Hours in a Winter Survival Shelter 

24 Hours in a Winter Survival Shelter 

Winter is right on top of us! FP is rolling on with the big blizzard of winter prepping madness!

We just showed you, a few days ago, how to make a quick, easy, and effective winter emergency shelter in the deep snow. Here’s what it’s like to live in one such shelter without a sleeping bag or other modern conveniences that many people associate with camping out. It can be done!

Joe Robinet made a movie-length video about surviving outside in a simple shelter for a full 24 hours. And, this was a solo experiment conducted during a winter snowstorm. It was only about fifteen degrees out.

Like our other recent video feature, this one assumes that you have stranded yourself out at the worst possible time. Things happen, and that is a possibility. It’s one you’d better be ready to survive. Joe even makes it look fun, in a cold kind of way. Let’s see how it’s done:

The White Woods

(All pics from Joe’s “cool” video).

Finding yourself in the snowy outdoors first means finding the snowy outdoors. This means winter in a cold, remote location. Those of you in South Florida, watch along anyway – you never know when your fun Colorado sky adventure could take an overnight turn for the frozen.

The preparation starts before you go trekking through the woods. It’s important to understand what you’re going to encounter, how to handle it, and to have a plan ready to go immediately. This video will help with that!

Location, Location, Location

Pick a spot that is already somewhat more sheltered than the surrounding environs. In our last video, a fallen stand of trees did the trick. Here, a hatchet is used to carve out a small clearing in a grove.

The trees will provide general shielding from the wind and wind-driven snows. They also provide the basic framework for erecting an emergency shelter. This process is explained and demonstrated in great detail. We’ll just breeze through a short summary.


We just covered the many ways to make a shelter with a simple tarp. It’s the same here, though expanded into a small camp setup. The green tarp seen above is the rear tent wall under which the happy camper sleeps. Like the trees, it will hold off the cold wind.

In the absence of a tarp, branches and boughs can be layered to create a windbreak. It’s a thin wall, but it places something behind your back to separate you from the frigid temperature and the general night conditions.

A second tarp equals a second wall for this little makeshift “cabin.” It serves as a second directional shield and a reflector for the heat of the fire – which is coming soon.

Creature Comforts

If for some odd reason you went hiking without a Stearns and Foster mattress, then twiggy branches and evergreen needles will make a fine substitute sleeping pad. They elevate the sleeper just enough from the snow for some insulative value. And they are softer, more comfortable than the ice that the snow will eventually become impacted into.

Not in an evergreen forest? Try leaves or moss or whatever will serve as a barrier between you and the cold ground.


The two tarp walls will do a fair job of stopping the wind. Should any blown snow accumulate against their outer sides, it will provide additional insulation (snow is about generally warmer than the air around it). The fire provides direct heat and it also reflected off of the tarps, to reverberate back to and around the camper.

You know the benefits of fire. It provides heat to stop you from freezing to death. It’s light to see in the dark. You cook on or over it. It gives you something to focus on. And, should any larger more dangerous critters venture near, it offers protection.

There is much, much more (along with some interspersed ads), so it’s time to,

Watch the Video:

Joe Robinet / YouTube.

Yes, that’s two hours of prepper knowledge! “Like” the video and spread the word before the snow comes down on your friends. Also, scroll down to the useful links in the description below the video – you’ll be rewarded for the effort!

Then, make sure to consult Joe’s YouTube Channel. It’s a tribute to all things survival, outdoors, camping, bushcraft, and more!

And, come back, here, tomorrow and beyond, as we roll deeper into our winter preparedness series. Let’s get ready now before that first freeze.

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