suitable feature as a cave is not available you will have to build something. Have you ever heard of “hot rocks”? Well here is a method on how to keep warm during the night. Find a slope facing the sun with plenty of rocks lying around. Try find south –facing slope. A shallow cave facing the south is ideal. The wall of the cave will retain heat. Use rocks that have been baking in the sun for most of the day.

Build a wall with the rocks. But remember when building the wall; make sure the hot side of each rock is facing into the shelter. Try to enclose the entire hallow part from the entrance, which can be located either at the foot or on the head end of the shelter. Make sure to make the shelter as small as possible, so that your body will almost touch the hot rocks.

The second way is to build a pit shelter. You need to be in an area where there is sand or dirt that can be dig and some shrub or wood. Mark the area that you are going to dig about a 1ft wider and longer. Start digging the pit, any tools you have or your bare hands. Dig about 3 feet dip. If it is sand you may need to build some retaining walls so to prevent collapsing. Even if the soil is not sandy, you will need to lay 2 beams along the side of the pit for the roof to rest on.

Gather some strong branches and lay them across the pit to begin constructing the roof. Leaving a head opening at one end, start pile flat rocks on top of the sticks of the pit. Cover the rocks with sand or soil to form the roof. Try to get rid of all the gaps, so sand cant fall through into the pit. Place a layer of sand over the rocks as insulation. Form a slight dome over the area, so any water can run out. Make sure you leave an opening that runs the entire width of the shelter and is large enough to squeeze through. The shelter needs to be easy to spot both for yourself when out roaming, and for potential rescuers (Firehow, LLC, 2009).
 

Krime

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The only problems i see with this is:
1. what about water?
If your in the hot desert (i live in it btw) you constantly sweat, and dehydration becomes a huge problem. If your working on shelter your burning more body fluid per hour. although it does drop to about 55 at night here, i would suggest building your shelter at night to retain fluids.
2. where the heck do you find "branches" in the desert?
theres no trees!
there are bushes, though, but watch out cuz some will leave you itchy.
 

Clyde

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The only problems i see with this is:
1. what about water?
If your in the hot desert (i live in it btw) you constantly sweat, and dehydration becomes a huge problem. If your working on shelter your burning more body fluid per hour. although it does drop to about 55 at night here, i would suggest building your shelter at night to retain fluids.
2. where the heck do you find "branches" in the desert?
there aren't any trees!
there are bushes, though, but watch out cuz some will leave you itchy.
I agree water is a huge concern when dwelling in the desert. I think maybe the Joshua Tree branches might work.
 

Krime

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Joshua tree branches are not only heavy, but their kinda prickily, do wear gloves when handling.
 

Clyde

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Joshua tree branches are not only heavy, but their kinda prickily, do wear gloves when handling.
They are heavy, that is a fact. Enter the Ford Raptor or Excursion... Gloves are definitely a must in the bug out bag.
 

Krime

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LMAO!
ya that would be crazy to STAY in the desert long enough to want to build a lasting shelter though.
 

Clyde

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It isn't a place I would want to set up a permanent residence. A temporary location might be ok depending on the seasons.
 

Krime

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ROFL!
I live in an air conditioned house and I dont wanna be here, let alone in the actual desert part!
 
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Actually I think a desert enviroment would be ideal for post-shtf. Just like you guys, everyone is going to be hauling ### out of the desert, so it will be relatively empty of threats from humanity. And there are sooo many easy ways to survive in the desert. When I was in the Army I got dropped in the middle of a desert and had to naviagte my way out. We only got dropped with a canteen, a knife, clothes on our back, one MRE, our small pack, some 550 cord, and the training we had. It took me almost three bloody weeks to get to where I had to go and I reached it in pretty good health. Water was a bitch but the little barrel catus have plenty of fluid in them, along with some other unsavory ways of getting aqua. So if I had planned to be there I would basically be underground, in a shelter, with everything I need stored.
 

AKRay666

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in AZ...dead saguaros are a perfect source of straight, long 'boards'....i use them for walking sticks and they could be used for shelter...i also thought about using one for a bow with 550, but have yet to try it
 

cj3006

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for all those people that find themselves broke down in the dessert and thumbling around looking for shelter remember to watch where you put your hand ! wither in rocks or pulling up creosote bushes for shade , RATTLE SNAKE BITE can turn a bad day into a death day !
 

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